Saturday, April 14, 2018

No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake

Why is this spring so wet?  I'm dreaming of picking strawberries and wishing that the season comes soon hence this post.

I'm always a fan of tiramisu and this time I decided to try a no-bake strawberry shortcake, tiramisu style.  This recipe has a clever substitution for making mousse without using raw egg.  I know there's recipe for making tiramisu without raw eggs which I often use and like.  Marshmallow creme is one of the ingredients to make the mousse and honestly, when I look at a recipe that calls for it, I still flinch.  Why?  Because in my mind I always think that this stuff is so sweet and bad.  And yes, I know this stuff is actually egg whites, sugar, and corn syrup, which are things that I always use for making desserts.  If I have time to make it homemade I'd do it but I didn't so store-bought is the one I have to use this time.

On to the mousse which also has cream cheese and when everything is whipped and put together, it actually is very good!  The texture is very creamy and light and just enough sweetness that isn't overpowering.

I did change a few things, mainly the pureed strawberries that are called for in the recipe.  I made my own strawberry jam which is a low-sugar type, so I used that instead.  And I added more chopped strawberries in the layering process to get more strawberries in the cake.  Plus maybe a bit more lemon zest!  Other than that, the cake is quite simple to make and very delicious.

My presentation is sucks though.  I had a hard time getting those cake squares out of the pan without messing up the mousse.  Maybe I should invest in a loose-bottomed square pan which is out of my budget right now?  Especially since I like this type of deserts :)  So yeah, ignore the messiness but trust me on the flavor!

No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake

Yield 9 to 12 slices

For the mousse:
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
12 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz marshmallow creme
4 oz fresh strawberries plus a bunch of whole strawberries, cut into half for decoration
1/4 cup low-sugar or no-added sugar strawberry jam
Zest of 1 lemon

For the crust:
1 1/2 (11 oz) packages ladyfingers
1/2 cup orange juice in a bowl

Make the mousse:
Place mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill before preceding to whip the cream.  Pour 1 3/4 cups of heavy whipping cream into the bowl and beat on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly.  Slowly add confectioners' sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Measure out 3/4 cup of whipped cream for the topping and set aside.  The rest will be mixed with the rest of mousse ingredients.

Beat the cream cheese in the same bowl on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it's light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and marshmallow creme, and beat until well combined.  Chop strawberries into small pieces and set them aside for the garnish.  Mix strawberry jam with lemon zest, pour this into the cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream (aside from 3/4 cup reserved whipped cream) into the mixture and beat until combined.

Make the crust:
Spray the bottom of a 9-inch square dish with cooking spray.  Dip the top of each ladyfinger into the bowl of orange juice.  Line the bottom of the dish with 1 layer of dipped ladyfinger, cut if necessary to fit in.  Next, evenly spread half of the mousse over the ladyfingers.  Scatter with half of the chopped fresh strawberries.  Again, dip the rest of the ladyfingers in the orange juice and line them on top of the first layer of mousse.  Lastly, spread the rest of the mousse over ladyfingers, scatter the rest of chopped strawberries.  If desired, top the mousse with swirls of remaining whipped cream and decorate with half strawberry.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow each layer to set.

Source:  adapted from No-Bake Layered Desserts and Icebox Cakes by Julianne Bayer

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