Simple to make yet bursting with flavour. Tender sponge cake layered with roasted strawberries and vanilla bean whipped cream. The roasted strawberries take this dessert over the top! Then the vanilla bean whipped cream takes it to the next level. It’s light, fluffy and speckled with vanilla seeds. Seriously addictive and makes such a beautiful presentation! It’s sure to impress your guests!
I just love strawberry season. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. My daughter, who I refer to often as mini-me, works at one of our local grocery stores in the produce section. She scopes out what looks good and gives me a heads up when they find amazing local suppliers. The strawberries they brought in recently were out of this world. Ripe to perfection and just so naturally sweet it almost seemed to good to be true. I was whipping up desserts left and right with them. Plus eating copious amounts of them as I prepared dishes with the delicious berries. I swear my fingers have been stained red for weeks, with no signs of slowing down.
When the Dairy Farmers of Canada emailed me last month asking me to jump into the next cream challenge I had to say yes. Someone else had to back out at the last-minute so I was on a time crunch to come up with a recipe for them. I never panic when it comes to dessert. Quick and easy desserts are sort of my thing. I think it comes from having kids. Over the years I’ve had so many impromptu sleepovers, and pool parties that ended up with me having a ton of kids in my house. So I learned how to pull together desserts that make them happy without completely busting my bank account wide open. I’ve also had years of experience with people popping in around lunch or dinner. When the kids were young the B household had an open door policy with family and friends. It led to feeding lots of extra folks, usually at the last minute and on a tight budget.
I make a ton of ice cream so I always have heavy cream in the fridge. So when I need to make a dessert and I’m flying by the seat of my pants I immediately grab the heavy cream and start homemade whipped cream. While it’s whirring in the stand mixer I scour the pantry for cookies or cakes we might have on hand. Sponge cake, brownies, ladyfingers, even chocolate chips cookies or granola make for a perfect quick parfait base. Then I hit the fridge again to see what fruit I have on hand. Since mini-me works at the store we always have something good hiding in the fridge. My motto is use what you have. You can whip up amazing desserts with a little creativity.
For this one I roasted the strawberries in the oven. I hate turning on my oven in the summer and have a 15 minute rule if it’s hot. Anything that takes longer than that either gets grilled or doesn’t get made till a cool day. Luckily berries roast quickly. If it is too hot where you live you can grill these. It’s easy peasy to grill fruit, I do it often.
The whipped cream has flecks of vanilla in it. I took vanilla beans, split them open and scraped out all that luscious vanilla yumminess. Vanilla beans have seeds inside of them, so you just cut them down the middle, pry them open and you can take a knife and slide it down the pod to scrape out all the seeds. It’s almost like a paste. You just mix that in your heavy cream and you will have the most delicious whipping cream in the world. Not even kidding. It’s a mood altering, life changing, When Harry Met Sally kind of moment when you take your first bite of it.
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
- 1 package of store bought sponge cake. I used a package of 6 mini ones, or homemade
- 6 cups fresh strawberries washed, hulled and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup sugar I used vanilla sugar which is just sugar with vanilla beans scraped into it
- Juice of 1 fresh orange
- 2 cups 35% cream
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar I used vanilla sugar for that extra oomph
- 2 vanilla beans split open and scraped
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper (important so the juices do not overflow in your oven). Set aside.
Hull your strawberries then cut them in half. Now rinse your strawberries. Pat them dry. Place them in a medium sized bowl.
Add the sugar and orange juice. Stir really well. Let stand while the oven preheats. Now place them cut side down on your parchment paper. Pour the juice over top of them as evenly as possible.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven and how soft you want your berries.
Remove and allow to cool if desired. You can serve this with warm roasted berries or cold roasted berries. Both ways are incredible.
You can also grill these to save heating up your house. Same instructions, but use indirect heat or low heat so they don't burn.
In a stand mixer (or a bowl with a hand mixer) combine the 35% cream, granulated sugar, and the scrapings from the inside of the vanilla bean. Discard the bean or use them in sugar to make vanilla sugar.
Now, turn the mixer on low speed until the cream just starts to thicken. Then turn it up to high and mix until whipped cream is fluffy and has soft peaks.
You can dollop this with a spoon or transfer it to a piping bag for a prettier presentation if desired. Make sure you keep the whipped cream cold until you are ready to put the parfaits together!
Set aside either on the counter or in the fridge while you make the whipped cream.
Line each of the 6 parfait or mini trifle dishes with cut up pieces of sponge cake. Make sure to divide evenly.
Now, take about 1/4 of the roasted strawberry mixture and lay over top of the sponge cake. Spoon out extra juices over top of the sponge cake to moisten it.
Now, pipe whipping cream over top of each dish evenly and top with roasted strawberries.
These can be eaten immediately or placed in the fridge for an hour or two before serving. Serve with a big old strawberries and cream smile!
Use the Vanilla Sugar Recipe for added depth of flavour.
You can cook the strawberries in the oven, or if it's hot where you live you can grill them using the same method but on the grill instead of the oven. Just be careful grilling, it can be trickier to control the heat.
These were also featured on the 100% Canadian Milk Anyday Magic Website as part of a cream challenge.
Other desserts I’ve done for Anyday Magic:
More Strawberry Goodness:
Chicken and Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Dressing and Walnuts by Cravings of a Lunatic
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberries by Cravings of a Lunatic
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries by Simply Recipes
Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips by The Girl Who Ate Everything
Tune in next time for:
An Epic Ice Cream Round Up
Toodles and smoochies! xx