Your Life A to Z Recipe: Tuesday, November 25th 2014: Berry and Whipped Cream Torte and

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Berry and Whipped Cream Torte

    Easy to whip up at the last minute, this dessert has been in my repertoire for over 30 years.  You can make it a showstopper dessert by piping rosettes of whipped cream in a decorative pattern on the top and putting a fresh raspberry on each rosette.  It tastes even better the second day since the berry liquid and the sherry have had more time to soak into the pound cake.

Serves  8-10

Ingredients    

    1 loaf pound cake (about 12 ounces)
    1package of frozen raspberries (12 to 16 ounces), thawed
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1-1/2 cups heavy cream
    2 tablespoons cream sherry
   Garnish:
    Fresh raspberries
    
Procedure

    Cut cake lengthwise into 3 layers.  

    Drain berries, reserving any liquid.  

Beat cream to soft peaks and gradually beat in sugar.  Fold in sherry..            
Assembly:  Put one of the cake layers on a serving dish.  Brush 1/3 of the reserved liquid over the surface of the layer.  Next spread a layer of whipped cream and then sprinkle with one-half of the raspberries.  Stack the second layer on top of the first and repeat the procedure.  Place third layer on top of the second and soak with remaining liquid.  Spread the top and sides of the torte with whip cream and decorate with fresh raspberries.  Chill until ready to serve.

Sunflower Artichoke

Makes 18-24

Ingredients
 
   Artichoke:
1 large artichoke
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    1 teaspoon oil
    1 bay leaf, crushed
    1/2 teaspoon salt
   Filling:
1 package (three-ounce) cream cheese
    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    1 clove garlic,  finely minced
    1 tablespoon milk or cream
    1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled and cooked
    Paprika
    
Procedure

    Artichoke:  Cover artichoke with water and add vinegar, bay leaf, oil and salt.  Simmer until base of artichoke is tender and a leaf easily pulls away, about 30 minutes.  Cool and remove the leaves.  Save all leaves that have a good edible portion on the ends and discard the rest.  Save the artichoke bottom for another use.

    Filling:  Blend the cream cheese with the hot pepper sauce, garlic, milk and salt to taste.  Spread filling on base of each leaf and place a small shrimp on top of the filling.  Sprinkle the shrimp with paprika.

    Assembly:  Arrange largest leaves around the outside of a round tray.  Continue placing leaves according to size until the concentric rings form the shape of a sunflower.  The smallest leaves in the center should almost be standing up to form the center of the flower.  Serve with an extra plate or bowl for guests to put their discarded leaves.