In the mood for baking, we made a strawberry banana cake. The moist strawberry cake with vanilla and banana cake were sandwiched by some strawberry whipped topping, fresh slices of bananas and covered in fluffy whipped topping. The cake was light, summer and full of sweet fruit flavor.
- One box moist strawberry cake mix
- One vanilla cake mix
- 1/2 cup bananas mashed (as a substitute for oil)
- a whole banana, sliced
- One contained whipped topping
- half a container of strawberries (reserve 4 strawberries to make slices for the garnish)
Preheat oven to 350°F for metal or glass pans, 325°F for dark or coated pans. GREASE sides and bottom of each pan with butter or coconut oil. FLOUR lightly. (Use baking cups for cupcakes).
In one bowl, add vanilla mix, eggs and water (not oil) and substitute mashed bananas in for oil. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Using half of the banana slices, line the bottom of the pan with the bananas. Pour batter into one 8 or 9 inch pan. Using and ice cream scoop, scoop remainder of leftover batter into cupcake lined muffin tins.
Place strawberry dry mix in bowl and add water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds). Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into one 8 or 9 inch pan. Using and ice cream scoop, scoop remainder of leftover strawberry batter into the banana vanilla layer of cupcake lined muffin tins.
Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes and remove from oven. Leave regular 8 or 9 inch cakes in for an additional 20 minutes or a full 40 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. COOL in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.
Cool completely before topping with cool whip.
To assemble, slices of bananas and strawberry slices.
To decorate cupcakes, frost cupcake tops with cool whip and add one slice of banana and sliver of strawberries.
I have tried Finale’s hot fudge sundae, the dessert sampler, chocolate cake and fruit tarts before and my sweet tooth is always satisfied.
Whenever I have International friends visiting Boston, one of their requests during their stay is to go to Finale. I think both friends still have their Sweet Rewards cards. I have heard from them independently, that they would love to bring the desserterie concept back home to the Phillipines or Ecuador.
Finale offers many of their items to go or a la carte including their chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, Boston Cream Pie and other mini tarts and mousses.
Here is the display of chocolate tarts, ultimate chocolate pastries and fruit tarts.Raspberry cheesecake, Dark Chocolate Decadence and Ultimate Chocolate Cake.
The chocolate covered strawberries were well coated and a really nice size. I never can get the professional sheen that these strawberries have when I try to make them at home.The Manjari chocolate mousse layered with chocolate buttermilk cake served with a napoleon of blackberry cabernet sorbet for $11.99. The mousse was creamy, decadent and went well with the soft cake. The dessert was really was enhanced by the flavor of the cab sorbet, which is really unique.
We had a scoop of lemon gelato, berries and a caramel candy nest. The crunch from the caramel added a nice lemon sugar flavor.The vanilla cream brulee had a nice caramelized sugar topping to crack and was served with orange butter cookies and fruit for $9.99. The cookies and fruit cut the richness of the vanilla bean speckled cream.We shared the baked to order molten chocolate cake with coffee gelato, milk chocolate covered almonds and Valrhonra chocolate sauce for $10.99. The molten cake was gooey on the inside and really had an extra layer of depth with the chocolate sauce. I really liked the smooth flavor of the coffee gelato.
Summer is a time for fresh summer fruit and cobblers. A little vanilla ice cream and a warm cobbler is unbelievable.
For the filling:
- 2 lbs fresh strawberries, halved and stems removed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. cornstarch
For the topping:
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1 1/2 T baking powder
- 1/4 cup white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 6 T. soy margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain soy milk or milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9” pie plate. Prepare the filling. Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stirring often, cook the filling until slightly thickened, about 6-7 minutes. Carefully, pour the filling into the prepared pie plate and let cool for 30 minutes before topping. This can also be done several hours to 1 day in advance.
Prepare the topping. In a food processor, combine the white flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, pulsing until well mixed. Add the soy margarine and process until the mixture is crumbly. With the machine still running, add the soymilk gradually until the mixture just holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Assemble the cobbler. Using your hands, pull and flatten pieces of dough between your fingers and gently lay these on top of the filling, overlapping and covering as much of the filling’s surface as possible. Once all of the dough has been used, sprinkle the topping generously with sugar. Bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
Three Cheese Plate with Nuts, Pears and Honey
Pearl Barley, Corn, Leek, and Sage Risotto (left)
Scored Duck Breast (right)
Pan-roasted Duck Breast with Pearl Barley Risotto and Arugala
Fresh Strawberries with homemade Orange Zest Whipping Cream
I’ve always loved this traditional Italian dessert. I’ve adjusted this recipe because I find that some are too creamy and prefer a lighter milkier version. You can always experiment with different seasonal fruit, chocolate or even green tea as additives.
Vanilla Panna Cotta
- 2 C skim milk
- 1 envelope Knox gelatin (0.25 oz)
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, making sure to scrape the innards into the cream
- six ramekins
Mix skim milk and gelatin in a bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, stir together heavy cream and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a full boil then add the skim milk and gelatin mixture. Stir constantly until everything is completely uniform. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into individual ramekins. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. To unmold, dip ramekin into warm water and run a knife along the inside edge. Top with fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce if desired.
Some other presentation ideas:
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- sugar to taste
Puree strawberries in blender. Strain seeds and pulp if desired. Add sugar to taste.