Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Thursday, 2nd June 2011
With the warm weather finally here all I can think about is summer entertaining and this simple Italian Dessert, Torta di Fragole e Crema Soffice di Yogurt is the perfect ending to a summer barbecue. Not only is it light and creamy but also cold and refreshing. It’s also the perfect canvas in which to highlight seasonal berries. And most importantly – What’s the last thing you want to do on a scorching hot summer’s day? – Turn on the oven and bake!
I’ve prepared the Torta allo Yogurt with strawberries today but the strawberries can easily be substituted with raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. In fact, any summer fruit will do.
I was excited to see the pool company at the house this morning, the pool is officially opened and the season for entertaining has begun. The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I couldn’t be happier.
It’s time to dust of the ice cream maker and start experimenting once again with flavour combinations. One of my favourite summer treats is Italian Ice and I am looking forward to making my own boozy ices to enjoy poolside.
I’ve never been a huge yogurt fan but I do enjoy using it in desserts. I wanted an extra creamy mousse so I decided to experiment with Greek Yogurt this time. I’m very happy I did because the texture was smooth and velvety.
I like recipes like this one for Torta allo Yogurt because it’s so versatile. The Greek yogurt can be substituted with vanilla yogurt, or if you prefer you could also substitute with strawberry yogurt or another fruit flavoured yogurt. I would then match the fruit I’m layering it with to the yogurt I was using. I would also omit the sugar because the fruit flavoured yogurts are sweet enough.
Another wonderful option is to add a strawberry puree to the yogurt, not only will it give a boost in strawberry flavour but the filling would have a beautiful pink colour to it, a striking contrast to the dark chocolate wafer crumb base.
And of course the possibilities for the crumb base are endless. I chose to combine almonds with chocolate wafers in this dessert. Toasted almonds and strawberries together – yum! – Excellent combination.
I love cheesecakes! But this Torta is a wonderful alternative. Soft velvety yogurt mousse with a hint of vanilla, the perfect balance between tangy and sweet and the strawberries bring a wonderful freshness to the dessert.
I am so happy summer is almost here and I am also looking forward to hosting my first summer get together. Are you?
Torta di Fragole e Crema Soffice di Yogurt – Yogurt Mousse Cake with Strawberries
Makes 6 7.62-cm X 7.62-cm (3-inch X 3-inch) cakes
**Special Equipment 6 7.62-cm X 7.62-cm (3-inch X 3-inch) ring moulds
- Chocolate Wafer and Almond Crust
- Crema Soffice di Yogurt
- Fresh Strawberries
- Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional, to garnish
- Chocolate Hearts, optional, to garnish
Chocolate Wafer and Almond Crust
- 75 g (½ cup) toasted almonds, finely ground
- 162 g (27 wafers) chocolate wafers (1¼ cup fine crumb)
- 28 g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
- 100 g (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat. To make collars, cut six 25.4-by-10.16-cm (10¾-inch-by-4-inch) strips of non-stick baking paper or acetate paper. Arrange rings on baking sheet and line with acetate or non-stick baking paper collars; secure each collar with tape and then set-aside.
- In a food processor, pulse almonds to almost a fine crumb. Transfer to a small bowl.
- In a food processor, pulse chocolate wafers to almost a fine crumb. Transfer the almonds to the food processor; add the sugar and pulse to combine (making sure almonds and wafers resemble fine crumb).
- Add the melted butter and process to moisten.
- Divide crumb mixture evenly between prepared moulds, about 2 tablespoons per mould. Using a small tart tamper, pat crumb mixture evenly into bottom of each mould.
- Transfer baking sheet with prepared crumb-lined moulds to refrigerator to chill for ½-hour.
Crema Soffice di Yogurt
- 6.68 g (4 sheets) gold gelatine sheets
- 59 ml (¼ cup) whole milk
- 454 g (16 ounces or 2 cups) creamy Greek yogurt, 9% (do not drain yogurt)
- 125 g (1 cup) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 237 ml (1 cup) heavy cream, 35%
- To soften gelatine sheets, place the sheets in a small bowl filled with cold water and soak sheets for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat milk until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. Remove gelatine sheets from water and squeeze out excess water. Add sheets to hot milk and stir until sheets have dissolved, set-aside to cool.
- Place the yogurt into a medium-sized bowl.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the confectioners’ sugar over the yogurt. Using a large flexible spatula, stir until well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract; stir to combine.
- Strain the cooled milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve into yogurt mixture, stirring to well combine.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk the heavy cream over medium speed to a stiff peak.
- Using large flexible spatula fold whipped cream, in three additions, into yogurt mixture, set-aside.
Assembling Torta di Fragole e Crema Soffice di Yogurt
- Fresh Strawberries, medium-sized, washed, hulled and sliced
- Sweetened Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Hearts
- Remove moulds from the refrigerator.
- Arrange sliced strawberries, on base, touching sides of acetate collar (take care arranging because this will be important for presentation when you remove collars).
- Using an ice cream scoop, carefully fill moulds with crema soffice, one-half full (should be almost flush with to the tops of the strawberries, depending on the size of your berries).
- Arrange a layer of strawberries on top of the crema soffice.
- Continue to fill moulds with crema soffice to about ¼-inch above tops of moulds.
- Using the back of a demitasse spoon, smooth tops of cakes.
- Cover moulds with plastic wrap and chill for 4 to 6 hours.
- Remove moulds; unwrap collars. Place cakes on dessert dishes, pipe a swirl of sweetened whipped cream and garnish with fresh berries and a chocolate heart.
- Buon Appetito!
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, almonds, cake, cakes, cheesecake, chocolate, dessert, desserts, food, food photography, food photos, fruit, individual dessert, individual desserts, Italian desserts, mini cakes, quick desserts, small cakes, Summer desserts
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts, Torte