August 3, 2017

Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream

Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert
By Published: 2017-08-03
Yummmmmmmm...it's summer and time for strawberries!  There's sun in the sky and summer strawberries on the store shelves!  I usually make strawberries and freshly whipped chantilly cream (just whipped up cream with a touch of sugar and vanilla) as a special treat for my little girl but then I happened on a little twist to this dessert that makes it so much more sophisticated and yummilicious but still quite simple to make!  It's Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream!  That is, to break it apart, fragant strawberries, fresh mint, smooth white chocolate, and whipped cream!  Goshdangit...all my favorite summer tastes in one simple elegant and ohsotasty dessert!

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert

It's best if you can find strawberries that are ripened on the vine.  Most strawberries in the supermarket are picked green and ripen en route to and on the store shelves.  If you have the opportunity, get your summer strawberries straight from one of those roadside stalls that sell fragrant berries straight from the field.  If you're not that lucky and have to get it from the grocery store, get either the strawberries with the stem still attached or the organic strawberries.  These generally will have a riper, sweeter taste.

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert

Lately I have even seen mostly whitish green strawberries for sale!  I can't even believe stores sell these but there you are.  Trust me those berries are never gonna become anything near what a strawberry should taste like.  But then, don't despair, we buy grocery store strawberries too but there is a neat trick to make them taste much, much better than they should.  Just buy the best quality you can find, then wash, hull and quarter the strawberries and sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of white sugar over all and toss.  Cover and stick in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Ta-da!  What was a faint strawberries flavor before is now draw out and intensified and sweetened by the sugar (it's called maceration or drawing out of natural juices) into heavenly scented strawberry goodness.  Really truly, do try, this works a treat!  You can even add in a drop or so of luscious Grand Marnier orange liqueur to make it that much better.

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert

Ahh...my latest love: fresh mint.  (See my post on brewing your own moroccan mint tea.)  I just can't seem to get enough of mintiness now that I've decided to love, love, love mint.  And in this dessert I discovered another one of those taste combos made in heaven: the taste of mint and white chocolate combined is AMAZINGLY PERFECT!  As everyone knows already, I'm sure, but I thought I would just remind all of that wonderfully taste worthy FACT!

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert

When I first started to buy chocolate not just for eating but for making chocolatey things, it seemed so complicated.  There are all these 'special' and quite expensive chocolates especially for melting and making into things.  However, after working with chocolate for a while (and being on a tight chocolate budget due to strenuous overeating of said chocolate while making), I have discovered that one can just use the kind of chocolate that comes in bars for eating.  You just have to make sure that it is the sort of chocolate you want, 70% cocoa, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc.  And that there are no nuts, fruits, truffles, liquid centers or anything else except chocolate in the chocolate bar.  If you buy chocolate in this way you can get much better priced chocolate for lots and lots of chocolatey fun at home.  I find that I am hoarding bars of 70% chocolate and white chocolate nowadays just as misers hoard their golden coins.  And why not hoard it, chocolate is one of the most fabulous things on earth and tempered chocolate bars last almost forever at room temp!

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert

Here is our finished fresh mint infused whipped white chocolate cream.  It whipped up, gorgeous and creamy and airily into more than double of its original volume.  And it was sooooo yummilicious we almost swooned when we tried it, my little girl and I.  What can I say?  Just so right, the right thing, heavenly, so yummy...yum...yum...



So why not kick the ol' strawberries and cream up a couple of notches and try this Strawberry with Mint White Chocolate Cream fruit dessert dish for a spectacular sweet summer surprise.  It does take a wee bit more of an effort but it is so worth it!  Wait and see if folks don't literally LICK their plates, I know my folks did.  Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream is that summer strawberry dish you've been dreaming of!

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert


Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream Recipe
(adapted from recipe in A Year in Chocolate by Alice Medrich) (makes 6-8 servings)
Prep time:    Cook time: 

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh mint (approx. 20-30 leaves)
1 cup cream, 240 ml
8 oz  white chocolate, 226g
1 qt  strawberries, 680g
3 tbsp  white sugar (optional)
1 tsp Grand Marnier orange liqueur (optional)

Directions:

Wash and hull strawberries.  Cut into quarters or halves according to size of berries.  If your strawberries are not at optimal sweetness you can macerate them (see explanation in post above) by putting berries into a nonreactive bowl, sprinkle in sugar and Grand Marnier, toss, then cover and put in fridge.  If strawberries do not need maceration just add Grand Marnier if using, cover and keep in fridge while making the cream.  

Wash and dry mint.  Pluck mint leaves off stem.  Reserve the small leaves at the stem tip in groupings (as in photo above) to be used to garnish whipped cream.  

Heat cream and mint leaves in small pot until the steam rises.  Remove from heat, cover and let mint infuse for 5 mins.  Chop the white chocolate finely.  Pour cream and mint through strainer to remove the mint.  Place white chocolate and strained cream in bowl over bain marie* over gently simmering water and stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  When cool whip the chocolate cream until at least doubled and the consistency of whipped cream.  Spoon strawberries into dessert glasses or plates, top with generous dollop of chocolate cream and garnish with reserved mint leaves.  Enjoy!

*Bain marie can be easily set up at home with a large bowl set over a small pot with an inch of very gently simmering water that does not touch the bowl.  Put whatever needs gentle heating into the large bowl and you're all set.




More Sweet Summer Surprises at The Hong Kong Cookery:





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