cake in a bowl
After last Monday's photo shoot for the latest Intermezzo Magazine article I was left with some "less than fresh" ginger sponge cake.( see issue 31 , coming soon! ) I was also left with no dessert options for Saturday evening's dinner with the in-laws. I looked into my fridge and took a look at what I could possibly pull together, quickly and deliciously. And I went to my "go to" dessert option, cake in a bowl.
Luckily, I had some of the season's best strawberries. I grew up thinking everyone opened their refrigerator to a nicely chilled bowl of sliced strawberries macerated in sugar and vermouth. I didn't know people ate them a different way. I also grew up thinking everyone bought their produce the same way my family did. Nick Sprotto visited my Mom, grandma and aunts in the family compound. Two or three times a week he'd sit and have coffee in the early am rattling off the contents of his truck in a friendly, but monotonous tone "pears , potatoes, and so on… Pretty old school stuff. Farm to table circa 1970.
It really made a difference in the quality of the fruit. Be sure to seek out the best from your local farm markets and purveyors this season. It's almost never been easier or trendier.
Strawberry Spongecake Trifle ( aka "cake in a bowl")
half a 9-inch spongecake cut into cubes (about 2 cups) 2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
Syrup: 1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup dry vermouth
Make syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and stir in vermouth.
Make whipped cream.Whip cream on medium high until soft peaks form. Add sugar. Whip until stiff.
Assembly: Toss sponge cake cubes with sugar syrup. In a medium bowl, layer whipped cream, cake cubes , fresh strawberries. Repeat. Refrigerate and enjoy.