Chic Eats: A Delicious Take on Berries and Cream PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 17 May 2010 03:09

Chic Eats: A Delicious Take on Berries and Cream
The creamsicle grows up this week with Strawberry Granita and Vanilla Bean-Black Peppercorn Chantilly. Our Chic Chef shows you a new take on the classic berries and cream dessert.

It's best not to tamper with a classic, but who says you can't at least attempt to improve upon one? Berries and cream is a match made in (dessert) heaven. Classic and simple, the pairing approaches artfulness with its balance of sweet berries that are just tart enough to cut through the richness of the cream. Whether the cream is whipped, lightly sweetened or simply drizzled over the berries, the pairing is perfect.


Our love affair with berries and cream often begins as children when we crowd around the ice cream truck, marveling at the array of frozen sweet treats at our disposal. And many of us can remember the first time we strayed from the pack and opted for the strawberry creamsicle. All the other neighborhood kids, orange creamsicles in hand, looked on in awe as we threw caution to the wind and chose strawberry.


This week, the creamsicle grows up. Strawberry Granita with Vanilla Bean Black Peppercorn Chantilly still has the familiar flavors we loved as a kid with a few grown up flavors added to the mix. Granita, a rustic cousin to sorbet, is traditionally made by freezing a mixture of fruit puree and simple syrup while occasionally scraping the mixture with a fork. The result is an intensely flavored fruit ice. Our granita features fresh strawberries with lemon-infused simple syrup.


Chantilly is any dish made with or accompanied by whipped cream. For our version of chantilly, we take a note from another classic dessert with ingredients similar to those in tiramisu cream. Black peppercorns are crushed just enough to add a subtle spiciness to the sweetened, vanilla-infused cream. The cream is then whipped with mascarpone cheese and then frozen. Garnish the dessert with fresh berries or shortbread cookies and serve with a glass of Moscato d'Asti.


Strawberry Granita

Yield: 3 servings




  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1pound fresh strawberries, quartered




  • Combine the first five ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  • Place the cooled syrup in a blender with the strawberries and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and place in the freezer.
  • Allow to freeze for 30 minutes. Using a fork, scrape the frozen edges toward the middle.
  • Allow to freeze for an additional 30 minutes, then repeat the process with the fork.
  • Continue until the mixture resembles shaved ice.


Vanilla Bean Black Peppercorn Chantilly




  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 11/2 inch piece of vanilla bean
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • small pinch of salt




  • Using a paring knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds.
  • Place cream, sugar, vanilla seeds and pod in small saucepan.
  • Place the peppercorns under a kitchen towel and coarsely crush them with the bottom of a saute pan, leaving some of the peppercorns whole.
  • Add the peppercorns to the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and steep the vanilla and peppercorn for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the cream into a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.
  • Add the cream cheese and mascarpone and whip until the mixture thickens.
  • To assemble, place approximately1/3 cup of the chantilly into a decorative glass and spoon granita on top.

Photo courtesy of VendiRei Jones

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 04:56



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