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It's clear from the moment you walk into Andrea Studenc's kitchen that it's not a complicated recipe for a chocolate dessert or fancy trifle that pose a culinary challenge. She's got those down pat.'
It's the tiny fingers that dip into the bowl of Studenc's Raspberry Key Lime Mousse Trifle that clearly keep this cook on her toes.'
Busy toddler fingers also are likely the reason the five awards -- one second and four firsts -- that she won in the 1990s at the Hilton Head Island Hospitality Association's Spring Fest's chocolate contest rest on a high shelf.'
Still, motherhood and owning her own Hawaiian shaved ice concession hasn't kept Studenc, 42, from enjoying her passion for cooking and baking for family and friends.'
"I learned from my mother and grandmother," Studenc says of her love for cooking. She also cites her Ukrainian ancestry and her great-grandmother's farm as inspiration for her culinary pedigree.'
"They even churned their own butter," Studenc says.'
In fact, one of her earliest childhood memories is her mother's kitchen where Studenc kept her Easy Bake Oven. '
"I had that thing on the table every day," she says.'
When she moved to Hilton Head from her home state of Pennsylvania, she worked in the restaurant business, where she met her future husband, Scott. She also ran a catering business on the island, before settling into a shaved ice concession -- a business she's run for the past decade.'
Studenc's partial to baking but says that cooking also is important to her and her family.'
"I cook dinner every night, even if I have to get something started in the morning," Studenc says.'
As for picking her favorite recipe, Studenc says the trifle won out because of it being a hit whenever she serves it. '
"Everyone loves it," she says. "People ask me, 'Can't you make that dessert?' "'
And even with her busy lifestyle, Studenc says she does bake for family and friends, especially birthday cakes.'
What does she bake in between birthdays and other special occasions?'
"Cookies and brownies," she says.'
No doubt two of her littlest fans always are ready to gobble them up.'
<b>Key Lime Mousse Raspberry Trifle</b>'
This recipe will include recipes for pound cake, melba sauce and key lime mousse'
For the Pound Cake:'
1 cup butter'
2 cups all-purpose flour'
1 teaspoon baking powder'
1/4 teaspoon salt'
1 cup sugar '
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla'
Bring butter and eggs to room temperature. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer, about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating six minutes or until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating one minute after each; scrape bowl frequently. '
Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture, beating on low speed until thoroughly combined. '
Turn batter into pan. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until done. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Finish cooling on rack.'
For the Melba Sauce:'
2 pints raspberries'
1/2 cup red currant jelly'
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste'
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed in '
4 tablespoons water'
1 pint raspberries to garnish'
In a blender, puree raspberries. Strain out the seeds through a fine sieve. In a small saucepan heat the raspberry puree with the red currant jelly until it comes to a boil. Add the sugar and the cornstarch slurry, and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened and is a clear red color.'
For the Key Lime Mousse:'
6 large egg yolks'
1 cup sugar'
1/2 cup key lime juice'
1/2 cup unsalted butter (in chunks)'
2 cups of sweetened whipped cream'
To make the curd for the mousse, bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium low heat. Combine egg yolks, sugar and key lime juice in a metal or glass bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set the bowl over the simmering water without letting the bottom touch and continue to whisk. Keep whisking vigorously for 10 minutes, until the curd has doubled in volume and is very thick. Don't let it boil. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in the chunks of butter, a few at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until chilled and firm. This will take a few hours. After the curd is chilled, fold in 2 cups of whipped cream.'
To build the trifle, line a trifle or a deep glass bowl with slices of pound cake. Brush with Lemoncello, spoon a layer of Key Lime Mousse over the cake. Then spoon 1/2 of the Melba Sauce over the mousse. Top with the remaining slices of pound cake. Repeat layers of mousse and Melba Sauce. Lastly, top off with a generous amount of sweetened whipped cream (around 2 cups), making little wisps. Garnish with fresh raspberries.