vanilla ice cream

Papaya with Créme de Cassis and with vanilla ice cream

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napoleon 101

This sweet is a Brazilian dessert. It was a culinary fad in Brazil in the mid-1990s, now its popularity has diminished somewhat in spite if that fact one of my best Brazilian friend offered this dessert last week. She told me that they usually prepare when they run out of time. So that was the case!

It consists of papaya blended with vanilla ice cream. Crème de Cassis is usually added, but a non-alcoholic blackcurrant syrup can be substituted. It is common to blend the papaya and ice cream, then put into serving dish and pour about an ounce of creme de cassis on the top.

Ingredients: 1 big ripe papaya

2 scoops vanilla ice-cream

2 tbsp Creme de Cassis

1 sprig of mint for decoration and vanilla pod

Direction: Peel papaya and remove seeds. Cut in small pieces. Put in blender with ice-cream and pour over Creme de Cassis. Blend well until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and decorate with mint. The mix of flavors and colors (orange papaya and purple liqueur)  as you can see are really beautiful! You can omit the alcohol and can replace with cassis syrup instead. You can also reduce the calories by using Light ice-cream. (other advantage of the papaya is it works against constipation). I decorated with fresh vanilla seeds scraped from the pod.

Actually I didn’t make turmix from the papaya but rather let the finelly cut pieces soak in the Cassis liqueur for a while and then I scooped over the ice cream. It was a really nice and light dessert.

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Wicked strawberries

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The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shapes and red color. In the ancient Rome women made masks from mashed strawberries and grease them on their faces. In the Middle Ages strawberry was already served with cream for women and with wine for men. To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals…….

So what can we do with this famous fruit nowadays? Let’s see:

Belgium 2013 june 193Strawberry with maple syrup

I have always liked maple syrup but I didnt know that it works so well with the srawberry until recently I ate an excellent strawberry dessert in Belgium. I have always known that maple syrup is often eaten with pancakes, waffles, French toast, or oatmeal and it is also used as an ingredient in baking as a sweetener or flavouring agent so then why not pour it over strawberries!

I used soya cream in my recipe

Ingredients: 400 g of fresh strawberry, 200 ml soya cream (alpro) 3-4 tbs of maple syrup

The other favorite combo is strawberry with balsamic vinegar and mint

Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries, and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least  1 hour but not more than 4 hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries. Decorate with fresh mint leaves.

Strawberry flambé

Ingredients: 2 cups  strawberries (I keep frozen ones on hand for occasions such as this), 1 teaspoon  butter, 1 cup  sugar, 1   lemon, zest of (the outermost layer of the lemon rind, which is used for flavoring) 1   orange, zest of the orange as well, 4 scoops  vanilla ice cream, 1   orange, juice of an orange, 2 tablespoons  brandy, a pinch of pepper

  1. Slice each strawberry in half. (if using frozen be sure to let thaw completely).
  2. Heat a large saucepan, and sauté the strawberries in butter lightly in one side of the pan.
  3. In the other side, melt sugar.
  4. When sugar almost melts, add the orange juice and zests.
  5. Carefully add brandy and watch out for the flame!
  6. Serve hot over ice cream.

Strawberry pancake

Ingredients: 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup milk, 3 eggs, zest of 1 small lemon

For Syrup: 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, gently whisk together the ricotta, milk, eggs, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until smooth and combined.

Using a 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until golden brown underneath, then flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side and cooked through. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve with butter, Strawberry Maple Syrup, and fresh strawberries.

For Syrup:

Add the syrup and strawberries to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the strawberries begin to break down and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. At this point you can strain the syrup with a fine mesh sieve as I did and serve with fresh strawberry slices, or you can leave the cooked strawberries in the syrup and serve that way, more like a syrup-compote. Serve syrup hot.

Cream and quark filled strawberry roses
Ingredients: 18 pieces of strawberries, 300 ml cream, 3 tbs cream cheese or lemon quark

Directions: Hull the strawberries. Cut them carefully in four (but don’t cut them through) and open them like a flower. Whip the cream until stiff, add quark or lemon flavoured joghurt to cream.

Fill the strawberries with this mixture. Keep them in the fridge until use.
You can also prepare this dessert using other fruits such as fig, filled with goat cheese cream, or nectarin, filled with almond flavoured cream.

Belgium 2013 june 191 - CopyIn chocolate fondant dipped strawberries rolled in roughly ground pistachios

This is the simplest version of chocolate covered strawberries. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert by the toothpicks into a piece of styrofoam for easy cooling, or simply place them on a sheet of wax paper. White chocolate may be drizzled over the milk chocolate for a fancier look. They are perfect for weddings when decorated with frosting bow ties, bells, butterflies, roses, etc.

Ingredients: 16 ounces  milk chocolate chips, 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves, 2 tablespoons shortening

  • In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
  • Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
  • Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool. Roll in roughly ground pistachio or peanuts, wait until the nuts conceil in the chocolate fondant.