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Entries in strawberries (2)


Vanilla Genoise with Mascarpone Cream and Fresh Strawberries


I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Cassata on the NYT Cooking website the other day and it looked so appetizing. A light sponge cake, soaked in vodka laced syrup, layered with sweetened fresh ricotta and topped with berries. While that recipe wasn’t a “traditional” cassata – no candied fruit on top and no marzipan. It did get me thinking about making a copycat dessert. So I did.


For the cake: 

3 large eggs, room temperature

6 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for dusting

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

1-teaspoon lemon zest

For the Mascarpone Cream:

1-cup heavy cream

8oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

16oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper, butter paper and dust entire pan with sugar, tap out excess. Whisk vanilla into cooled, melted butter – set aside.

     Beat eggs, sugar and lemon zest together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on high, until a thick, ribbon forms when the paddle is lifted. This will take at the very least 5 minutes - don’t under beat.

     Remove bowl from stand, sift flour over mixture and fold in until incorporated. Add ½ cup of batter to butter and vanilla, gently fold together until completely mixed, fold butter mixture back into batter. Spread batter into the prepared pan, smooth top. Bake for 25 minutes until top springs back when lightly pressed and a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan until you can handle it, run a knife around the edge of pan, and turn out onto a cake rack. Cool completely then use a serrated knife to cut in half making two layers.

     Whisk cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth.

     Place bottom slice of cake on a plate, cut side up. Spread with ¾ of mascarpone cream. Place strawberries in a circle starting from the edge, filling in until cream is covered. Cover with top slice, spread remaining cream and decorate with strawberries.

     Keep chilled until ready to serve.



Quick Strawberry Jam


Usually it’s me versus the bananas that have the kitchen counter stare down. Me looking at yet again another bunch of uneaten yellow torpedoes that are fast and furiously turning brown.

This time it was the 2lbs of strawberries that called my name. They were past the point looking really nice in a strawberry shortcake but thankfully still not time for the bin (and there’s no way I was going to let THAT happen) so I thought about making a quick jam inspired by this months Bon Appetit (there will be a few more mentions of this month’s current’s GREAT) There was a recipe on page 46 for pluot jam. Let me tell you the chances of me finding a pluot (let alone ¾ of a pound of them) here on Hilton Head. But strawberries not a problem. I know that these two fruits have nothing in common whatsoever. The pluot is a cross between and plum and an apricot. The strawberry is a cross between straw and berries. Everyone knows that.

I thought this would be really nice as an appetizer with Parma ham, goat cheese and a dollop of jam.


2 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half

4 tablespoons clear honey

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 lemon, grated peel and juice

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1/8-teaspoon salt

Place strawberries, honey, vinegar, rosemary, salt, lemon juice and peel in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Simmer until mixture thickens and strawberries break down. Cool, remove rosemary and refrigerate until ready to use.