This might look retro-familiar to some of you. Back in the old days the original recipe was called Frosty Strawberry Squares and was perhaps first published by Better Homes & Gardens or Sunset Magazine. Depends on who you ask.
It was a really fancy schmancy dessert then and no one much gave two thoughts that it was prepared with raw whipped egg whites. And the humorous part is that while we all ate raw egg white willingly back then, we traded out real heavy cream for fake whipped topping because we thought it was better for our health. Long live the old days.
My lemon-loving mother-in-law made this regularly during strawberry season when we were young-things first married. And then it was our turn to take over the recipe. We carried on with enthusiasm making the dessert regularly. But I’m pretty sure the last time we made Frosty Strawberry Squares was two children and three gazillion cats ago.
I never really enjoyed the brown sugar walnut crumble part of the dessert and now I’d never make anything with raw egg whites. This revision makes the crumble very chocolate and cooks the egg whites a lot like how you start Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
You don’t have to use a springform pan but it does make a pretty presentation for the table if you are having guests
mother-in-law for dinner. Un-spring it while the thing is still frozen and then serve it after it gets a wee bit soft for best flavor. Otherwise you will need a hacksaw to cut through the frozen tundra of berries.
You can absolutely use fresh strawberries in place of frozen. Just be sure to slice them up small enough so when the dessert freezes and you serve it almost frozen, the berries are not giant pink ice cubes. The crust is crispy at first and seems like an odd texture combination, but it will cooperate and soften once frozen and somewhat thawed.
Here’s to retro comebacks. At least for good food. But I draw the line at big hair and shoulder pads.
|Chocolate Frosty Strawberry Cake, Gluten Free||
- 130 grams GF AP Flour (1 cup) (66 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 32 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch)
- 25 grams almond flour (1/4 cup)
- 25 grams teff flour (2 heaping tablespoons)
- 60 grams unsweetened cocoa (1/2 cup)
- 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- 50 grams light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon espresso instant powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 115 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 stick)
- 1 whole extra-large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Framboise
- 130 grams granulated sugar (2/3 cup)
- zest of one lemon
- 3 extra-large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 400 grams frozen unsweetened whole strawberries, thawed and split as follows: 160 grams pureed (heaping ⅓ cup) and 240 grams thawed and sliced thin (1 heaping cup)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 480 grams chilled heavy cream, whipped (2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon Framboise
- remaining ⅓ chocolate cookie crumbles
- whipped cream
- fresh sliced strawberries, one per serving
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a springform or 9×9 baking pan with parchment. Line a small sheet pan with parchment.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, almond flour, teff, cocoa, granulated sugar, brown sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside. Melt butter and cool for a few minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and Framboise and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork until well incorporated. Press about ⅔ of the mixture into the springform or 9×9 pan. Place the remaining dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Break into even sized crumbs. Bake both at 350 for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 and bake about 12-15 minutes longer or just until the crumbs and crust are not glossy any longer. Cool completely before proceeding. The crust and crumble will be crisp.
- Zest the lemon into the granulated sugar and mix with fingertips. Let mixture sit about 15 minutes before proceeding – can be done in advance.
- In a double boiler over barely simmering heat, whisk the egg whites with the lemon sugar and salt until it reaches 160 degrees. It should turn white.
- Move mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high until glossy peaks form and the bowl is cool to the touch. Add the 160 grams (heaping ⅓ cup) of strawberry puree and lemon juice while it is whipping but after peaks have formed. Using a spatula place scrape that mixture into a large bowl. Wipe out stand mixer bowl and place the cream in it. Whip on high until peaks form. Remove half the whipped cream and set it aside for the topping, covered in the refrigerator. Add the vanilla and Framboise to the whipped cream remaining in the stand mixer.
- Scrape the cream in the stand mixer into the bowl with the egg white strawberry mixture. Fold until completely incorporated. Add the remaining 240 grams (heaping 1 cup) of thawed sliced (thin) berries and fold those in.
- Pour mixture on top of the cooled crust in the springform pan.
- Top with remaining cookie crumbles. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until about 20 minutes prior to serving.
- Plan to remove the cake from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving. Immediately, while frozen solid, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Loosen the springform and remove the collar-side. Slice and place on serving plates. Let the plates stand for a little while until ready to serve and top with a generous dollop of remaining whipped cream and sliced fresh berries.