Lemon and Basil Strawberry Trifle

Lemon and Basil Strawberry Trifle

This is truly a spring-celebrating dessert. Light lemon génoise cake is soaked in tangy, Limoncello-spiked syrup, layered with fragrant basil strawberry salad and white chocolate crème Chantilly. White chocolate doesn’t just add interest to the whole flavour palette, it also stabilizes the cream, so the dessert can be completely assembled a day before. I roasted half of the strawberries to boost the flavour, but if you are lucky to get well-ripened ones, you can skip this step.

Here the dessert is shown in individual (they were surely advertised like individual) bowls, but frankly, these particular bowls are too big for a single serving (the recipe makes 6 of those). I recommend assembling a trifle in a big bowl, only making it from three layers of cake. You will be able to feed a crowd then – at least 16. From the other hand, you could choose smaller glasses for these trifles and make real individual desserts.

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Chocolate and Mocha Chantilly Mini Trifles

These chocolate cubes at the bottom are actually Alice Medrich’s “Chocolate deception” cake that I failed to unmold and extracted in two pieces. I should have known better that this kind of cake wouldn’t be easy to separate from the pan after an overnight refrigeration. I should have trusted my inner voice and baked it in a spring-form pan wrapped in foil, just like a cheesecake. But frankly, I was too lazy to bother with foil, and Alice’s suggestion was to use a regular pan, so … that’s how it ended.

Since the initial plan to present the cake in one piece and slice it at the table was out of the question, I needed a plan B. The cake was chopped in cubes, divided between small bowls and topped with mocha chantilly – milk chocolate whipped cream infused with French-roast coffee beans. It all ended well. And nobody would have known about my little mishap if I hadn’t blogged about it.

By the way, the cake – is to die for. It’s rather melt-in-your-mouth dense chocolate mousse, than a cake. But what surprises the most is how being so rich in taste the cake contains so little fat. I do highly recommend it, only bake it in a spring-form pan.

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Pear Honey and Walnut Upside-Down Cake

This perfect autumn cake is a result of my makeover of an old family recipe, the one from a huge collection of Russian recipes I’m planning to publish someday one way or another.

Feather-soft cardamom-spiced honey cake, sweet caramelized succulent pears, and crunchy walnuts sure make a memorable treat. The cake becomes out-of-this-world fantastic when served slightly warm with vanilla bean and honey ice cream.

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Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Cheesecake Topping

Here’s a cross between a cake and cheesecake. The base is a moist soft pumpkin cake with added candied ginger for a little heat. The topping is a thin layer of creamy pumpkin cheesecake. The cake is baked just until a cake tester comes out clean, but not until the cake picks up color. Then it’s cooled briefly while the cheesecake batter is mixed. The latter is baked at reduced oven temperature just until softly set. The result is a perfect cheesecake texture and moist and tender cake interior.

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Coconut Streusel Coffeecake with Pineapple Vanilla Filling

I intended to post before holidays, but with the Easter marathon of the Russian kulich-baking, pascha-making, and egg-dying I simply couldn’t find time. I hope you all had wonderful holidays.

This cake is for serious coconut lovers, since it has a pronounced coconut flavor. It will also please everyone who is fond of buttery crunchy streusel topping – there’s plenty of yummy crumbs piled over the top. Fragrant and sweet pineapple vanilla jam not just tastes great, but also keeps the cake moist for days. In other words, the cake is worthy of baking. I used egg whites here instead of whole eggs since I was trying to get rid of the whites, left over after yolk-rich Easter baking and cooking.

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Buckwheat Wholewheat Cream Cheese Cake

Maybe, this cake doesn’t have “the looks”, but it’s got everything else. I would even dare to say it is perfect – so tender, moist, with sweet buttery taste (with not that much butter inside). If you wish, you can split the cake horizontally in half and fill it with blackberry or raspberry jam. But, personally, I prefer it plain, with a cup of coffee – the best breakfast.

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