Book Update: I just checked out “Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult from the library. I used to LOVE Jodi Picoult, but then you get tired of her formula and you stop reading. But, it has been a year or two so I’m ready for another controversial topic + drama + courtroom + antagonist not really the bad guy at all = surprise ending novel.
I also started reading “Discipline without Punishment” by Dick Grote. His entire business is based on this model. I’m surprised he does not consult parents or schools because the entire “business” book about being a manager directly applies to those roles. For example, sometimes when an employee comes in late all the time or does something they are not supposed to plays the “silence” game. This is when the employee does not reply to any questions or demands. Or the “yeahbut” game where every time you come up with a solution the reply from the employee is “yeah, but…”. Sound just a wee bit familiar???
Recipe Update: This might be my new favorite cake ever. Now remember – I LOVE strawberries. The layers of flavor in this cake are AMAZING. Like, Oh-my-goodness-I-could-sell-this-cake amazing. The kind of cake that makes all those okay or crap cakes that I experiment on all worth it. You don’t need any butter or oil for this cake. Seriously. You will taste a little hint of almond, lemon, orange, tang, sweetness and of course, strawberries. If you just happen to make this for my birthday (August 30th by the way), then I promise to save you a piece….. Maybe. This might be my new love of sponge cakes.
Now there are several components. I made this all in one day and found it simple to make, although some of the steps take time, they don’t require a lot of active time. And note to self – if you whip eggs and sugar on high in the mixer for 5 minutes, then it will explode and make a huge mess.
Please note I did use King Arthur Flour in the recipe.
Fresh Berry Tiramisu
1 cup (5 oz regular or 4.25 oz. King Arthur Flour) AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 large eggs or 5 XL eggs (I used room temperature eggs. Just put in hot tap water for 15 minutes.
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
zest of 2 lemons, use a peeler to peel thin strips
juice of 2 lemons (1/3-1/2 cup)
3/4 cup (5.25 oz) sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz) water
3 Tb. Grand Marnier or Orange juice
1 lb. mascarpone cheese (Trader Joe’s ran out and I used 8 oz. mascarpone and 8 oz. light cream cheese)
2 Tb. orange zest
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 oz.) powdered sugar
2 quarts of berries (I used strawberries, and probably didn’t use all 2 qts. cuz the kids ate some)
1. Cake part: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a 13×18″ pan or 2- 9″ square pans and lightly grease or parchment them. I sprayed my 13×18 and then pressed the parchment in, so it would stick better. In a small bowl, mix your dry stuff: flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, mix your sugar and eggs on HIGH for 5 minutes. Actually keep an eye on it or it may explode out like mine did. Just stop when it gets thick and lemon colored. Now, sprinkle one third of the flour mix on top. Fold in with a whisk. Do this 2 more times. Be careful to keep the batter light and fluffy and be sure that the flour doesn’t all sink to the bottom – mine did. Now pour into your pan and bake 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and run a knife around the outside to separate the cake from the pan. Cool completely.
2. Make Syrup: Dump all your syrup ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring it to a simmer and simmer until clear and the sugar is dissolved. Let that cool.
3. Make Filling: This is easy! Dump your mascarpone into the bowl with the orange zest. Mix it up. I did with a fork. Add your cream in three increments. Stir and stir. It eventually gets smooth. Add the powdered sugar and stir some more.
4. Make the Cake!: Turn your cake upside down onto some parchment. If you used parchment in the pan, simply pull this gently and parallel to the cake. Cut your cake down the middle. (Original directions say to cut the pieces into 2-9″ squares. I did not and just made a rectangle cake. But whatever floats your boat.) Now you have two sponge cake halves. Here’s a photo of one:
Take a pastry brush and dab 1/2 cup of syrup into the sponge cake. (Kids can do this!) Now wait a few minutes. Now add more syrup. Layer some strawberries.
Then, cover with 1/2 of your mascarpone filling. Next, put your second cake half on top.
Soak with 1/2 cup syrup. Wait a few minutes. Soak with some more syrup. Layer on your FILLING next. THEN the strawberries.
Place in the fridge for about an hour to firm up and eat!
I found this cake to be best the day it is made.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour