Not Your Average College Food

Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Breakfast, Fruit, Vegetarian | March 21, 2015 | By

Last week I bought my first-ever tub of ricotta cheese. Although I can’t say I’m a die-hard fan of cheese, I do always have various selections of cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, and a shredded cheese mix) stocked in my fridge. I’m not too familiar with ricotta but I’ve browsed through countless recipes for sweets and desserts that use this famous Italian cheese.


So why did I suddenly decide to purchase ricotta? Well, to make the fluffiest pancakes ever. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pancakes but it’s about time I take a break from my favorite Greek yogurt pancakes and try something new. Greek yogurt pancakes are thick and chewy, but ricotta pancakes are quite different. They’re melt-in-your-mouth pillows of brunch-y happiness that make you wonder why you don’t have pancakes every day. Seriously, they’re SO fluffy.

 

Since I wanted to incorporate some fruit, I made my own strawberry compote by heating up strawberries in a small pot until they broke down into the consistency of a chunky sauce. The tanginess of the strawberries was undeniably satisfying and paired beautifully with the ricotta pancakes. It was my first time making a fruit compote and mine was probably one of the most simplified versions: just fruit and water. The best part was…not having to add extra sugar :)

RICOTTA PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
(makes 10-12)

Ingredients
3 cups fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped in halves
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, separated into whites and yolk
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Directions
Heat up chopped strawberries in a small pot on medium-low. Add water. Stir occasionally as they begin to sizzle and add more water for a thinner sauce.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients.

Beat egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the pancake batter.

Heat a pan to medium-high. Spoon 1/4 cup batter at a time onto the pan. When the pancake starts bubbling, flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with warm strawberry compote and/or maple syrup.

adapted from Food and Wine 

Strawberry Icebox Cake

Icebox cake has been on the top of my “to make” list for a looong time. Especially during my no-bake phase, it seemed like the perfect dessert since you don’t need an oven. Now that it’s summer it’s an even better time to make it. Instead of shoving the cake in an oven and letting the heat do all the magic, you let it sit in the fridge over night and the next day it’s ready for you to dig in!

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Cakes can’t get any simpler than this. All you need to do is just stack graham crackers, whipped cream, and strawberries on top of each other. Layer by layer by layer. The berries and cream already taste delicious on their own. But if you let it all sit in the fridge for some hours, the crackers get real soft and meld into the berries and cream into something that tastes like…heaven.

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Seriously, this is one of the best desserts ever. It’s so light, fruity, and the perfect ratio of sour to sweet. I made this cake for a potluck dinner that my friends and I had last weekend. Having never seen or tasted an icebox cake, people were pretty amazed (myself included).

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STRAWBERRY ICEBOX CAKE

Ingredients
1 lb strawberries, sliced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
16-20 oz graham crackers (3-4 sleeves)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combined the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together. Blend on medium-high until stiff peaks form.

Place 2 graham crackers side by side on a plate or pan. Spread whipped cream mixture on the crackers. Top the surface with sliced strawberries.

Repeat until there are no more graham crackers. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top and add strawberries for garnish.

adapted from Chew Out Loud

Chill in fridge overnight and then serve chilled!

Patriotic Berry Tiramisu

Because tomorrow is the nation’s biggest holiday of the year, this is a throwback (#tbt) to a dessert I made a  year ago. I meant to post the recipe last year, but never really got to it. This is a strawberry and blueberry tiramisu with a patriotic twist! My mom and I made this one together for a 4th of July BBQ last year and we were proud to see that it vanished in seconds. Even the adults (who usually don’t eat sweets) loved it!

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Making this tiramisu is easier than it looks – it only has 3 parts to it: fruit, cream, and ladyfingers. However, eating it can get complex and may require some thought. Personally, I am picky about the ratio of the 3 parts for each and every bite. There can’t be too much of one ingredient otherwise it will overpower the others. I like being able to taste all the flavors at once so the 3 simple parts become 1 delicious entity, otherwise known as tiramisu.

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Happy birthday America!

PATRIOTIC BERRY TIRAMISU

Ingredients
1 cup strawberry jam
6 tablespoons rum
1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
28 hard ladyfingers
3 cups strawberries, chopped
Blueberries (optional)

Directions

Mix jam and 4 tablespoons of rum until combined.

Blend mascarpone and remaining 2 tablespoons rum in a large bowl.

Use an electric mixer to beat cream, sugar, and vanilla in another bowl until soft peaks form.

Use a rubber spatula to fold half of whipped cream into the mascarpone and then fold in other half.

One by one, dip ladyfingers into jam mixture and line the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with them. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.

Use half of the strawberries to cover the mascarpone and fill in any cracks.

Repeat layering with the remaining ladyfingers, jam mixture, mascarpone, and strawberries.

Cover and refrigerate to set.