Sometime I don’t get to really choose what my main ingredient is to be.
It, shall I say, chooses me.
This is oft the case when it comes to dinner (what can I make out of what’s left in the fridge??), but very rarely when it comes to desserts as there is no pressure to use ingredients such as chocolate and cream for baking (when they’re fine in usual cooking…or just on their own ;)).
I was under pressure though, when The Sister’s boyfriend presented us with two punnets of over-ripe strawberries that he couldn’t finish. They were too over-ripe to enjoy on their own, and frankly I can’t exactly write a blog post about eating strawberries alone. I had to make them into something, and preferably pulverised as they were that over-ripe
I was waiting on a friend for dinner when I went into the library and inevitably ended up in the cookbook section. Perusing a few, I hit upon jackpot. Valli Little’s Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse in Delicious’ More Please cookbook. Well substitution is easy enough, and with that idea in mind I set about modifying the recipe and creating my own little farewell to summer.
To serve 3 people, you will need:
- 250g punnet of strawberries, perfectly (or over) ripe;
- 37g caster sugar;
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice;
- 1 gold-strength gelatin sheet;
- 40ml boiling water;
- 80g white chocolate;
- 150ml thickened whipping cream, plus extra to serve;
- 1 tablespoon of icing sugar;
- White chocolate shards/curls to decorate.
Puree the strawberries, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a food processor or blender.
Luckily it was when it was all liquidised that I noticed that someone hadn’t screwed on the bottom half of the blender properly before they put it away and made a mad rush to the sink and grabbed a bowl to catch the seeping red liquid. So always make sure your electronics are set up correctly before you use them.
Pass this bright red mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Remove 40 ml separately to serve, then set aside.
Soak the leaf in cold water for five minutes to soften. Squeeze thoroughly to remove the excess liquid, then place the leaf in a bowl with 40 mls of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add this to the main bowl of puree and stir before setting to one side.
Melt the chocolate with 40 ml of the cream in a double saucepan, before setting aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whip the remaining 110 ml cream to soft peaks.
Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the strawberry puree.
Divide the mixture among glasses and cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight until set.
To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of the reserved puree and serve with any remaining berries and white chocolate shards or curls.
You can make curls very easily by melting down some white chocolate and spreading it on a cold surface such as granite or a marble tile, and once it’s almost set (10 minutes or so), use a large chef’s knife and drag it across the surface away from your body at a 45 degree angle. If it cracks or shatters, the chocolate has set too hard and unfortunately you’ll have to scrape it all off and melt it again! This was the first time I had made curls (however it took forever to set and I realised it was because I did it on a wooden surface, ‘doh!) and I was very pleased with how they turned out. Definitely keeping this decorating skill up my sleeve for the future!
Enjoy the rest of your week, m’dears 😉 X