It’s almost that time of the year when the streets are lit up, the stars look bright and people are merry! Hello happy people. Yes, I am jumpy around Christmas. I love cooking for my family and friends as they give me unbiased feedback about my food and my new venture, LIQUORISHJ. When I was a little girl, we spent Christmas visiting my dad’s friends that celebrated Christmas on a large scale. I always envied the spread in each of their houses; the sweets, the meat and not to forget the wine (although I wasn’t allowed to taste it). As kids, we were given little trinkets as gifts. I vividly remember the joy on my brother’s face as he unwrapped his gift! I was and am very ‘Peep’y in nature 😉
It’s raining strawberries here in India! And surprisingly, sweet strawberries seem to have taken over the local markets. I love everything about strawberries; their vibrant red color, the fragrance, the acidity… everything. I usually whip up something every season. Strawberries have also proven to be very beneficial to the skin. I can be fooled into eating anything that is said to help in weight loss and is good for the skin or hair! Don’t blame me for being a girl 😉
So, imagine this. It is 7 p.m. and you have just gotten back from a really hectic day at work and just then your phone rings and rings again. Hesitantly, you answer not knowing who was calling you. On the other end, you hear your sweetest friends’ voice and she announces, ‘I am in your town and would love to meet with you.’ This happens to me all the time! The first thing that crosses my mind has got to be food. This is one of those desserts… if you know what I mean.
I have a packet of strawberries and cream lying in the refrigerator almost at all times when strawberries are in season. Do not make this dessert before time. Make it just as you are about to serve dessert. This is a perfectly satisfactory end to any meal.
What you need
Chop up the strawberries as shown below. I know the picture above is self-explanatory, but I fell in love with image below!
Macerate the strawberries in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Balsamic vinegar has a hint of sweetness along with piquancy and works like a charm with strawberries. However, if you prefer the safer road, substitute vinegar with pomegranate juice. Please do not experiment with white vinegar as the flavors are completely different.
Meanwhile, get started with the cream. I have tried to whip 25% cream plenty of times and could never get it to the peak stage. Not even close. The whole thing would loosen up on whisking. So I went ahead and bought a carton of non-dairy, soy based whipping cream which is now available in the market. This peaks beautifully and is perfect for all cream based desserts. This cream is sweetened and packaged.
You can use high fat cream as well and sweeten to your liking.
Whip about 1 cup of cream (serves 3) to a soft but firm peak stage.
We are done now… I take a while to move on to the next step as I am licking my fingers.
Crush up the meringues with your hands roughly. My mother in law brought me meringues when she was traveling. I know it not widely available in India. So, if you live here, go ahead and substitute with Chocolate chips or praline.
This step is to enhance the texture of the whipped cream.
Add half the macerating strawberries.
Gently fold in the strawberry mixture.
Now portion the cream into serving glasses and top with the remaining strawberries.
It is very simple and elegant. Hope you all try it.
Have a great day!
Whipping cream 1 cup
Sugar 1 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar 1 tsp
Macerate strawberries with sugar with balsamic vinegar/ pomegranate juice. Whip cream to soft peak stage. Crush meringues roughly and add to the cream. Add half the strawberries and fold the mixture gently. Serve immediately topped with the remaining strawberries.