June 05, 2010
Not Quite Trifle, Almost Parfait
What do you do with a little leftover plain chocolate cake? Well, if you have some strawberries around, you cube up that cake and toss it with sliced strawberries and a big dollop of freshly whipped cream. If I had had the foresight to layer these carefully into parfait glasses, it would surely make an even prettier picture (although I would have had to cut the cubes of cake a little smaller).
When I made this, it was still a little early for strawberries, and they didn't have the most robust flavour. To give them a boost, I sliced them up and macerated them in a little cherry brandy and a pinch of sugar. This is a common treatment for strawberries in our house, especially if there isn't additional fruit available to make a fruit salad. After a couple of hours in the fridge, they were thrown into this ad hoc dessert for a late-night treat in front of the television.
It's not fancy, and it's not something I would ever plan to feed to company, for example, but it was a pretty nice way to say goodbye to the last of the cake that needed using up.
A few final words on whipped cream. If you are in the habit of buying self-whipping cream in a can, do give the old fashioned method a try: it doesn't take much time or effort, and the result is so luxuriously preferable to the sweet, fluffy canned version. You can control the sugar, too, or flavour it in other ways - the aforementioned brandy, for example, or a hint of vanilla extract.