Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream

In the extreme weather of Summer in Australia – temperatures of 47C in Adelaide and catastrophic fires across Australia – we made this beautiful dish. It was a change from consuming copious amounts of icecream and fruit lassi. It really is beautiful – sweet, chocolaty with overtones of the bitters used to dress the fruit. It is my new favourite Ottolenghi dish.

It is a dish from the Dessert section of Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. We don’t often make dessert but this one is one of the best, now on our Summer rotation. With all Ottolenghi recipes I feel free to substitute whatever is in our fridge or pantry at the time. For this recipe, I bought a bag of mixed frozen berries, and used primarily the berries other than the strawberries. It was delicious and a cost effective way of making this dish in Australia. He suggests using a lot of red and black currents, but they are hard to get and expensive here. If you find your fruit too sweet with the chocolate cream, add some lemon juice to them.

You can check Ottolenghi’s original recipes in his books and in his various print columns.

The berries in fact are very useful for other dishes – serve them with Rice Pudding, Besan Payasam, for instance, or with French Toast.

Similar recipes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin, Creme Fraiche Icecream, Junket with Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit, and French Toast with Baked Strawberries.

Browse all of our Desserts, Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Junket with Strawberries and Passionfruit

I think every country person of my era grew up eating junket as cows were aplenty and therefore milk was abundant. How easy to make a dessert with a couple of cups of milk, a junket tablet and some sugar? Easy, mostly healthy, cheap.

It is decades since I ate junket and, to be honest, I didn’t know if the supermarket would still stock the tablets. But they did, to everyone’s surprise! Junket is a little like custard, a little like flan filling, a little like sweet tofu, but it is none of these. It is a milk-based dessert, made with vegetable rennet, usually sweetened and flavoured.  Today I am topping it with some macerated strawberries and passionfruit.

I think it’s about time for junket to make a come back, for it’s a delicious dessert, with a fantastic texture. Junket can be flavored with a variety of milk spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, or allspice, ginger, and mace. It can be made with any type of milk, be it cow, goat or sheep. And it can be spike with cream or spirits to make a more celebratory dessert. – David Asher.

Did you know that junket actually used be served to the sick in hospitals? It is so nutritious and also easy to digest, so it was perfect hospital food. Why have so many hospitals changed to unhealthy desserts these days?

The name of junket comes from the fact that it used to be made in a rush basket, the Medieval Latin word for which is iuncāta, the French jonquette and the Middle English jonket.

Predecessors of junket were made as early as Medieval times where a cream-and-rennet mixture, sweetened and flavoured with rosewater, sugar, and spices, was an upper-class food, served to those among noble ranks. Since then it has fallen in and out of flavour. But I can tell you it is back in favour at our place!

Similar recipes include Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream, Warm Rice Pudding with Orange-Star Anise Sauce, Cold Pandan Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits, and Cumquats Poached in Syrup.

Browse all of our Desserts and all of our Strawberry recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream | Eggless | Egg Free

Long before I came vegetarian I loved to make icecream. I was pretty famous in our little group for my vanilla icecream, and an orange and cardamom icecream. I loved to make them in Summer. Then I became vegetarian and my take on vegetarianism does not include eggs. So I stopped making icecream. I could have continued to make sorbets, which we all love too, and shift over to eggless icecreams, but I didn’t have the heart. I was so attached to the icecreams that I used to make and how much my friends loved them.

Today (as I write this) for the first time in all those years, the icecream machine has come out of the cupboard again, and the blender has whizzed some strawberries into submission, to make what must be the best icecream I have made in decades! Hahaha.

Similar recipes include Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream, Creme Fraiche Icecream, Strawberry Frappe, Strawberries with Lemon, Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, and Strawberry Jam.

Browse all of our Icecreams, all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit

Maceration is a process of breaking down and softening various substances. In food preparation, the process most often occurs when soaking fruit in sugar, perhaps with a liquid such as fruit juice, alcohol or other flavoured liquid, so that the fruit softens and takes on the flavour.

Maceration changes a fruit’s taste and texture. It is used to improve the texture of hard, under-ripe fresh fruit and also to enhance the flavour of ripe fruit. When fruit is macerated, it softens and releases some of its flavours and also aroma and becomes something quite different – a complex mix of the various flavours and textures.

Today’s recipe does not require any added liquid –  strawberries and passionfruit release their own juice into a wonderfully delicious mix that provides its own liquid for maceration. But when macerating fruit you can, if you wish, add liquors, liqueurs, wine, fruit juice, vinegars, and infused water. And any of these can be infused with flavourings such as spices, herbs, tea, and coffee. Alcohol can include gin, vodka, whisky, brandy, rum. Flavourings also include vanilla bean, chilli, basil, lemon thyme, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, whole cloves etc.

The soft fruit and liquid combo has many uses: a tasty dessert on its own topped with a dollop of whipped cream or sweetened yoghurt; a sauce for ice cream, pudding or cake; or a filling for pie or cake where it adds flavour, colour and moisture.

Delicate fruit like strawberries and raspberries can over-soften, so maceration time is best from 30 mins to a couple of hours – tougher fruits can be macerated overnight and up to 2 or 3 days.

Similar recipes include Warm Rice Pudding with Orange-Star Anise Sauce, Cold Pandan Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits, and Cumquats Poached in Syrup.

Browse all of our Desserts and all of our Strawberry recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Glossy Strawberry Sauce

When strawberries are plentiful make a brightly coloured sauce to drizzle over desserts, icecream, cakes and anything with chocolate in it. It is very easy to make — simply whiz the strawberries with lemon and sugar. Add some liqueur if you wish. It is a bright and Summery sauce that adds vibrancy to any dish.

Similar recipes include Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit, Strawberries with Lemon, Mint Raspberry Sauce, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Fruit and Herb Flavoured Vinegars | and Orange Vinegar

Spring is a great time for making some flavoured vinegars for Summer Salads and vegetables. It also makes great presents for Xmas! The flavoured vinegars are easy to make and can be left to infuse the flavours for as little as 2 weeks.

We show you a general method, and then several specific flavoured vinegars. If you are growing your own fruits and herbs, this is an excellent way to use your crops. Don’t forget to sterilise all of your equipment and utensils.

Similar recipes include Glossy Strawberry Sauce, How to Make Quince Paste, How to Pickle Ginger, and How to Make Chilli Paste.

Browse all of our How To suggestions, and all of our Early Spring recipes.

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Indian French Toast (Eggless) with Baked Strawberries | Egg Free

Summer time and strawberries. The scent of fresh strawberries is intoxicating – have you noticed?  We tend to eat them fresh, make Strawberry Icecream, we might bake them, they might go into a salad, or we blitz them into a lassi or frappe or smoothie. Occasionally we make strawberry jam.

But today we are having a special breakfast, making an Indian version of French Toast (no eggs involved), that is topped with slightly baked strawberries. The toast is encased in a sweet, cinnamon flavoured, chickpea flour batter, and is topped with baked strawberries. You can make the same French Toast and serve with strawberry jam – that is pretty good too.

Similar recipes include Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta, Baked Strawberries, Strawberries with Lemon, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Toasties. Or explore our easy Early Summer dishes.

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Juice It! | Home Made Strawberry-Based Juices and Blueberry-Based Juices

Spring and Summer mean strawberries and blueberries, and often they are so cheap that it is worth grabbing several punnets when shopping.  Ok, blueberries are never cheap, but sometimes they are cheaper. Both make great icecreams, jams, frappe, lassis and smoothies. And they are wonderful juiced.

Enjoy the juice combinations below. Similar recipes include Carrot Based Juices, Zucchini Juice, Green Tea, Apple and Strawberry Juice, and Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger.

Browse all of our Juices and our Cooling Summer Drinks. Or browse all of our our Early Spring recipes.

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

There are two camps in jam making. One camp insists that the fruit should be simmered with the acid (usually lemon juice) until the liquid is reduced and the fruit is soft, before adding the sugar. This softens the fruit and makes a fairly smooth jam.

The other camp likes to macerate the fruit in sugar to extract the juices for a more flavoursome jam where the fruit is not as tender and thus the jam is more chunky style.

I don’t mind either style, and it depends on the fruit and my mood of the day. The first way is definitely quicker – no overnight or day-long soaking – but I also quite love a chunky jam.

For this recipe we are using the maceration method. It is Rhubarb season and thus we are putting it to good use. I have written before about my previous aversion to rhubarb, but recently fell in love with it after making a simple, sweet dessert.

In this jam I used some lavender sugar – about half and half with plain sugar. You can add your own flavourings, should you care to. I do love a Strawberry and Black Pepper Jam.

Looking for something to have with the jam? Try Scones, Griddle Cakes or Crumpets.

Similar recipes include Sweet Barley and Ginger Poached Rhubarb, Strawberry Jam, Crab Apple Jelly, and Fig Jam with Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Jam recipes and all of our Rhubarb dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Rose Strawberries with Sweet Yoghurt Cream

Strawberries are very very cheap at the moment, and it is the perfect time to make a few strawberry dishes. Here we are marinating them in Kewra Water and Rosewater, and they will be served with a thick, drained and sweetened yoghurt. It is a delicious Summer dessert. Pop the colours further with a few blueberries and a couple of basil leaves or shreds of kaffir lime leaf.

The drained yoghurt is delicious and can be used in so many ways. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge. Read more about making it here. There are ideas on how to use them here.

Similar recipes include Glossy Strawberry SauceBaked Plums with Marsala or Port, Green Tea, Mint and Strawberry Cooler, Strawberries with Lemon,  and Strawberries with Mint Raspberry Sauce.

Also try our Sweet Orange Star Anise Sauce.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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