26 Jul Special of the Day: Life is short. Eat Dessert first!
Ah, a taste of the sweet life~ indulging in decadent desserts made lighter and brighter with a focus on fresh fruit, more petite portions and a better baked good composed not of butter but of heart-healthy olive oil.
Topping olive oil mini bundt cakes with Basil Balsamic Strawberries creates a surprisingly pleasing combination of complex flavors, and would be perfect for a brunch buffet, if you carved out time to bake the cakes and prepare the strawberries the night before. After all, life is short. Why not eat dessert first?
Or, for a super simple seasonal grand finale or palate-cleansing intermezzo course, stir lemon sorbet and limoncello together to make limoncello sorbet. Dress it up by serving it in hollowed out lemons garnished with fresh blackberries and mint sprigs to create a cool and refreshing sensational sorbet with a splash of panache.
Serving up some super simple seasonal desserts to whip up and enjoy this summer in this week’s Special of the Day: Life is short. Eat dessert first with recipes for Olive Oil Mini Bundts with Basil Balsamic Strawberries and Limoncello Sorbet. Enjoy!
Olive Oil Mini Bundts with Basil Balsamic Strawberries
Recipe by Sydne George
(Makes 8 mini bundt cakes)
1 ¼ cup cake flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a mini bundt cake pan (4 ½ inch diameter bundts) with no-stick baking spray with flour.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Beat eggs with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add lemon olive oil, lemon juice and vanilla and mix just until incorporated.
Stir in sifted ingredients.
Fill prepared bundt cake pan with batter, filling just over halfway full.
Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until edges are golden and cake is set.
Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack.
When cool, invert bundt cake pan onto cooling rack to dislodge cakes.
While cakes are baking, make Basil Balsamic Strawberries:
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Heat vinegar and brown sugar over medium heat.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened.
Add sliced strawberries and basil strips.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Place one olive oil mini bundt on each dessert plate.
Top with Basil Balsamic Strawberries.
Garnish with additional fresh basil sprigs.
Recipe by Sydne George
2 pints lemon sorbet
¼ cup limoncello (liquor store)
Fresh mint sprigs
1 pint blackberries
Soften lemon sorbet.
Transfer to mixing bowl.
Add limoncello and stir until completely incorporated.
Transfer to 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Cover and freeze until solid.
Cut a thin horizontal slice off the bottom of each lemon to enable them to stand on their own.
Cut the top of each lemon off to make lids. Set lids aside.
Using a melon baller, scoop insides of lemons out, hollowing them out. Take care not to dig too deeply and puncture the bottom of the lemon.
Scoop frozen limoncello into hollowed lemons, filling completely.
You will need to work rather quickly as the limoncello sorbet melts fast.
Transfer filled lemons to the freezer.
Check lemons after an hour or so and top them off with another scoop of limoncello sorbet, if necessary.
Garnish Limoncello Sorbet filled lemons with fresh blackberries and mint sprigs.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.