ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Strawberries and Cream with Chocolate Walnut Crunch Dessert Recipe

Updated on October 7, 2015
Gordon N Hamilton profile image

Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.

Strawberries and cream walnut and chocolate crunch
Strawberries and cream walnut and chocolate crunch

Strawberries and Cream - A Real Taste of Summer

Strawberries are a fruit so inextricably associated with summer. Strawberries look good, they taste good and they are incredibly versatile in the number of other food ingredients with which they can be combined. Have you ever tried strawberries with cold smoked salmon? Cold smoked salmon, fresh strawberries, squeeze of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper - try it with super fresh and warm crusty bread. Delicious! Of all food items used to complement strawberries, however, surely fresh cream is the overwhelming favourite. Strawberries and cream is an incredibly simple combination, hugely associated with the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships here in the UK - even though the British weather in July often has overseas visitors longing more for a bowl of hot chicken soup!

Dessert recipes incorporating strawberries and cream exist in their tens if not hundreds of thousands, in family recipe books, traditional cookbooks and particularly in modern times, on the Web. So how do we go about creating an original strawberries and cream dessert recipe?.

Fresh strawberries and cream
Fresh strawberries and cream

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It... Heard that One Before?

Platitudes like the one above usually turn people's attention right off and have them saying, "Yeah - right!" In this instance, however, you are likely to have a huge advantage over me...

That is simply because I don't like desserts! It's true - I really don't have a sweet tooth in my mouth and never have had all my life. I don't even like chocolate (unless it's very high cocoa content chocolate made in to a sauce for wild game...) Give me a freshly caught fish and I'll clean it, fillet or otherwise prepare it and enjoy coming up with an original and tasty way to cook and serve it. Similarly, I will happily bone and prepare a piece of red meat or game before getting equally creative. Ask me to devise and prepare even the simplest of desserts and I quite literally cringe.

What I did in this instance was to consider what would be likely to go well with strawberries and cream in the mind of the average dessert lover. Chocolate seemed a pretty obvious answer. I then considered how I could vary the chocolate element of the dessert and nuts sprang to mind. Hazelnuts are probably the obvious option but in an attempt to be a little different, I instead used walnuts. I then gave a little thought to preparation and presentation, with the results being what follows. It really was as simple as that and the finished dish was (I was assured) delicious.

How Are you Going to Serve your Dessert? - Never neglect the importance of presentation and first impressions

When you go to the bother of devising and preparing an imaginative dessert, it is important that you present it attractively. Glass dessert bowls are an excellent way of doing this, showing off the different component parts of your dessert to perfection. The set of 6 glass dessert bowls featured below are from Italy (home of so many famous desserts) and are quite literally perfect for showcasing strawberries and cream desserts of all types.

Stage One

Preparing the Chocolate and Walnut Crunch

Walnut pieces and milk cooking chocolate
Walnut pieces and milk cooking chocolate

Ingredients (Makes Two Servings)

4oz milk cooking chocolate (plain/dark chocolate works equally well if that is your preference)

2 tbsp walnut pieces

Generous pinch of dried ground ginger

Walnuts are crushed with a pestle and mortar
Walnuts are crushed with a pestle and mortar

I deliberately bought walnut pieces rather than whole walnuts when I was shopping for the ingredients for this recipe but when I opened the pack, I found the pieces were still a bit bigger than I wanted. I therefore crushed them slightly in a pestle and mortar. Alternatively, you could wrap the walnuts in a clean tea towel and gently bash them on a chopping board with a rolling pin. However you crush them, just be careful not to overdo it - you want crushed walnuts, not walnut powder!

Melting chocolate in a makeshift bain marie
Melting chocolate in a makeshift bain marie

Add about one inch of water to a small saucepan and bring it to the very gentlest of simmers.

Break the chocolate in to a large, heatproof glass bowl. Sit the bowl over the pot, making absolutely sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. This is called a bain marie and if the water touches the bowl, the chocolate will be likely to split rather than melt evenly and smoothly.

Stir the chocolate occasionally as it melts with a wooden spoon. As soon as the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat to a chopping board or other heatproof surface.

Walnuts are added to melted chocolate
Walnuts are added to melted chocolate

Add the crushed walnuts and the pinch of ginger to the chocolate and stir until you have a thick, crumbly mix.

Small plastic dish lined with clingfilm
Small plastic dish lined with clingfilm

Line a small to medium plastic food storing dish with clingfilm/plastic wrap. This makes it much easier to lift the set crunch out of the dish - it also makes the washing up easier!

Chocolate and walnut crunch is spread out to set
Chocolate and walnut crunch is spread out to set

Spoon the chocolate and walnut mix in to the dish. Spread it out evenly to a thickness of around a quarter inch. Put the dish in to the fridge for at least an hour until the chocolate is set.

Stage Two

Assembling the Strawberries and Cream with Chocolate Walnut Crunch

Preparing and chopping strawberries
Preparing and chopping strawberries

Ingredients

8 large ripe strawberries - 6 for main dish and 2 to garnish

1 small tub (6 fl oz) double (heavy) cream

Set chocolate and walnut combination prepared earlier

Wash the strawberries and carefully dry with kitchen paper. Trim off the stalks and tops of the six to be used in the main part of the dish and cut in to quarters.

Strawberries are added to whipped cream
Strawberries are added to whipped cream

Pour the cream in to a large bowl and beat just until it forms soft peaks. Add the chopped strawberries and stir with a careful folding motion to evenly combine.

Strawberries and whipped cream added to serving dishes
Strawberries and whipped cream added to serving dishes

Spoon the combined strawberries and cream in to two serving dishes. If you wish, you could smooth them out on top but here they were left with peaks. The finished effect when the chocolate is added is almost like snow-capped mountains in reverse.

Set chocolate and walnut wrapped and ready to be crumbled
Set chocolate and walnut wrapped and ready to be crumbled

Take the chocolate and walnuts from the fridge and simply lift the clingfilm out of the dish. Put the set combination in to the centre of a clean tea towel and carefully wrap.

Crumbled chocolate and walnut
Crumbled chocolate and walnut

Bash the covered chocolate lump on a chopping board with a rolling pin until crushed but not to the extent of being powdered.

Chocolate and walnut crunch is scattered over strawberries and cream
Chocolate and walnut crunch is scattered over strawberries and cream

Evenly scatter the chocolate crumble over the strawberries and cream. The easiest way to do this by far is by hand.

Slicing strawberries to garnish
Slicing strawberries to garnish

Slice a piece off each of the remaining strawberries at an angle and near the base. This allows them to be sat on top of the dishes and look as though they are in fact partly submerged.

Strawberries and cream with chocolate walnut crunch
Strawberries and cream with chocolate walnut crunch

Sit a garnishing strawberry on top of each portion. The dish can now be served immediately or returned to the fridge until required.

Gin and tonic with frozen strawberry
Gin and tonic with frozen strawberry

A Gin and Tonic with an Iced Strawberry

My reward for preparing this dessert

I always have a plastic tub of lemon wedges and one of lime wedges in my deep freeze. I use them for the dual purpose of flavouring and chilling drinks like gin and tonic. Think about it: why add lemon and ice to a drink? The ice only melts and waters down your drink. Freeze the lemon and it chills your drink, releasing only lemon flavour as it melts.

I tried freezing a strawberry as an experiment when I bought them to prepare this recipe and used it in the same way. It wasn't as good as lemon or lime - but I enjoyed it and drank every drop...

How do you Serve Your Strawberries and Cream? - Does this recipe idea appeal to you?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 2 years ago from Australia

      You had me at the chocolate walnut crunch. I can't wait to try this recipe.

    • justpjteb profile image

      justpjteb 4 years ago

      Looks really good will have to whip this up some time! Great lens and step by step directions!

    • profile image

      Ladybird 4 years ago

      Looks yum and can't wait to try it.

    • profile image

      mos_go 4 years ago

      Looks delicious! I like all the pictures showing you how it's done. That makes it really simple.

    • CharlieF50 profile image

      CharlieF50 4 years ago

      Yum. Yum! YUM! I'm going to go home and make this later.

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      What a wonderful recipe combining two of my favorites . thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      Beautiful. I'm not big on walnuts but I bet I can figure out how to substitute. Your instructions are so very complete and your photos are a big help. This is an excellent lens, Gordon.

    • Klinetka profile image

      Klinetka 4 years ago

      You can never go wrong with Strawberries and Chocolate . I love them both :-)

    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 4 years ago from Manila Philippines

      Nice recipe idea! I bet it tastes as good as it looks. ^_^

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Love strawberries, walnuts and chocolate, but you can keep the cream. Congrats on LOTD. Well Done!

    • profile image

      bjfoxglove 4 years ago

      Sounds like a very good recipe, will be having fresh strawberries in my garden shortly, so will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 4 years ago

      ahhhhahahaha! love that you reward yourself with that G&T;) yummy lens, congrats on LOTD!

    • JamieB123 profile image

      JamieB123 4 years ago

      Ok this just looks absolutely delicious! YUM

    • TopReviews2u profile image

      TopReviews2u 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD... I love strawberries and cream... added chocolate just makes it even yummier!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      Congratulations on LOTD. This is the best time of the year for some really nice fresh fruit. Been enjoying a lot of strawberries. Strawberry shortcake is good. Strawberries, banana and milk in a blender for an afternoon snack has been a big hit around here lately.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congrats on a well deserved LOTD! Your strawberries and cream sounds delicious

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It sounds wonderful!

    • profile image

      ledartiste 4 years ago

      But I am worried that chocolate is too sweet! ! ! Although they looked so enticing.

    • jeskasight profile image

      jeskasight 4 years ago

      Looks so yummy! Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Wow! Does this look good. Skip the meal and serve the strawberries and cream. Yum. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

    • clevergirlname profile image

      clevergirlname 4 years ago

      Looking forward to trying this - maybe my man will like it. He doesn't like desserts!

    • JennyRowling profile image

      Jenny Rowling 4 years ago from London, UK

      This is so simple, yet the simplest things are always the finest. Great work on the lens and I'll definitely try the recipe.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you very much to Squidoo for making this Lens of the Day and to all of you for your wonderful comments. I hope any of you who try it enjoy it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks like a fun recipe. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've never thought of adding a strawberry to a gin and tonic. Gotta give that a try!

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 4 years ago

      I will try this.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      Yum!!! Will have to try it out!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      This looks yummy. Steps very nicely demonstrated.

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 4 years ago

      This looks amazing! I will definitely try it out and soon!

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      Looks delicious and guilt free - my kind of dessert. Thanks for sharing.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      This dessert sure sounds delicious! Love your description: "The finished effect when the chocolate is added is almost like snow-capped mountains in reverse." I like gin and tonics too...will try freezing lime wedges. Great idea!

    • profile image

      TommysPal 4 years ago

      My mouth is watering. Great lens. I will definitely make this, probably multiple times.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love all the ingredients - can't wait to give this one a whirl...although I think i'll substitute a nice dessert wine for the gin & tonic

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! great lens, well done in detail...

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      The chocolate and walnut crunch could be eaten on its own such a good idea. Love it! Well done on LOTD.

    • reviewcorner profile image

      reviewcorner 4 years ago

      This dessert is one to try. I love strawberries and it looks delicious.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Mmm, this sound wonderful. And, so simple! I will certainly make this! Congratulations on LotD! :)

    • Charlie43 LM profile image

      Charlie43 LM 4 years ago

      It is strawberry season here in Michigan. This recipe has endless possibilities! Thanks for sharing.

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

      This sounds yummy, though I will just to settle for drooling over your photos...I have a dairy and nut allergy:( I eat my strawberries and cream blended up in a smoothie made with soy milk.

    • profile image

      bobbizzie7 4 years ago

      I have not ate breakfast yet, but I think this could beat my eggs and bacon this morning!

    • CanHealthInsure profile image

      CanHealthInsure 4 years ago

      This I can enjoy!

    • profile image

      mutantspy 4 years ago

      Need to make more for my appetite :).

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 4 years ago from Michigan

      A thoroughly enjoyable lens from beginning to end. With a title like, "Strawberries and Cream with Chocolate Walnut Crunch Dessert," I am guessing visitors will knock the door to this lens right off its hinges. And when they hear there is a gin & tonic with an iced strawberry at the end...well...maybe you should just take the door off right now. The pics perfectly complement the text. Congratulations on your LotD!

    • StaceyWrites profile image

      StaceyWrites 4 years ago

      This sounds delicious! I've been on a strawberry kick lately so I must try this.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      What a great recipe, I've never made anything like this, I'm going to have to give it a try. Congrats on lens of the day! :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, what a beautiful - and obviously delicious - dessert idea! Fabulous instructions and pictures, too. Congratulations on your well-deserved Food Club win and Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      first of all, congrats to all the recognition, you deserve them all, from how you made the strawberry dessert to the creation of your lens that is so easy to follow. I like all the pictures, good job

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations, this terrific lens has been selected as the winner of our May Squidoo Food Club quest. You can read all about it here: http://hq.squidoo.com/lotd/lens-of-the-day-strawbe...

    • profile image

      Booksie 4 years ago

      This looks really good! Great job on winning LotD. The walnut/ chocolate crunch looks delicious!

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 4 years ago

      Great idea.. I love strawberries with anything so I will definitely have to try this!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I love the idea of walnut crunch. I don't like walnuts much but I would make it with brazils or almonds. It looks delicious and quite an easy dessert to make too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yummmmmm Delicious recipe.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 4 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Hi Gordon, How are you doing? Seems ages since the 10 dollar vacation lens. This is a great simple idea for a recipe. Congratulations of LOTD!

    • jpmantil profile image

      jpmantil 4 years ago

      Very nice Lens! I like how you explain all the details. In my lens I write about my experience preparing Ferran Adria's recipe for 'Strawberries in Vinegar', delicious! Please check it out, www.squidoo.com/family-meal I think you'll like it,

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      Looks delicious :) I will surprise my daughter with this dessert.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I'm so glad you got Lens of the Day! I dont know what I want more right now, the dessert or the gin and tonic with a strawberry. This is a fabulous recipe and I can't wait to try it.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Love the crunchy aspect of this dessert. I will be using the chocolate crumble on other desserts or maybe by itself, lol. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      Wow, this looks yummy! Love all your photos. Great job! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      That looks so good! Love the chocolate walnut crunch!