as adapted from Epicurean
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chilled mascarpone cheese*
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 vanilla bean – seeds scraped; (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2-3 tbsps castor sugar
1 basket (about 200gms) strawberries, hulled, quartered
1 sachet vanilla sugar (optional)
Fresh mint for garnishing
Combine vinegar, 2 tbsps sugar, and pepper in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced to scant 1/4 cup, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla seeds, and Castor sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until thick soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
Combine berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; drizzle with balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon in mascarpone mixture into 6 goblets. Divide berries and syrup & top the whipped mascarpone.
Sprinkle with vanilla sugar, & add a sprig of mint if desired.
Serve chilled within an hour or so. Balsamic vinegar tends to ‘cook’ the strawberries & soften them if kept mixed together for too long.