I always found baking much more difficult than cooking. So I eased my way into baking by first making no-bake desserts like this strawberry torte. Perfect in the summer, this dessert tastes wonderful and contrary to what my first attempt may have you believe, it can look beautiful too. I had trouble finding the proper lady fingers so I settled on these large, cakey, irregularly shaped ones. Although they made for an ugly cake (photo below), they tasted very very good and lended the perfect texture. I also used too much strawberry sauce, as you can tell from the leakage 😉 But like I said, it was delicious. I’ve made this several times now and people always love it.
I used the leftovers for a strawberry trifle. If you adjust the amounts accordingly, this recipe makes the best trifle. Photo below.
No Bake Strawberry Torte (or Trifle)
adapted from allrecipes.com
1 block (250 g) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 x 12 ounce packages ladyfinger cookies
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen strawberries, defrosted (juices reserved)
1 box (1 pound) fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
fresh mint leaves (optional garnish)
In a saucepan, bring the cornstarch, defrosted strawberries and juices to a gentle boil. Using a blender (or immersion blender), puree the sauce and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer, on the highest speed, whisk the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Use a rubber spatula and gently fold the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Optional: Reserve some for decorating the top of the torte. If you have leftover whipped cream, you can freeze it (see here for instructions)!
Arrange the ladyfingers standing up around sides and laying flat on the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Break up some lady fingers to fill in any gaps on the bottom. Pour 1/2 of the cream cheese filling into the pan and spread it evenly. Then pour in half of the strawberry sauce and spread it out evenly. (Optional: Add a layer of thinly sliced fresh strawberries.) Place a layer of ladyfingers on top of the sauce. Again, breaking up some lady fingers to fill in any gaps. Pour the remaining cream cheese filling over ladyfingers and spread it out evenly. Use the remaining strawberry sauce, reserved cream cheese filling, and fresh strawberries to decorate the top of the torte.
- Pour the rest of the strawberry puree over the top of the cake and top with arranged fresh strawberries (whole, cut, or sliced).
- Pour the rest of the strawberry puree over the top of the cake and pipe rosettes using the reserved cream cheese filling (or pipe a pretty border). Add fresh strawberries as well, if desired.
- Spread the remaining strawberry sauce in a spoke pattern. With a skewer, swirl the spokes until a pretty pattern emerges.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Refrigerate the torte over night or until chilled through. Remove from pan and serve.