Strawberry Love

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I love this season, especially because it’s the only time when you get such wonderful fruit in the market. Strawberries, raspberries sometimes, Figs, Apricots and more..

It’s the time when I make up my batches of Berry preserves – Strawberry being my favourite.

So, last week, I bought this box of Strawberries with the intention of making a batch of Strawberry preserve but ended up making something the polar opposite.

I came across this online contest on a blog to create dishes for Valentine’s Day. While I didn’t really end up submitting my idea, I did end up making a short creation for Valentine’s Day using Strawberries and Chocolate – the two foods, every so synonymous with this day.

I don’t deny that I am a hopeless romantic at heart and creating food this so celebrated day of Love is fun in its own way. Of course, it would help if it wasn’t so much commercialised and still celebrated as innocently as how the day actually originated.

For those unaware, St. Valentine was a priest who penned an anonymous letter to his sweetheart when in prison. That’s how the day “Valentines Day” came into being. The story was quite tragic and beautiful and remains a favourite even today.

Anyhow, here’s sharing my recipe idea – not very complex but I am pretty sure of a great help to those wanting to create something this Valentine’s day 😉

INGREDIENTS

Fresh strawberries – 10 nos.

Dark Compound Chocolate – 50GM

Butter – 20GM

Filling: 

Philadelphia Cream Cheese – ½ cup

Castor sugar – 3 to 4 tablespoons (or as much sweet as you want)

Lemon zest – from ½ a lemon

Fresh Vanilla bean – 1 no.

METHOD

For the Strawberries

  • Cut the Strawberries in half lengthwise. Don’t discard the tops. You need them for the green colour effect.

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  • Scoop out the flesh from the half-cut berries but make sure you don’t take out much. You need the berry to hold shape and need a thick enough outer skin.

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  • Leave aside.
  • The scooped out berry mixture can be used in maybe preserves or drinks.

For the Filling:

  • Mix the sugar in the cheese and whip until well dissolved.
  • Add in the lemon zest and mix again.
  • Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap the contents into the cheese mix.
  • Whip everything well and keep aside.

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For the Chocolate:

  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add small chunks of butter.
  • Heat in a microwave for a few seconds until liquefied.
  • Make sure you keep on checking it when in the microwave as you don’t want it to burn.
  • Also, make sure there are absolutely no traces of water in there else it will seize.
  • I have used compounds chocolate since it’s a quicker way. You could very well use the pure chocolate but make sure the tempering is spot-on. (I usually avoid short-cuts in my recipes but its ok sometimes I guess)
  • Pour the mixture in a long glass, as you want the length of the berry to dip into it whole. A flat vessel will serve no good purpose.

Final Assembly

  • Fill the cheese mixture into the half scooped berries.

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  • Carefully, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mix until well coated from all sides.

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  • Leave on a Silicon mat or a parchment paper to set. You can even pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes but make sure its not there longer as then, water will condense once you take it out.
  • Take out once well-set and serve immediately.

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I wouldn’t recommend storing this for long but with my experience, these just disappeared in a few minutes – courtesy a chocolate dessert loving family.

Note: You can even try this with either Ricotta or Mascarpone cheese if you like.

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