One of the best things about the Spring and Summer is the delicious plethora of in-season fruit, particularly berries. A perfectly ripe berry is like a jewel — rich, beautiful, and addictive. This year we're celebrating the bite-sized world of berries by featuring a different berry each month. May is devoted to, yep you guessed it, strawberries!
Let us begin by rethinking a quintessential strawberry dessert. Everyone loves the combination of berries, biscuits, and whipped cream in strawberry shortcake and for a recent dinner party, I translated this concept into parfaits.
I layered sponge cake with whipped cream, simple syrup, and fresh berries. With each bite a little different, the resulting dish is absolutely divine: the cream is pillowy and light, the berries juicy and sweet, and the cake airy and moist. To look at the crowd-pleasing recipe,
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kirsch
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 store bought pound cake, angel food cake, or sponge cake or homemade sponge cake
- Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in Kirsch. Let cool. Syrup will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- Combine the berries with 2 tablespoons of syrup in a large bowl. Set aside.
- With the whisk attachment on a standing mixer, beat the cream. While whisking, add the sugar and vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Place six wine glasses (or other festive glasses) on a work counter. Cut the cake into small pieces that will fit inside the glasses.
- To build the parfaits, place a piece of cake in the bottom of a glass. Drizzle with syrup, top with 2 teaspoons of berries, and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, layering cake, syrup, berries, and cream until the glasses are full.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- Fruit, Desserts
- North American