Quick and Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Well it’s that time of the year again. That’s right summer. When fruits are in abundance and the sweltering heat is overabundance. Strawberries galore is happening at my house right now and I need to use them before they go bad. Since I really wanted to skip out on baking and/or cooking because of the oppressing heat of the summer I figured a cold dessert was needed. Something that didn’t require too much time and there was no need to even go near the stove.

So I went to the grocery in the early morning. Wandering around to see what would inspire me. Walking down the frozen dessert aisle I spotted some frozen cakes. Now when I was in elementary school my mother use to buy the Sara Lee Pound Cake and I would have a slice of it with her on the weekends. That always entertained me for the day, as I would savor that one slice while trying to distract myself with a film on television.

Now that got me thinking. The cake was always partially frozen and it kept me cool in the house. So I figured I could get a small loaf. Now from there I was able to think of combining the cake with the massive amount of strawberries that I had just received earlier that week. There was also a bowl full of freshly whipped cream in the refrigerator. That was my ticket to a quick an easy dessert without the hassle of ovens or stoves.

Now that I think about it these would be perfect for Mother’s Day or even Valentine’s Day.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 slices of Sara Lee Pound Cake, thawed
  • 1/2 cup whole strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar

Step 1: In a small bowl, gently combine the strawberries and sugar until strawberries are lightly coated in the sugar. Set aside.

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Step 2: Take a cookie cutter and cut out rounds from the pound cake slices. (Optional: I used 1-3/4 inch cutter. I also cut the small disc in half)

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Step 3: Slice the strawberries in a fan-like slices. (How to fan strawberries)

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Step 4: Place one cake round on a plate.

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Step 5: Fan out 1-2 strawberries on top of the cake slice.

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Step 6: Top it with whipped cream and repeat with remaining cake rounds.

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Step 7: Garnish with strawberry fanned out.

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If you didn’t want to cut out the rounds here is the non-cut version:

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Simple Crème Brûlée

While rummaging around the refrigerator I noticed the leftover container of heavy whipping cream and the massive amount of eggs. Figuring I could make something with these simple ingredients with the added sugar and maybe vanilla from the cupboards. So a custard was the first thing that came to mind. But no I just had to up the difficulty by wanting to make crème brûlée. It’s a pretty easy recipe and you can substitute the portable kitchen blow torch with a broiler. So an inexpensive, but such a decadent dessert that seems super expensive. I should have done this for Valentine’s Day. Oh well.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • (Optional: 1 tsp. lemon or orange zest, 1 tsp. flavored liqueurs, and etc.)
  • 4 Tbsp. superfine sugar (or Turbinado/raw sugar)

Step 1: Preheat the over to 300°F and boil some water.

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Step 2: In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the cream and vanilla to scalding point. (small bubbles will be forming around the edges) (you can also add the optional ingredient)

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Step 3: Remove the pan from the heat.

Step 4: In a heat-proof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.

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Step 5: Gradually pour in the hot cream into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly.

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Step 6: Strain mixture into a large measuring cup or small pitcher.

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Step 7: Evenly pour the mixture into 4 ramekins.

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Step 8: Place the ramekins into a baking dish

Step 9: Place the baking pan in the oven and carefully pour the boiled water into the baking pan without getting any water in the ramekins. (Fill to halfway up the ramekins)

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Step 10: Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custards are set. (There will be a slight wobble when gently moved) (The timing will depend on the amount of custard in the ramekins, how hot the water is, and how thick the ramekins are.)

Step 11: Immediately remove the ramekins onto a cooling rack and allow them to come to room temperature. (1 hour)

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Step 12: Refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours, or until cold and firm. (You can store them for 3 days covered)

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Step 13: To serve, remove custard from the refrigerator, sprinkle 1 Tbsp of superfine sugar evenly over the top of the custard.

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Step 14: Place under a very hot preheated broiler. (Or you could use a portable kitchen torch, just keep it 2-inches, at an angle, over the custard and keep moving the torch around until the sugar melts and caramelizes.)

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Step 15: Caramelize the sugar until golden brown and bubbly. (May need to turn ramekin around to evenly brown.)

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Step 16: Allow custard to sit a few minutes for the sugar to harden, or place into the refrigerator for a couple of seconds.

Step 17: Once sugar has harden serve imminently. (I think I’ll have to allow the custard to bake longer next time it doesn’t look like it set to much and give the broiler a little long to heat up)

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Side Not: After placing in the refrigerator for a few minutes it set right back. So with that in mind I do believe it became all liquidy inside because of the heat from the boiler which caused the ramekin to be way to warm for the delicate custard.

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