April Showers

“April Showers” as the beginning of the rhyme goes is not limited to the spring rain. Rather in the bakery, we are having ‘showers’ all the time. Bridal showers, baby showers, engagement parties, graduation celebrations …. Occasion cakes are always a fun centerpiece, but sometimes it’s nice to do something a little different and a little more personal –   individually sized treats. They look lovely on a plate, blow your guests away, and can add to a lot of variety.

A vary fast easy way to make a personal ‘spring dessert’ is to purchase a store bought Sara Lee poundcake, some berries, and your frosting (your favorite flavor and brand). Lay a few pieces of the pound cake out on a cutting board. With a small cookie cutter in theme with your celebration, cut out the pieces of the poundcake (a small square or round cutter are always perfect too). One thing to consider is whether or not you want your guests to be able to pick up the bite with their hands or need a proper plate and fork. The size and shape of cookie cutter will dictate if it needs a fork or if it is finger friendly; the cake will break if too big or too awkward to hold. Then, with a spoon put some of the frosting into a ziploc bag and push it down into one of the bottom corners. Fold the bag over so it’s shut and snip the bottom end where the frosting is squeezed to. Now, simply pipe the frosting into little dollops onto the cake cut-outs. Add a berry on top to finish! It’s sure to impress!

If you’re not a fan of store bought frosting, an easy alternative is Chantilly cream, and here’s how you make it. *It can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days – or until someone eats it 🙂 .

Chantilly Cream: Take 1 pint of whipping cream, whipped with a little powdered sugar until you’ve reached the sweetness desired. I suggest starting with a quarter cup of powdered sugar at a time for a half pint of cream.

Cut Cut-outs

Another idea that is simple to execute is if you take ribbon – it could be a customized ribbon with initials or the date , or regular ribbon – and add it around an undecorated cookie. It adds a dash of color and panache to a simple and delicious treat!

Cookies with ribbon

My favorite Spring dessert : Berry Filled Angel Food Cake. A fast and easy dessert if not from scratch. Buy a store-made Angel Food Cake. Cut the top half off (holding the knife horizontally). Set aside on a clean plate – you’ll need it again. With one tablespoon, hollow out a ditch or tunnel throughout the center of the cake, leaving a ½” wall on either side. What you’re doing is making a moat around the inside of the cake, so that it will hold all the delicious berries.

In a separate bowl, wash and dry about two pints of berries. If using strawberries, slice them before adding to the bowl. Add a little sugar if the berries aren’t fully sweet. Then gently toss with Chantilly cream . (*Recipe above. Set aside about 3 Tablespoons full for the finishing panache). Now, take your cream-berry mixture and spoon it evenly into the moat. Take your top piece of cake that has been resting on the plate and carefully place it back on top. A strong but gentle hand is needed here.

Now add your reserved Chantilly cream by drizzling it. Then  sprinkle the berries over it for that finishing touch.

Filled Angel Cake

Keep chilled until ready to slice and serve. Enjoy!