In my last post ‘Easy, delicious Coq Au Vin’ I mentioned that I wanted to share the delicious dessert I prepared during my sister-in-law’s recent visit.
Now there is a story to choosing this dessert. On a spring cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas I purchased their cooking Carte Du Jour which includes recipes from the line’s main dining room and many specialty restaurants. What came to mind as I was waiting to purchase the book was inviting a group of neighbors and friends and preparing a ‘Royal dinner’ that included recipes from the cookbook as well as the fun sounding and tasty ‘drinks of the day’ we enjoyed while lounging at poolside.
Randy’s sister, Antoinette, came east for a short visit. As it turned out we would only have one opportunity to share a evening meal together, so I decided to make a home cooked meal instead of spending precious visit time going to a restaurant. I chose a main from my long ago and while it was not heavy it would be filling so what to make for dessert?
I had already chosen the dessert I would make for the upcoming royal dinner. I chose ‘Sweet Samplers’ mini desserts that are served in the cruise line’s Vintages restaurant. Vintages is a wine bar and a full tapas menu. Included in that tapas menu are their sweet sampler desserts. I thought it would be fun to make one of these sweet samplers.
There were four mini desserts included in the cookbook: Crema Catalán (Cream Catalan); Mus de Chocolate con Ron (Chocolate Mousse); Mus de Pistacho (Pistachio Mousse); and Torta de Queso y Fresas (Strawberry Cheesecake). They all sounded wonderful but I decided to make the strawberry cheesecake.
I did not have enough time, just arriving home from a cruise, to shop for mini glasses so used a wine glasses. The recipe made six servings but my glasses were a little large so I was only able to make five. I tried making a mini dessert once before and put into the glasses that I had on hand and the dessert looked oh, so very lost.
One aspect of this book that I really liked was that included not only the list of ingredients, the preparation instructions, the difficulty in preparation but the equipment needed and desirable wine pairings.
The preparation took three steps and I learned that there needs to be a little time between step 1 and two. The strawberry compote needed time to cool before preparing the next steps. I did not take the cooling time into consideration. It all turned out fine in the end. I kept three for our dinner and sent two over to neighbors Bob and Sandy knowing I would get feedback the next day. I am always interested in opinions other than mine.
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
8-ounces cream cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
6 wild strawberries
Strawberry compote: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients for the strawberry compote and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until berries are soft and syrup is thickened.
Remove from heat, let cool, cover and refrigerate.
For cheesecake, in a small saucepan over medium heat, soften cream cheese and incorporate sugar.
In a chilled glass bowl, using a hand mixer, beat cream to soft peaks. Fold ¼ of the whipped cream into the mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
To make meringue, place egg whites in a stainless steel or glass bowl and, using a hand-held mixer, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form.
Fold into the cheese mixture.
Fill each glass half way, spoon a small amount of strawberry compote and finish with another spoonful of cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Garnish with a spoon of strawberry compote and a wild strawberry.
This mini dessert was sweet, smooth, creamy and just a perfect finish to a great meal. Everyone enjoyed these cheesecakes in a glass immensely. The next day our neighbor Sandy came by to return the glasses and was effusive in her description of how much she and Bob enjoyed them. She even revealed that she enjoyed them so much that she had little spots here and there on her shirt attesting to her enjoyment. I thought that was very funny indeed!
The holidays are upon us and I want to enjoy myself so I am embarking in the coming weeks of preparing dishes that are healthy, tasty and help me maintain my weight so I can indulge, just a little, during the holidays.