the second in a series of desserts featuring pennington’s strawberry rye, to read the entire post, please follow this link
summer is the season for no-bake desserts. honestly, who wants to turn the oven on when it is 90+ outside? while i can say that i am guilty of baking during the heat of summer, having discovered icebox cakes, i will probably think twice, especially since they are so easy to make. the best part about them is that by simply changing cookies or adding a little something to the layers, you have a whole new dessert each time.
for this version, i used biscoff cookies and pennington’s strawberry rye and it was as tasty as it was easy to make. the hardest part; letting it sit in the fridge long enough for the cookies to soften!
whip up 2 cups of heavy cream with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form. choose a plate that is completely flat and spread a tiny bit of the whipped cream in the center to act as glue for the cookies. line up 6 cookies as i did in the photo above and brush them with about a tablespoon of pennington’s strawberry rye. cover the top of the cookies with some of the whipped cream and repeat the process until the entire package of cookies is gone. there should be five layers of six cookies with a thin layer of cream between them. for those of you that like a lot of cream, go ahead and whip up 3 cups of cream with a 1/4 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, the rye amount will remain unchanged; you will need at least 1/3 cup. if i recall correctly, there will be a couple of cookies left over so just dip them in some additional rye and eat them quickly, i’ll never tell…
it comes together quickly and easily. the hardest part is waiting until it is soft enough to slice. refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours so that the cream and the rye will soften the cookies and make slicing it possible.
i liked the way the sides looked with all of the layers showing but you could easily whip up another cup of heavy cream and frost the sides of the cake. use the tip of the spatula to make a zig-zag pattern on the top. fresh strawberries would be a pretty addition when served. slice them in half from the top down to make heart shaped garnishes and give each of the guests a shot of pennington’s to sip with dessert.
just to prove my theory, i tried the cake with gingersnaps. publix supermarkets sells a private labeled gingersnap that is the spiciest snap i have ever eaten. luckily, the whipped cream tempered the heat. while the flavors blended nicely, i thought the spice of the snaps overwhelmed the fruity flavor of the rye and honestly, as much as i like gingersnaps, i preferred the biscoff version much better.
twenty minutes of work and five minutes of cleanup equals one tasty icebox cake to serve and savor on a hot summer night!
special thanks to my good friend the food sheriff for sharing a bottle of pennington’s strawberry rye with me! to see the other desserts i made with it, follow these links:
if you give a pastry chef a bottle of pennington’s strawberry rye, chances are she will whip up a dessert. and if said pastry chef is feeling a little daring, she might just reinvent the classic tiramisu into something totally southern. guess what, this happened, it really, really happened!
with many thanks to my good friend, the food sheriff, i found myself in possession of some penningtons, strawberry rye and the instructions to “make something!” have i ever told you that i am good at following instructions? okay, that is stretching it, a lot, but this time, i did exactly that.
if you have made a true, classic tiramisu, you know it can be a little intimidating. zabaglione is one of those recipes that require you to follow instructions carefully for the best results. but that does not mean that you cannot improvise. for this recipe, the technique is intact, it is the components that have changed.
the first change came when i decided to replace the espresso with a strong batch of black tea. this dark tea was combined with the pennington’s strawberry rye and a little sugar to make the soaking liquid for the savoiardi.
to further adapt the recipe, the traditionally called for marsala was omitted from the zabaglione and the strawberry rye was used in a one to one switch. to keep it light and simple, whipped cream was used rather than whipped mascarpone cheese. the result of these changes is a lovely, creamy whiskey and tea infused dessert that is both simple and sophisticated.
the best type of cookie for this recipe is a true italian savoiardi, a crispy lady finger that soaks up the tea and rye syrup. finding them in the grocery store can be a challenge but in nashville, i quickly found them at publix. for best results, make the dessert the day before so that it has time to set and make cutting it into portions for serving.
with the kids out of the house, darry and i frequently do our grocery shopping at trader joe’s. now that it is just the two of us, we can shop for the foods we prefer without having to worry about the kids not liking the dishes we cook. a recent trip to the store had me stocking up on fall favorites. a bag of pears made the trip home with me. ripe, juicy pears are a favorite of mine. unfortunately, i forgot about them and when i went to grab one, i saw that i had 4 very ripe pears. knowing that i would not be able to eat them all, i decided to bake a cake and share it with my fellow garden volunteers.
upside down cakes are a favorite of mine. this recipe actually appears in my second cookbook, desserts from the famous loveless cafe. however, i used peaches in the book. guess what, pears will work just as nicely, so will apples! honestly, i am thinking that plums as well as pecan or walnut halves would also work nicely. the most unusual fact about this cake, it is a whipped cream cake. that means rather than use soft butter, you actually whip heavy cream with sugar to soft peaks. eggs and vanilla are added to this and finally, self rising flour is sifted over the cake and folded in. so simple, so tasty. for those of you not in the south, you can make this with cake flour if you cannot find traditional self rising flour. just use an equal portion of cake flour and add 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
to make the cake, follow this link to the cafe’s website. the full recipe is posted and available to you. believe it or not, i followed the recipe making only one small change. for the caramel that is cooked in the skillet, i used light brown sugar rather than the granulated sugar called for. my decision was based on the thought that brown sugar would add a little more flavor and it did.