• Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

    So it’s been a while!! Almost 3 months exactly…yikes. I have to say, cooking for fun just isn’t as easy or possible when you only go to the grocery store once a week, and I have found myself feeling really unmotivated to experiment. But! Now that summer is here, and open-air farmstands are open, I’m starting to feel better and miss the feeling of baking something “just because”. Embarrassingly enough, I baked and shot this cake back in MAY, thinking that I would feel like writing about it way sooner than this, but hey, better late than never! Taken from this New York Times Cooking recipe by Yossy Arefi, this cake is the perfect summery dessert, moist and light, but with SO much fresh strawberry flavor.

    A few notes on this- when reading the recipe on NYT, a 16 cup bundt pan is mentioned as the recommended size. I have never seen a 16 cup bundt pan, nor do I own one. I don’t even know what size mine is, but I suggest using what you have, and simply fill the pan 3/4 of the way full. That way you don’t have to worry about the pan overflowing in the oven, and you still have a beautiful looking cake, with some leftover batter (put it in muffin tins maybe??). Also, this recipe very specifically says whole milk yogurt, not Greek yogurt. Because I am a dummy, I read this too quick and specifically got greek yogurt instead. Fear not! If that is all you can find, measure out 1 cup of greek yogurt and fill the rest of the 1/4 cup with whole milk. This will thin it out enough and add a nice tang. Finally, this goes without saying, but try to find the freshest strawberries possible, and do NOT under ANY circumstances, use anything but fresh lemon juice. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    Okay! Before we get started, you know what time it is! Since I have left my “Things To Be Happy About” book in my apartment, I’ll make these ones up from scratch today, here goes!
    ONE. Taking all your downtime at home and turning it into something productive.
    TWO. Finally seeing a friend after months apart.
    THREE. Settling into a work from home routine.
    FOUR. Writing down five things you’re grateful for each day.
    FIVE. Wearing your mask outside, because you care about the safety of the people around you 🙂

    Let’s bake!

    Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake Ingredients
    (adapted from NYT Cooking)

    1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (plus more for greasing the pan)
    3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the pan)
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1¼ tsp kosher salt
    1¾ cups granulated white sugar
    1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
    3 eggs
    1¼ cups whole milk yogurt (or 1 cup greek yogurt + ¼ cup whole milk)
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2¾ cups (~1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces


    Fresh Strawberry Glaze Ingredients

    ¼ cup fresh strawberries
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice


    Steps

    Move one rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour your bundt pan, making sure every crevice is covered.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or separate bowl with electric mixer), combine together the butter and sugar until uniform. Add the lemon zest, and beat this mixture until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

    Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla, then mix on medium speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point, I promise it fixes itself once the flour is added!

    At this point, carefully add in all the flour mixture at once, and mix on low speed until almost fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, stir around the sides and bottom to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

    Take a ½ cup of the batter from the bowl and drop it, a tablespoon at a time, around the bottom of the prepared pan, until almost fully covered, smoothing out as you go. This will make sure that the strawberries don’t all sink to the bottom and stick.

    Add the chopped strawberries to the rest of the batter and mix until even. The batter will be quite thick! Spoon evenly into the pan and smooth out the top. Remember, if you’re using a bundt pan smaller that the 16-cup, only fill the pan about ¾ of the way full to prevent overflowing. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

    Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. It should be about 70 minutes, but I would start checking around 1 hour. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.

    To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the strawberries until smooth. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to start. The glaze should be quite thick, but still pourable. If it seems too thin, add some confectioner’s sugar, if it’s too thick, add the extra teaspoon (or more) of lemon juice.

    Place the cake (still on the cooling rack) onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour the glaze evenly over the whole thing, catching all the excess drips on the baking sheet. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

    xoxoxoxD

    Looking for more summery fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Salty Honey Panna Cotta with Crushed Raspberry Sauce

    I’m baaaaaaack! It’s been a while, I know. Here’s the thing, I’ve been all over (mentally and physically), but really what happened was I went to England (!!!) to visit my sister Clare and then for some reason I needed several weeks to recover. I won’t go into all the details but we had the most wholesome time and I saw everything from the Tower of London to the (haunted) Viaduct Tavern. We did SO much walking, got our ears pierced (sorry Mom), and we saw SO many sights and quite frankly I’d like to move there thank you. But to be honest, I have been trying to write this same blog post for three weeks now, and I don’t know WHY its taken me so long to get it out because this was such a delicious and easy dessert to make.

    It all started when I was home and bored and flipping through my two (2) Alison Roman cookbooks because why not? It was a Saturday and I was looking for something to entertain me, I didn’t really want to go outside, after all. I came across this recipe and it sounded like the perfect combination of lazy and fancy, which is my entire Aesthetic™️. It’s made with several different types of dairy, including buttermilk, heavy cream, and sour cream, and topped with a bright and perfect raspberry smash, and all I’m saying is that people should expect this dessert at all my dinner parties for the rest of ever, thanks.

    If memory serves, this is one of the first Alison Roman recipes I’ve written about on Sweet D, I can’t believe it! She is a powerhouse of cooking things and I aspire to be as chic and clever as she is and basically what I’m getting at is that this might as well be an Alison Roman stan blog from now on. The most fun part about this recipe is that you can pour the custard into any containers you’d like really, which is why I used my collection of martini glasses and my brand new English tea cup, because who wouldn’t love to be served dessert from a tea cup, I ask you.

    Okay anyway, that’s enough of me ranting, here are 5 things to be happy about before we start cooking. Baking? Preparing? I don’t really know how to describe it for this particular dessert. Ah well, here we go!
    ONE. Taking a nice long walk on an unseasonably warm day.
    TWO. The sound of rain hitting the windows outside.
    THREE. Getting your hair blown out and feeling incredibly fancy for a day.
    FOUR. Being barefoot in your own house.
    FIVE. The feeling of being on vacation.

    Okay let’s go!

    Ingredients

    1 envelope (¼ ounces) unflavored gelatin
    ¼ cup water
    3 cups heavy cream, divided
    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup sour cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    Pinch of salt
    6 ounces fresh raspberries
    1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar


    Steps

    In a measuring cup, add the water and pour the envelope of gelatin over it. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes so that it softens and hydrates.

    In a small pot, add the softened gelatin, ½ cup cream, and ½ cup honey. Heat over low heat, swirling until the gelatin is dissolved. Do NOT simmer, as it will denature the gelatin and prevent it from firming back up.

    Gently whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, the remaining 2½ cups cream, and salt into a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm gelatin mixture over the cream mixture, but make sure not to whisk so hard that air bubbles form. Divide the mixture among the glasses, it will be 6 to 10 glasses, depending on their size. Chill until set, 1 to 2 hours.

    In the meantime, add the raspberries to a bowl with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey. Crush the raspberries with the back of a fork so that the juices are released, and stir to combine. To serve, top each panna cotta with the portion of the raspberries, and a drizzle of honey, if you’d like!

    YUM!!

    Want some more Sweet D? Look here, here, and here!

  • Cinnamon Ice Cream

    Soooo this all started because of a little show called Gourmet Makes. You know it? I hope so. If you don’t, it’s a Bon Appetit YouTube series where Claire Saffitz of the BA Test Kitchen reverse engineers different popular candies and snacks, to make them less processed and even tastier. Last week’s episode? Gourmet Ben and Jerry’s! She tried a series of flavors like pistachio, cherry garcia, and coffee chip, and by the end of the episode I wanted ice cream more than I’ve ever wanted it before. But, since it was almost 11:30 at night and all stores were closed, I had literally no choice but to order an ice cream machine on Amazon. I don’t make the rules, that’s reasonable, right?

    You know what’s so great about making ice cream? Once you have a good base recipe, you can play around with it any way you like, steeping the cream with different aromatics, swirling jams or chocolate into the mixture while it churns, you name it! I myself can’t wait for summer corn season, so I can make a blueberry jam swirl with a sweet corn base.

    But today’s recipe is inspired by a gelato that I used to eat (almost) every single day while studying abroad. The Gelateria was called Edoardo, and I would get the same two scoops in every cup- honey poppyseed, and cinnamon. When I tell you I still think about that cinnamon gelato at least once a day, I’m not lying. Now I know this is ice cream and not gelato and they are slightly different, the flavor is just as good. Real cinnamon is such a delicate, warming flavor, and when combined with a thick, vanilla custard, you will never want to eat another flavor. So naturally, instead of doing any Super Bowl related anything on Sunday, I made ice cream! And watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the third time! A weekend well spent if you ask me.

    Anyway, before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. Remembering a memory that had been foggy for so long.
    TWO. The Notes app on your phone holding all your random thoughts.
    THREE. Wearing your favorite outfit and feeling the confidence boost.
    FOUR. Remembering your reusable bag for a trip to the store.
    FIVE. Taking a risk that pays off.

    Let’s do this! Beware the brain freeze!

    Ingredients

    6 egg yolks
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup whole milk
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean, sliced in half)
    1/8 tsp fine sea salt

    Steps

    Add all the egg yolks to a medium bowl. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar until combined. In a saucepan, heat together the cream, milk, cinnamon sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste (or split vanilla bean). Simmer this mixture until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat.

    Whisking constantly, drizzle about a third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then transfer these tempered egg yolks to the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Return the pot to medium heat and cook slowly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Allow the cinnamon and vanilla to steep for 30 minutes at room temperature before straining.

    Cover the strained custard and chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

    Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions. Once completed, it can be eaten immediately as soft serve, or store in the freezer for scoopable ice cream. Congratulations, you’ve made ice cream!! I’m gonna go eat some for dinner.

    xoxoxoxo

    Looking for more weekend projects? Look no further than here and here!