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Amaretto Pound Cake with Strawberry Chantilly

fresh, local strawberries

fresh, local strawberries

The aroma of fresh strawberries was absolutely intoxicating as we walked through the produce section of our grocery store the other day, so we couldn’t pass up getting some.  We didn’t know what we were going to do with them, just that we had to have them.  Zach decided today to use them two ways: syrup, and chantilly or whipped cream, to go with pound cake and vanilla ice cream.  We’re glad that the pound cake recipe yields 20 mini loafs with the tin we used, so there are lots of leftovers to turn in other types of desserts (fold into home-churned ice cream, dip in fondue, parfait…).

Makes 2 portions perfectly for the sauce and whipped cream, with about 18 leftover mini pound cakes (if you use a tin similar to ours)

• For the strawberry sauce:

1 pint of strawberries for the sauce, sliced

About 10 strawberries for garnish, cut in tiny cubes

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of white sugar

just starting

just starting

In a small saute pan, cook down the sliced strawberries, water, and sugar over medium heat.

breaking down

breaking down

Maintain over medium heat for about ten minutes until berries are fully broken down.

discard

discard

Remove from heat and pour through a strainer to collect and discard seeds and pulp.

finished syrup

finished syrup

Keep in the refrigerator until serving.  Stir in the cubed strawberries immediately before serving so that they don’t degrade at all in the sugary sauce.

• For the pound cake (our butter, milk, and whipping cream [used in the chantilly] all came from Strauss Family Creamery):

1 lb. of butter, plus 4 tbs. for greasing the tin

3 cups of all-purpose flour

3 cups of white sugar

1 cup of whole milk

5 eggs

2 tbs. of amaretto liqueur

1 tsp. of almond extract

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside.  Add the amaretto liqueur, almond extract, and vanilla extract to the milk; set aside.  Melt 4 tbs. of butter to grease your mini loaf tin.

Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Begin mixing on low speed and slowly increase the speed to medium-low until the butter and sugar are fully combined.  Continue creaming for an additional 2 minutes.  During this time, add one egg at a time with about 15 seconds between each egg.  Turn the speed up to medium and cream for another 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.

Incrementally, and while the mixer is running on the lowest speed, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, then half of the milk mixture, then another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the last of the milk mixture, and finally the last of the dry ingredients.

scooped and ready

scooped and ready

When the batter is completely smooth, scoop into the greased tin and bake for 22-25 minutes until lightly golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center pulls out clean.

golden and done

golden and done

Let cool slightly before depanning.

• For the chantilly, aka whipped cream:

2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream

2-3 tbs. of honey (to taste)

1/4 cup of strawberry syrup (from recipe above)

Mix whipping cream, honey, and half of the 1/4 cup of strawberry syrup in a bowl with a whisk or hand mixer for 2-5 minutes, until cream is fluffy and soft peaks form.  Add the last of the strawberry syrup and whip just a little more to incorporate.  Make sure not to over-whip, or else you will make butter.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

so sweet and delicious

so sweet and delicious

Ladle some syrup onto the serving plate, place a pound cake, pour on the cubed strawberries, add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (ours is from Mission Hill Creamery), and pipe a rosette of chantilly (or just plop on that last part with a spoon if you don’t have pastry bags).  Flavor trumps visuals every time, anyway.

Bacon Waffles

bacon waffles 006

If you can’t make up your mind between a sweet or a savory breakfast, try this!  You get the crisp yet fluffy waffle with smoky, salty bacon, plus a sweet touch from maple syrup and homemade whipped cream.

• For the waffles:

1 pack of high quality bacon

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups buttermilk at room temperature

3 large eggs at room temperature, separated

8 tbs. melted butter, plus some extra for the waffle iron

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place bacon on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until desired crispiness is achieved.  Crumble, then set aside.

Reduce oven to 200 degrees F.  Grease the waffle iron with a small amount of melted butter, and warm up the iron.  In a large bowl, sift the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.  Pour into the dry mix bowl and combine to make batter.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Fold the whites into the batter.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter onto a single waffle grid section, and spread the batter almost out to the edges.  Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the batter.  Close the lid and cook for 3-5 minutes until no steam comes from the waffle iron.

Transfer cooked waffles to a cookie sheet and put in the oven to keep warm while you use the rest of the batter.

Use butter, syrup, and/or whipped cream to balance out the salty bacon.

• For homemade whipped cream:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2-3 tbs. honey

Mix whipping cream and honey in a bowl with a whisk or hand mixer for 2-5 minutes, until cream is fluffy and peaks form.  Make sure not to over-whip, or else you will make butter.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.