Okay, so here is the little DIY desserts table I have been mentioning and hiding from you all for the last week. I contacted the lovely and all too sweet Rhiannon a few weeks ago asking her if she would like me to do a feature for her lovely wedding inspiration blog Hey Gorgeous. All she wanted was something pretty and pink…I can totally do pretty + pink. So, I came up with the little DIY, pink and white inspired table you see here. I hope you like!
Recipes are below and lots more photos can be found over at Hey Gorgeous.
Strawberry Milk Panna Cotta
This makes extra syrup. It’s great on ice cream, great yogurt, or stirred into milk for an old-school treat!
adapted from the Kitchn
1 lb strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Place berries, sugar, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, pulse until mixture is smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large jar and cool before covering and refrigerating.
I find this ratio of gelatin to liquid to be favorable, just firm enough to hold everything together. Makes 8-10 individual ramekin portions (I think mine hold about 4 oz).
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup strawberry syrup
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
Place half and half, vanilla, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat until sugar has dissolved and just before mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin until completely dissolved. Stir in strawberry syrup.
To assemble, I spooned about 2 tablespoons of syrup into the bottom of glass ramekins and placed the vessels in the freezer to create the layered look. Freezing the syrup just allowed for me to keep the layers separate and pretty. Once the syrup was frozen, I was free to pour in the panna cotta mixture. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, covered well for up to 4 days.
Strawberry Cream Cake
Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes
This is a halved version of my favorite vanilla cake. This recipe makes 2, 6-inch round cakes.
In this recipe you will beat the flour with the other ingredients until light and fluffy. This may seem counterintuitive to a lot of bakers, but it works for this cake. The texture is still light with a wonderfully tender crumb.
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1/2 vanilla bean–seeded
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottoms of two 6×2 inch round cakes pans with parchment, butter pans and parchment well.
Place eggs and yolk small bowl. Add vanilla and mix well.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk well to combine. Add butter and buttermilk to dry ingredients and blend well with mixer on low. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping the bowl well after each addition. Divide batter among the prepared pans.
Bake cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes (the cakes should pull away from the sides of the pan as it cools), then carefully invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
Once cooled completely, cut each cake in half, into layers using a sharp serrated knife. NOTE: I only used 3 of the 4 layers. I saved the 4th, in the freezer, for another use.
1 cup strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup strawberry jam, melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds
Mix together jam and berries in a medium bowl to coat.
Strawberry Whipped Buttercream
Adapted from Organic and Chic
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup of strawberry syrup (reserved from panna cottas) or strawberry jam
pinch of salt
Prepare an ice bath in a medium to large mixing bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the vanilla, salt, and flour. Whisk until there are no lumps. Over medium heat, slowly whisk in the rest of the milk until smooth, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and continue to whisk until mixture thickens.
Immediately remove from heat and keep stirring. Place the pan in prepared ice bath and stir until cooled to about room temperature. Set aside.
Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2-5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until fluffily, scraping down sides as needed, 5-7 minutes. Add strawberry syrup or jam and mix to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the milk mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffily, 3-5 minutes.
To Assemble cake, place one layer on cake stand or board and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top. Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the layer, creating a dam. Spoon filling into the center of the piped ring and spread evenly. Place the next layer over the top and repeat, leaving the final layer unfrosted and unfilled.
Scoop about 1/4 of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread it down thinly toward the edge and over the sides until the whole cake is coated in a very thin, crumby looking layer. This is the crumb coat and will ensure that the cake will have a lovely, crumb-free coating of frosting.
Next, pile nearly all of the remaining frosting onto the top of the cake (save some for piping the star-tip decoration), and spread the frosting from the center and down the sides, covering the cake with a thick, even layer of frosting. I use a bench scraper and a turntable to get the sides of the cake smooth. I have done this with out the turn table, just on a cake stand, turning it as I went, but I do think the bench scraper is useful…plus they cost less than a dollar at a restaurant supply.
Using a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip (I used a Wilton #21), pipe small stars along the base of the cake and in rings around the top of the cake.
For a great tutorial on cake frosting, see this :http://whisk-kid.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-frost-cake.html
This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes
I like to serve these with unsweetened whipped cream, as the berries and meringues are plenty sweet.
Makes about 1 dozen, individual meringues.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar (I used champagne)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 room temperature egg whites
pinch of salt
sanding sugar for sprinkling
For Cream and Berries
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 lb. strawberries and raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 250F. Line 2 sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment.
Place egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl, along with vinegar and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on slow/medium until foamy.
In a medium bowl whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Increase speed to medium/high and add sugar in a gradual stream until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and beat until whites are glossy and firm, but not dry.
Pipe or spoon meringue onto baking sheets, creating a well in the center of each and sprinkle edges with sanding sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The meringues are done when they are still pale, but dry the the touch. The interiors should be chewy, like a marshmallow.
Place berries (whole raspberries and quartered strawberries) in a bowl and toss with sugar. Allow to rest for at least 3o minutes so the sugar can leach out some of the berries juices.
Place cream in the bowl of a food processor and process until desired thickness is reached.
Top meringues with macerated berries and whipped cream.