Macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream with aged Balsamic vinegar is the elegant and sophisticated version of a much loved summer dessert, Strawberries and Cream.
It may not be the first image you think of when strawberries and cream are mentioned, but it is definitely a step up from the strawberries and cream desserts that usually make their way into my social media feeds when summer comes round.
When I was on the Taste of Testaccio food tour during my too-short visit to Rome we had the opportunity to taste beautifully aged balsamic vinegars at Salumeria Volpetti, a premier delicatessen in the city. The knowledgeable senior gentleman who sold me a bottle of 20 yr old aged balsamic vinegar, recommended that I try it with strawberries and mascarpone cream because the syrupy mellow balsamic vinegar added an extra dimension of flavor with it’s tart sweetness.
Our conversation inspired this recipe that was first published for the re-launch issue of Swirl Magazine, Za in January 2018.
Strawberries and cream is synonymous with the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London and I was reminded of it after receiving an email from one of the British chains advertising their brand of strawberries and cream.
During our school going years my brother and I spent many a June school vacation watching the Wimbledon tennis matches and salivating over the strawberry and cream cakes and desserts that were often splashed across the screen during ad breaks.
I love mascarpone dessert recipes and this simple dessert of macerated strawberries and mascarpone cream with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar is one that my late mother would have loved too. It is simply a stunning dessert that evokes feelings of utter bliss.
Macerated strawberries and cream was one of the first desserts my mum allowed me to make without supervision. She was always very particular about every aspect of her English strawberries and cream recipe.
She taught me how the prepare the strawberries, how they should be cleaned and cut and how long the sliced strawberries should macerate with the sugar before serving. More often than not, it was served family style, in a beautiful cut glass dessert bowl with the whipped cream and dessert cream along side.
Why make Macerated Strawberries, Mascarpone Cream and Balsamic vinegar?
You are probably wondering how such a simple dessert with very few ingredients could inspire such blissful devotion. I sit here imagining that first spoonful; a perfect balance of sweet strawberries and creamy mascarpone with a hint of the tart sweet balsamic vinegar, and what a taste sensation it was. Close your eyes when you take that first bite because it is utterly blissful.
It is one of the easiest summer desserts to make but is special enough to be served at the end of a romantic dinner for two.
Macerated Strawberries, Mascarpone Cream and Balsamic vinegar
- 250 grams sweet strawberries washed and hulled
- 30 ml vanilla sugar
- 5 ml lemon juice
- 65 grams mascarpone cheese
- 60 ml double thick cream
- 10 ml aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 mint sprigs
Macerating the Strawberries
- Place the washed and hulled strawberries into a large bowl and cut any that are too large so that they are all the same size.
- Sprinkle over the sugar and lemon juice and toss together lightly. Be gentle and try not to damage the berries.
- Allow the berries to macerate for 15-20 minutes to allow the sugar and lemon juice to extract the berry juice and form a delicious glossy glaze.
- Do not leave for longer than 20 minutes as the lemon juice will break down the strawberries and turn them to mush.
Whipping the Mascarpone cream
- In a small bowl, whip the cream lightly until it is thick enough to make a trail, about 2 minutes with a wire whisk.
- Mix the mascarpone cheese into the whipped cream until combined and homogenous. It should not be curdled or look like butter but be smooth and scoopable.
- Divide the macerated strawberries equally between two stemmed glasses or dessert bowls.
- Place a quenelle of mascarpone cream on top of each bowl of strawberries
- Drizzle one teaspoon of aged balsamic vinegar over each portion and garnish with a sprig of mint.
- Serve and enjoy.
If Macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream with Balsamic vinegar does not appeal to you, why not try one of the desserts below?
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