It's my last day here in Dubai. We'll be flying back to Germany tomorrow afternoon. As always it's with a bunch of mixed feelings. I am happy to be going back - to Tom, to my home, my life and at this time of year to experience the wonderful season of Spring. On the other hand I will be leaving behind my parents and brother and the fun, laughs and the carefree life I enjoy here.
I take leave of two things when I am in Dubai - my watch and my wallet. Time is not as much of an importance as it is back home. Soeren and I have have a rough routine here but we glide through it not worrying too much about the time. My wallet remains in the closet for most of my trip. As my brother's T-Shirt boldly states "My dad is an ATC!", it is, more often than not, the truth. I had to laugh when my brother put on the T-shirt, the funny thing was I kind of saw pride in my father's face. Funny huh? But that's what my parents are like - my mother and father take on most of the responsibilities with Soeren, preparing his breakfast, playing with him, bathing him. Leaving me with free time to relax - I managed to read two books in this time and of course had time to blog too.
What I do miss very much though is my kitchen and being able to cook. My parents have a cook, who is fantastic and prepares some really great tasting dishes. But for me cooking is a way of relaxing and letting any steam out and I do not feel whole when I have not cooked or baked for a while. I did get a chance to make my family the lovely Bulgur with Vegetables and Feta though and a lighter version of the Perfect Party Cake. I was also in the pastry kitchen at the hotel where my dad works, where I spent the morning with the pastry chef learning how to make a few exquisite desserts. I do plan to share them with you soon.
Today though I thought I'd show you what I did with some of the leftover cake I had from the Perfect Party Cake. I had quite a bit as I made mini-cakes and as the cake tasted so good there was no way I was going to throw any of it away. I hate throwing stuff away and this makes me a bit more creative, as I have to think up of recipes to make with them.
I decided to do a light interpretation on the trifle, where cake, fruit and custard are layered to give a fantastic dessert. Although strawberries are not 100% in season in Germany right now - I did find some lovely organic strawberries at my organic store. Back home, I macerated the strawberries in a bit of limoncello and soaked the cake in lemon syrup. The cream is a mixture of low-fat cream cheese and heavy whipping cream, giving a lighter more airy texture. The result was an exceptional dessert with lemony flavored cake and a slight sweetness from the fruit and limoncello, topped off creamy, smooth cream. Of course you can use any lemon flavored pound cake for this recipe. Whatever you use - I am sure you will enjoy each spoonful of this dessert.
The Monthly Mingle gets fruity this month! My guest host Abby has chosen a spectacular theme for this month - Spring Fruit Sensations. So get out your colorful fruit creations and send them over to Abby.
Deadline: April 7th, 2008
Printable version of recipe here.
50g sugar + 2 tablespoons
60 ml fresh lemon juice, preferably from organic lemons
60 ml limoncello
350g cake or pound cake, cut into slices. I simply broke the leftover cake into pieces.
225g cream cheese, low-fat
240g heavy cream
700g strawberries - sliced
Handful of pistachios - chopped
Place the strawberries in a bowl and pour the limoncello over them. Allow to infuse for a few minutes.
In the meantime make the lemon syrup by placing the 50g sugar, lemon juice and 50g water in a saucepan and bringing the mixture to a bowl on medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Using an electric mixture, beat the cream cheese with the remaining sugar on high speed until light. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the heavy cream in a steady stream. Continue to beat the mixture until the mixture is light and airy. The mixture should look like very soft whipped cream.
Brush the cake pieces with the lemon syrup and divide among small serving bowls or arrange in one bowl. Spoon some of the cream over the cake, then add the strawberries, spoon some more of the cream and finally top off with more strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or even overnight so that the flavors infuse with each other.
Just before serving add a dollop of cream and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
I like to call these type of desserts "dive-in" desserts, because they make you want to dive straight in and eat your way out. It's a fantastic way to use up and leftovers you have lying around, but it is well worth the trouble to go out and buy the ingredients. You will be rewarded with creamy strawberries in soft gooey cake. Aromatic with the limoncello and crunchy with the pistachios. This is real seduction!
Mike over at Mike's Table, who lives in wonderful Florida decided to have us all join in on his Strawberry Seduction. I am looking forward to the roundup as I am sure there will be tons of great recipes, just in time for the strawberry season in Germany. This is my entry.
You might also enjoy these strawberry seductions:
|Strawberry Yogurt Ice-cream|
|Strawberry Mirror Cake|
I am also rather chuffed and pretty ecstatic right now, for two reasons.
The stunning Sabra from one of my favorite blogs Cookbook Catchall just informed me that I was awarded the host's award for my submission in March - Tropical Fruit Salad (02). Thank you! Please visit Sabra's blog to check out all the other DMBLGiT winners for March.
Each month, Margot of Coffee and Vanilla nominates 3 budding photographers from across the blog-e-sphere, then readers are supposed to vote for their favorite. This March I was nominated along with the superb Graeme from Blood Sugar and the lovely Gattina from Kitchen Unplugged. It certainly was tough competition. In the end I was able to bring this lovely badge home. However, this would not have been possible without my loyal readers and friends out there. I thank every single one of you who took a minute to vote for me. Thank you!
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