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strawberry

“Ice cream is happiness condensed.” Jessi Lane Adams

Strawberry Quark Ice CreamStrawberry Quark Ice Cream … what a wonderful way to celebrate summer. I made this a week ago to use up the bags of strawberries I had frozen just before we left for Srinagar. I had frozen some left over quark as well and it worked wonderfully in this ice cream. So delicious that I had made several batches since, with plans to make more! Srinagar, Kashmir KahwaSrinagar was STUNNING! From near zero temperatures and sweet fragrant Kashmiri tea ‘kahwa’, from natural beauty that would blow your mind away, a city as beautiful as no city I have seen before, a people so hospitable. From ‘paradise on earth’ as it is so rightly called, we landed in Delhi in sweltering heat. IT WAS HOT!! Strawberry Quark Ice Cream It’s truly summer in the plains of North India, though we had some mild respite by way of thundershowers  yesterday. Still at 40C and counting, it’s promises to be a sizzling season ahead. For times like this, what can be better than a refreshing and beautifully coloured ice cream. Strawberry Quark Ice Cream We don’t grow blueberries or raspberries locally here, but I bet this will make a wonderful ice cream paired with any juicy seasonal berry. This was the first time I used brown mineral sugar in an ice cream paired with fruit. One spoon and another later, I wondered why I had never done it before? I went on to lick the bowl clean…and knew I had a winner here! Strawberry Quark Ice Cream

HAPPY EASTER!

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Recipe: Strawberry Quark Ice Cream your picture

Summary: Celebrate summer with the ‘bursting with flavour’ and the goodness of strawberries low fat Strawberry Quark Ice Cream. It will leave you asking for more!

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients:

  • 550gm strawberries , chilled{or frozen for Thermomix}
  • 300gm homemade quark {hung for 2-3 days in the fridge}, chilled
  • 100g low fat cream, chilled
  • 150-80gm brown sugar {adjust as required}
  • 2 tbsp kirsch

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to bowl of food processor, and blend to a smooth puree. Begin with 150g brown sugar and add more as required.
  2. Place in bowl of ice cream maker and set according to manufacturer instructions.
  3. Thermomix:
  4. Place all ingredients {including frozen strawberries} in the bowl of your Thermomix and process on Speed 10 for 1 minute at a time, stirring with the TM spatula as required. Repeat 3-4 times until well blended. Adjust sugar if required and blend for another 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a freezer safe container. Serve immediately or freeze until required

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“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse … yes, it’s that time of the year yet again. SPRING! I love it. It’s euphoria all around with new leaves unfurling everyday, flowering tomato plants that hold promise of a ‘good crop’, herbs that finally begin to expand like there’s no tomorrow. Also days when quark gets made beautifully and with ease!Spring And if there is homemade quark on hand, can dessert be far behind? I make huge amounts of quark, a curd cheese I love to love. Ever since I first discovered it 5 years ago, thanks to Hoglet K from Down Under, it has brought about a change in the way I think ‘desserts‘.Quark dessertsQuark isn’t just the sweet way home. I use it often to add wonderful tangy flavour to chicken like in theis Chicken Quark Cross Over Puff Pastry, as part of creamy dressings, in cold potato salads, in stir fries etc. A little goes a long way and once you start exploring, you will find a billion novel ways to include it in your everyday food. 

Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI made Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse just before we left for a short vacation {which might explain why it’s been so quiet around PAB}. The mousse was addictive and a huge hit with everyone. It got added texture from some chocolate coated homemade granola which I was experimenting with.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse I love the way the colours, textures and flavours came together in this dessert which is a celebration of spring. These days we have a virtual flood of seasonal fruit in the market with cape gooseberries {locally called ‘rhasbhari’ meaning filled with juice} and strawberries ruling the roost. It’s a riot of colour with the fruit piled up high at local bazaars and on handcarts lining the roadside.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse With daytime highs already hitting the early 30’s, it’s just a matter of days before summer arrives. Then of course we’ll welcome days of luscious stone fruit; sizzling hot 45C+ temperatures will be part of the deal though! Until then, this is a great way to enjoy spring fruit.

Summer Salad with orange vinaigrette You can go the salad route too with them! Rocket or mixed salad greens, strawberries, cape gooseberries, feta or cottage cheese, grapes, walnuts, orange, red onion all tossed in a nice tangy orange vinaigrette!

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Recipe: Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse your picture

Summary: Light, healthy, addictive, refreshing, Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse is a wonderful spring dessert. Use fruit in season to give a burst of natural flavours and sweetness! Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Quark Mousse
  • 300g quark, chilled
  • 300g low fat cream, chilled
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  • 200g strawberries, chopped
  • 100g cape gooseberries, chopped
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean shell {I save mine in a sugar jar after using the insides}

Method:

  1. Quark Mousse
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and thick.
  3. Reserve 100g quark mousse and 50g fruit reduction for topping. Mix the remaining mousse and fruit together gently and spoon into serving dishes/glasses.
  4. Add a sprinkling of chocolate coated granola if desired.
  5. Keep 4-6 tsps of fruit, and mix the rest through the reserved mousse. This will just give additional layers of colour. Top the  glasses with the second mix, and then top with the remaining reserved fruit reduction.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit, mint leaves and chocolate granola.
  7. Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  8. Place all ingredients in a non reactive heavy bottom pan and simmer until it gets nice and thick and syrupy. Cool completely and then chill. Use as required. {This can be made a couple of days before and refrigerated. Other than reducing work, it also preserves the fruit for a little longer}.

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“If music be the food of love, play on.”
Shakespeare

 Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic StrawberriesButtermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries … dessert for someone you l♥v, or dessert for someone who loves dessert! Panna cotta, or cooked cream, is one of the quickest Italian desserts you can make. Minimum fuss, quick to make, do ahead and divinely delicious, a winner every single time.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries The tempting option of going a teeny bit healthy on a cream dessert, yet keeping it indulgent, is perhaps worth the bait! I’ve done a Berries & Buttermilk Puddng in the past, so the idea of a buttermilk panna cotta was going to be worth every delicious spoonful! Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries 5 Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries Delightful tangy undertones, a gentle wobbly set cream, smooth vanilla overtures…what more can you ask for? Pretty darned good as it is, you can take it a step higher with luscious red strawberries as topping. Use any seasonal berries for that matter, or fruit like figs too. A salted butter caramel sauce would be really nice as well.

strawberriesIf you have the time, gently simmer strawberries to make a balsamic strawberry topping. And if time is not your friend that day, simply macerate the berries in castor sugar and a dash of lime juice, or maybe just toss them in honey. It adds a nice sweet touch to the fruit while making it shiny and attractive to top the panna cotta.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries The colour contrast weaves a magic spell. What’s not to love about red and white? And what’s not to love about strawberries and cream. AND what’s not to love about make ahead, fuss free dessert? Go on, take the plunge! Spoil those you love on V Day with this gorgeous Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries Oh yes, and make sure you get them to do the dishes! Share some love!!

[print_this]Recipe: Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries  
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Summary: Delightful tangy undertones, a gentle wobbly set cream, smooth, vanilla overtures…what more could you ask for in a Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic. This must be the quickest make ahead dessert ever! It’s a great Valentines Day dessert too.

Serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
  • 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp gelatin
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 300ml low fat cream
  • 150g vanilla sugar {or Castor sugar}
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 450ml cultured buttermilk
  • Balsamic Strawberries
  • 200g strawberries, chopped
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 15ml honey

Method:

  1. Panna Cotta
  2. Put the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the geltain over. Leave to soften for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the cream,sugar,  scraped vanilla bean and pod in a heavy bottom saucepan and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes. Do not allow to come to a rolling boil. Stir often.
  4. Take off heat and stir in the buttermilk and softened gelatin. Whisk to blend well, then strain and pour into serving goblets or ramekins.
  5. Chill for 5-6 hours, better overnight.
  6. Top with balsamic strawberries, garnish with fresh mint and serve.
  7. Balsamic strawberries
  8. Gently simmer brown sugar, honey and balsamic vinegar in a small pan until the sugar has melted and is thick and syrupy. 
  9. Take off heat and add lime juice. Mix in the chopped strawberries. Leave to macerate for 10-15 minutes.
  10. If the strawberries leave a lot of liquid, strain the liquid out, and reduce over medium heat. Mix back into the strawberries and then chill until required.

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