Chef Tom – Berry, Berry, Delicious!

For most of the country, June is prime time for strawberries. Grab some next time you’re at the market. Look for evenly deep-red berries.

This way-moist treat is ready to cool on a rack in 30 minutes. Fast, easy, and delicious. The trifecta of summer yum.

Strawberries

An unfussy cake with a top layer of jammy strawberries that is so gooey it’s best to serve the whole thing with a spoon. The batter comes together quickly with minimal effort, using basic ingredients and a small handful of berries.

Spoon Cake

Strawberry Spoon Cake

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing

5 ounces fresh, hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

 Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with butter. Set aside.

Using your hands or the back of a fork, mash the berries to release all their juices, and stir in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, milk and salt, then add the flour and baking powder and continue whisking just until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter (it’s not much) to the greased baking dish, and spread evenly into corners.

Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before spooning into bowls.

Serve warm with ice cream.

Strawberry Fool

Strawberry Fool

Serves 400:00

This recipe is as basic as dessert gets. For strawberry season it’s just perfect. It is essentially fresh strawberries and whipped cream (substitute heavy cream, sour cream or yogurt). It can be eaten right away or refrigerated.

Only a fool would pass this up.

Ingredients:

1 pint strawberries

1/2 cup sugar, or to taste

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Directions:

Hull strawberries, then wash them and chop into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Toss with half the sugar, and wait 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they give up their juices.

Place half the strawberries and all the juice in a blender, and puree. Pour puree back in bowl with chopped strawberries.

Whip the cream with remaining sugar and vanilla until cream is stiff and holds peaks easily. Fold berries and cream together, and serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two hours.

Cook’s Note: Fold in the strawberries right before serving. If it sits, the strawberries give off liquid and the Fool will turn to soup.

Oven-Dried Strawberries

This recipe method concentrates the berries’ flavors, so the more delicious they are to begin with, the better they will be dried. Here’s your opportunity to use up berries that are slightly past their prime. At one of the nicer, high-end pastry shops, Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco, William Werner combines them with raw berries in tarts or adds them to arugula salads. They’re chewy—a bit softer than a dried apricot—with a plump, juicy consistency.

Oven-Dried Strawberries

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients:

1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved, quartered if large

2 tablespoons raw sugar or granulated sugar

Directions:

Toss strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and let sit until berries start to release their juices, 25–30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 185° (or the lowest possible setting, which may be 200°). Spread out berries on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat and bake, rotating baking sheet about every 30 minutes, until berries are darkened in color and dried out around the edges but still slightly juicy in the center, 3–3½ hours. Let cool on baking sheet.

Do Ahead: Berries can be dried 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

ON THAT NOTE

Alexander Malofeev

Alexander Malofeev, a young Russian genius, came to international prominence when, in 2014, he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at age thirteen.

“Contrary to what could be expected of a youngster …, he demonstrated not only high technical accuracy but also an incredible maturity. Crystal clear sounds and perfect balance revealed his exceptional ability” (Amadeus).

Malofeev has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker – Pas de deux 

Rachmaninov – The Lilacs, Op 21 Nº 5

Liszt Piano Concerto No.1

BONUS TRACK 1

This kid does a reaction video to one of my very favorite bits. What I love about this is as hard as he tries to be politically correct in the rabid face of cancel culture, his authentic sense of humor remains intact. The truth will out. So refreshing.

American Reacts to “Catherine Tait – Offensive Translator”

BONUS TRACK 2

Why we love her.

Dame Edna in the Royal Box

=CTH=

Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at www.hippkitchen.com

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