Happy Fourth of July weekend!
This time of year is always exciting – it’s finally summer, the grills are lit, the backyard parties are in full swing, and the illegal fireworks are temporarily overlooked. Despite the excitement, I never seem to have set in stone Fourth of July plans. I typically rule out the beach – too busy – and usually opt for whatever last minute get-together one of my friends or family members happen to be having. This year my plans fell through. Instead of jumping on something to immediately fill the void I took the opportunity for a little much needed physical and mental R&R.
Usually holidays call for celebrating. A lot of the time, I feel obligated to throw together a red, white, and blue ensemble, craft some berries and whipped cream based dessert (I still did that…), and head to a party. But this time it just felt right to relish in the 5 day weekend by spending some quality time with myself. I’m hoping by the time I head back to work on Wednesday I’ll be refreshed – aaaaand probably desperately craving human contact.
Like I said – my plans fell through this weekend. But I couldn’t waste the fresh blueberries and strawberries I had sitting in the fridge. So I made this super simple – and pretty generic – Berries and Cream Cake. This hits all the basics: quick, easy, delicious, and of course, red, white, and blue. Store bought angel food cake makes this recipe even easier – and you can get a pretty good one from your grocery store bakery. One thing I insist on is making your own whipped cream. It only takes a few minutes and a few ingredients and gives you a much better texture and flavor than a store bought whipped topping. The texture part is important here – you want all of those berries to stay put!
Tip: Chill metal bowl and hand mixer beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes before preparing whipped cream. – This helps get that good texture.
Berries and Cream Cake
Makes 8 Servings
1 lb strawberries, sliced
6 oz blueberries
1 8-10 inch round Angel Food Cake
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Slice strawberries and toss in 2 tbsp of sugar. Place in fridge while you prepare cake and whipped cream.
2. Combine heavy cream, 2 tbsp sugar, and vanilla in a large, chilled metal bowl. Using a hand mixer on high speed or a whisk, beat until stiff peaks form – about 5 minutes. You’ll know the whipped cream is done when it doesn’t droop off of the beaters/whisk.
3. Cut angel food cake in half lengthwise. Add whipped cream in the middle and replace the top. Cover the entire outside of the cake with whipped cream. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until whipped cream stiffens slightly.
4. Arrange sliced strawberries and blueberries as desired around the outside of the cake. Start from the bottom and work your way up, sort of stacking the fruit in layers as you go.