Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Feature: American Sweets with Ashley

Hi everyone, meet Ashley! 
Ashley is one of my good friends from work and a pretty talented baker. She previously attended pastry school and still bakes on the side. I wanted to share about her so I asked her to whip together a Fourth of July themed dessert, especially since she loves the holiday just as much as I do.

Q&A with Ash
What's your favorite thing to bake? I knew you would ask that! Everyone does. I love to make wedding cakes but the chocolate station at pastry school was awesome. I would be covered in chocolate in minutes... Good thing I had four aprons.
Why did you decide to go to pastry school? Because I can't stand lecture classes. I fall asleep in them. I actually did have to take a few... And I fell asleep.
Did you bake before school? I liked cooking a little before and I was going to go to cooking school (if I remember correctly). But I liked how the decorating part of baking is more artsy. We learned to make flowers and did air brushing in school.
What's your favorite thing about the Fourth of July?
Definitely the fireworks! Also back home on Vashon Island the morning of the Fourth you wake up early and go see locals who own hydroplanes race around the island. It's really loud and fun and most people are hungover from the night before. I mean, not me of course.

Every good night of baking starts with a glass of wine, right? And I was totally amazed by her kitchen gadgets. I mean, look at this measuring cup!
She put together a Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle. This trifle used 4 different layers: lady fingers, a raspberry mix, homemade whipped cream made with mascarpone cheese, and blueberries.
Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle adapted from here. 
1.5 pounds of raspberries
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
10 oz mascarpone cheese
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20-24 ladyfingers
3/4 lb blueberries
  • Mix raspberries, 1/4 c sugar, and orange juice. Mash berries with a fork to let juices release. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  • Mix together mascarpone and 1/2 c sugar until smooth. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cut one or two pieces of parchment paper or foil 1 inch taller than the side of a springform pan and layer the inside of the pan.
  • Create a layer of ladyfingers at the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Cover with a layer of raspberry mixture. Spread a layer of whipped cream over raspberries. *Here you can use a 8-inch pan and repeat so you have two layers of each if you want your trifle to be thicker.
  • Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiffened and cookies have softened, about 3 hours.

Oh, and I almost forgot her trusty sidekick... Dierks! He's very good at eating raspberries that fall on the floor.


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