As many of you may know, I recently participated in a fantastic cooking competition sponsored by the Real Women of Philadelphia, and was selected as a finalist with my "Paula's Perfect Black Bean Burrito" video. This contest was not only a an amazing experience, but also a wonderful opportunity to get my creative juices flowing.
Well, RWOP has another competition going on right now, the Season Two Recipe Contest. This means that everyone (both men and women) who participates is competing for a spot in the season two RWOP Cookbook, as well as $500 dollars!
The theme this week is "Make to Impress" desserts. I was pretty excited about how my recipe turned out, so I thought I would share it with you! Below is my recipe description and submission, I hope you enjoy!
Strawberries and Cream Layered Dream Description:
I love entertaining, but I have two requirements when doing so: the recipes must be both beautiful, and easy to prepare. When creating this elegant dessert, I made individual servings so that each guest feels special when they receive a dessert of their own. I also added different layers to establish the appearance of complexity. That said, this dessert couldn’t be easier to prepare. You can make every step ahead, so when it’s time for dessert there is no stress in the kitchen; all you have to do is assemble, present, and enjoy the shower of compliments coming your way!
Original Post: 8/17/11
Original Post: 8/17/11
- 1/2 Package Frozen Puff Pastry - Thawed
- 1 pound(s) of Fresh Strawberries - Thinly Sliced
- 5 tbsp. of Granulated Sugar - Divided
- 8 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Strawberry Cream Cheese
- 2 tbsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 cup(s) of Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup(s) of Chocolate Sauce
- 4 Extra Whole Strawberries For Garnish - (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Unfold pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry into three strips following the fold marks as guidelines.
- Cut each strip in half. Now you should have six rectangles.
- Place pastry rectangles on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cook on wire rack.
- While the pastry bakes, combine sliced strawberries with one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whip together the heavy whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until you have reached the consistency of whipped cream. About 2-3 minutes.
- In a different bowl combine 8 oz strawberry cream cheese and two teaspoons of vanilla until smooth.
- Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the strawberry cream cheese mixture until well incorporated.
- Place cream cheese mixture, strawberries and whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to assemble dessert.
- Once pastries have cooled, split each rectangle into two layers. You should now have 12 separate layers.
- To assemble, place one pastry sheet on a plate. Top with a dollop of strawberry mixture (about two heaping tablespoons or so). Spread with a knife to cover the entire pastry.
- Next create a single layer of sliced strawberries.
- Now top strawberry layer with a layer of whipped cream, using about the same amount as the strawberry cream cheese layer.
- Repeat steps 11-13 an additional time, finishing with a third pastry on top. You should now have: pastry, fillings, pastry, fillings, pastry.
- Finally, top the third pastry with a rounded tablespoon of the strawberry cream cheese mixture.
- Drizzle your favorite chocolate sauce over the top in a pretty pattern.
- Garnish with strawberries if desired.
- Repeat with remaining three desserts.
**Note - I find it is easiest and most time efficient to create an "assembly line" when putting the desserts together: i.e. do all of the cream cheese layers, then all of the strawberry layers, all the whip cream layers etc...