Whoever said desserts have to be extensively prepared to have the WOW! effect on guests? Do they need to be intricately decorated, with hours or maybe even days of preparation?
I say NO!
I want a dessert to be whipped up, literally, in minutes. I want it to be full of taste and flavor and I want it to use fresh ingredients. I do not want to slog in the kitchen for hours after having doing just that for the main course. And I still want that WOW! effect on my guests faces.
Can all this be true? Is it possible? Or am I selling you dreams.
I say YES! It is true, it is possible and this is a dream. A dream come true!!
This dessert is so perfect in every way that I had to call it a dream cream. It uses the full bodied flavor of fresh raspberries and creamy mascarpone. Paired with the aroma of a vanilla bean and the fluffiness of quark, it becomes just unbeatable. I love the purity of white against the striking red color of the raspberries. It's such a visual treat.
What I truly love in this dessert is the use of fresh organic raspberries. With summer just around the corner my organic store and Farmer's Market is bursting to the seams with a multitude of fresh berries. I cannot even begin to tell you how much we love berries in our household. We literally go through kilos of the stuff. You'll find us adding them to our yogurt, muesli, desserts or just munching on them out of the fridge.
Therefore, in the next few weeks you might just be seeing a lot of great dishes with raspberries, strawberries and co.
Or the "Queen of Berries" as they are called. Himbeere in German, Framboise in French and Lampone in Italian, raspberries are plump, juicy and fragrantly sweet with a slight hint of tartness. They are a perennial summer favorite and have a gorgeous melt-in-your-mouth texture. Raspberries were mentioned by Pliny and had the reputation of being a medicinal plant. It was cultivated and further developed in the Middle Ages, by monks and in the 17th century the red and yellow types of raspberries were already well known.
The raspberry embodies indulgence and health almost ideally. The sweet flavor is only one reason to indulge in the delicate fruit. Rich in vitamin C, folate, iron and potassium, raspberries also provide high amounts of insoluble fiber as well as respectable amounts of the soluble fiber pectin, which helps control cholesterol levels. The fruit is a good source of ellagic acid and other cancer-fighting antioxidants. Since cooking does not destroy these compounds, raspberry jam may also be beneficial. But because the fruit tends to spoil quickly, freeze leftovers to use in cooking. Even the leaves of the raspberry bush are used for medicinal purposes. They have been used by herbalists to treat diarrhea and in midwifery, red raspberry has been connected to female health, including pregnancy. It was considered a remedy for excessive menstrual flow (menorrhagia) and as a “partus prepartor,” or an agent used during pregnancy to help prevent complications.
There are more than 200 different known species of raspberries and raspberries contain 10-times more antioxidants than tomatoes or broccoli. Red raspberries are the most common type but there are also golden, amber, and purple berries all similar in taste and texture. Raspberry season begins in June and lasts through October.
Selecting and Storing
Raspberries are extremely perishable and they should therefore, only be purchased one or two days prior to use. Look for berries that are plump, firm and deep in color Avoid those that are soft, mushy or moldy. Make sure that the raspberries are not packed too tightly in pre-packed containers, as this may crush and damage them. Also make sure the container has no signs of stains or moisture which is an indication of possible spoilage.
As raspberries are one of the most perishable fruits, extreme care should be taken when storing them. Before you store them in the refrigerator, remove any berries that are molded or spoiled so that they will not contaminate the others. Place the unwashed berries back in their original container or spread them out on a plate lined with a paper towel, then cover the plate with plastic wrap. Raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days. Make sure not to leave raspberries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause them to spoil.
Raspberries freeze very well, so I buy them in large amounts to use throughout the months they are not available. Wash them gently so that they maintain their delicate shape, then pat dry with a paper towel. Allow them to completely dry before placing them in the freezer. Arrange them in a single layer on cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to plastic bags or freezer containers. Frozen berries should last approximately ten months to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the raspberries will help to preserve their color.
Berry Raspberry Information:
Varieties, history and more on Wikipedia
Growing your own raspberry: Backyard Gardener
Raspberry facts and picking tips: Pick Your Own
You are all invited to my Big Birthday Bang.
When: June 6th
Hope to see you there!
200g Fresh raspberries - gently washed
1 vanilla bean - insides scraped
75g fine granulated sugar
5 tablespoons milk
juice if 1/2 lemon
Chocolate rolls for decoration - you can also add a mixture of grated white and dark chocolate
Tips and Tricks:
- Substitute quark with thick yogurt.
- Mascarpone cheese should be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container as it takes on the aromas from other items in the fridge.
- If you do not have a vanilla bean on hand, simply use some vanilla sugar instead.
- If you are using frozen raspberries do not thaw them prior to making the dessert. Use them frozen. However, once thawed the dessert could become more liquidy.
In a large mixing bowl whip the quark, mascarpone, milk and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice and mix to incorporate.
In clean glasses or bowls layer the fresh raspberries and cream on top of each other. Finish with a layer of raspberries. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 1 hour. Just before serving sprinkle the grated chocolate or decorate with the chocolate rolls.
Easy going dessert - pure and simple. Here the one doing most of the work is the refrigerator! Soeren just loved this dessert. Ever since I made this every time I ask "What should we make for dessert!" his answer is always the same "that raspberry cream!" Tom and my guests could not stop scraping the remaining cream from the sides of the glasses. The spoons were licked clean and the looks on their faces told me they all wanted seconds. It really did have that WOW! effect.
This is my entry to this month's Sugar High Friday. It is being hosted by Tara of Seven Spoons with the fantastic theme Neutral Territory where we were to make a dessert in a hue of white.
For more pristine white sweetness check out the roundup.
The lovely Padmaja is hosting this month's Weekend Breakfast Blogging where she chose the wonderful theme Summer Fruits. So, I hope she will accept my sweet offerings with fruity raspberries.
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