Desserts

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs with Champagne Sabayon Dipping Sauce

Last week was my big old 25th birthday! My love was out of town for baseball, so we went down to Newport this week to celebrate. It was the first hot day outside in ages and we were loving the sunshine.  I was already pleasantly full from lunch, but I had waited one full week to blow out a candle, so dessert was mandatory! I was really looking forward to it when we were served… creme brulee?  I appreciated the gesture from the restaurant, but it was almost 85 degrees and humid! This rich, decadent dessert might as well have been cement going down my throat. I have three criteria for summer desserts: light, refreshing, cool with just a hint of indulgence. I never want to eat something hot, creamy, and thick on a warm day. And so we have this little dessert idea I came up with for easy outdoor eating. Angel food cake and fruit kabobs served with a rich a creamy champagne sabayon. Light cake, refreshing fruit, and cool dipping sauce. The perfect Memorial Day barbeque dessert. Your work is done early in the day and your guests can enjoy the playfulness of eating dessert on a kabob 🙂

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs Desserts

Makes: about 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Baking Time: 35 minutes     Total Time: 2 hours

*When it comes to baking, you can be original with flavor ideas, but recipes are chemistry. There is very little originality in baking because the recipes are formulas. The following angel food cake recipe and directions are from Food Network’s Alton Brown, and proved to be very successful for me and for many Food Network Viewers. 

Angel Food Cake*:
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites- room temperature (reserve yolks!)
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Sabayon:
10 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup champagne
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest

Kabobs:
10-12 kabob skewers
12 strawberries, stems removed and halved
24 blackberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
  • In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
  • Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
  • Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
  • (It’s me again with the instructions!) While the angel food cake is cooling, prepare the sabayon sauce. Sabayon is a creamy sauce that is thickened by carefully cooking the egg yolks.
  • Fill a large bowl with about 4 inches of  ice and water, set aside.
  • Add the separated yolks and sugar to a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk until the yolks become slightly fluffy. Add the champagne, whisk again, and put the mixture over a double boiler.
  • Begin to cook on medium heat, stirring constantly as the mixture cooks. It will start to thicken. When the texture coats the back of a spoon, immediately set the pot in the ice water. Whisk and whisk until the temperature cools completely. Add the vanilla extract and the orange zest, transfer to a serving bowl, and set aside covered in the refrigerator.
  • To assemble the kabobs, cut the angel food cake into large, bite-sized pieces. Skewer one piece of cake for every piece of fruit. I made them all the same pattern but I wish I didn’t. I think it stands out when they all look a little different.
  • Serve the kabobs with the chilled sabayon on the side.
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