Delicious Strawberry Delight
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I love ripe and juicy strawberries. Well, let's be honest here, I adore raspberries, blueberries, cherries and many other types of fruit. Freshly picked berries, from the garden, field or farm, are certainly the nicest, but failing that I'll enjoy shop-bought or frozen.
The easy recipe that I offer you here combines some of my favourite berries with delicious, creamy mascarpone. It is fresh, light and healthy, and can be made in a low-calorie way for those who are looking after their waistlines.
Mascarpone is a milky-white Italian soft cheese made from cream, without pressing or aging. It is easy to whip and spread, and is one of the main ingredients in Tiramisu. I have used light mascarpone in this recipe to keep the calories down. Another alternative would be a thick, greek yoghurt - also creamy, but with a distinctive sour taste.
Whether you choose to use mascarpone or yoghurt, you can sweeten the fruit whip to your taste using sugar or honey. Chocolate lovers could also dip the strawberries in dark, milk or white chocolate before filling. This will give a crisp coating to the deliciousness.
My unsweetened version contains about 10 to 15 calories per strawberry, depending on the size of the strawberry and the amount of mascarpone whip used. Using full-fat mascarpone or adding sugar, honey or chocolate will, of course, increase the calorie count. If raspberries aren't available, you can substitute a raspberry jelly or preserve, but I definitely prefer fresh raspberries.
I have several ways to serve this recipe: as a breakfast berry delight, as a light dessert, or as nibbles at a buffet.
- Mascarpone or light mascarpone
- Large strawberries
- Sugar or honey to taste
- Fruit topping, your choice of:
- Cherries (stones removed)
- Other small or chopped fruits
- Wash the berries and leave aside to dry
- Remove the leaves and central core of the strawberries
- Finely chop some raspberries
- Whip the chopped raspberries into the mascarpone
- Add sugar or honey to taste
- Add a teaspoon of the mascarpone mix to each strawberry, top with a raspberry or blueberry
- Arrange in serving dish
As you can see, this recipe is fairly straightforward and easy to prepare.
For good hygiene, I like to wash and dry my strawberries thoroughly before use. To do this, carefully place your strawberries in a colander, so they don't bruise, then rinse through with clean water. Shake gently to remove excess water, then leave to dry, in a cool place.
A Strawberry shaped colander set keeps with the fun, fruity theme. It helps keep strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other small fruit firm and fresh for longer. You can even use it as a serving bowl.
Prepare your strawberries quickly and easily with the Simply Strawberry Set. Includes a strawberry shaped colander, a strawberry huller and a slicer, and fit together for easy storage.
Preparing Strawberries for Slicing
Of course, you may have a recipe that requires sliced strawberries. I can imagine a tasty strawberry cake or perhaps slices added to my breakfast cereal or a lunchtime salad..
Again, rinse first the berries thoroughly, and then hull them - in other words remove the green leaves and stalks and a little of the central core. I usually rinse again after hulling to make sure the berries are clean and appetising. Then, slice to your desired thickness.
Other Ways to Use Strawberries
If you are a die-hard strawberry fan, you may already know many different ways to serve up this tasty fruit. It can be used in many interesting and surprising ways.
If you are looking for inspiration, I can recommend the Totally Strawberries Cookbook. The medley of delicious, easy to make recipes includes salads, soups, salsa, desserts and beverages.
To finish, I have a very simple way to make a refreshing strawberry fizz, perfect for a warm summer day or anytime you need a boost. Just place a few slices of fresh strawberry in a glass with some ice and fizzy water. Leave for a few minutes to infuse, and then enjoy! This also works well with raspberries. Outside of fruit season, you can use frozen berries - this works just as well.
The Totally Strawberries Cookbook is highly recommended for all fruit and strawberry lovers.