Spring has finally arrived to Cape Town! Days are getting longer, the sun is warming up our apartment and we need less and less layers of clothing.
We’re having a long weekend here in South Africa as the country celebrates Heritage Day – also called Braai Day or Shaka Day by some. Yes, in a country with such unique history and cultural complexity even naming a national holiday becomes tricky. People celebrate the day by having a braai – the South African name for barbecue. So if weather permits, the city will be shrouded in smell of charcoal and grilled meat this Monday.
With spring comes strawberry season as well! Yay!
This is one of my daughter’s favorite fruits, so this time of the year I always have some in the fridge, in the lunchbox, for snacks or dessert. To shake things up a little from the prosaic strawberries with whipped cream, I added speculoos and mascarpone to make a layered, tiramisu-style dessert. You’ll find many variations of this recipe on Pinterest, here’s my version of it.
What you’ll need to serve 4:
- 1 gelatine sheet
- 30g sugar
- 15ml water
- 2 egg yolks
- 125g mascarpone cheese
- 100ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 300g strawberries
- 150g speculoos cookies
What you’ll need to do:
- Soak the gelatine sheet in cold water for a few minutes to soften.
- Pour water in a small pot, add the sugar and heat until sugar dissolves.
- Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer then slowly add the sugary water until the egg yolks whiten. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine sheet before incorporating it in the still warm egg yolks. Stir well.
- In a separate bowl beat the mascarpone, whipping cream and vanilla with an electric mixer.
- Combine the mascarpone and the egg yolk mixtures, stir well. Refrigerate.
- You can fill the verrines in any order/design you like. Here I cut some of the strawberries lengthwise in thin layers (so you can see the heart shape) and diced the remaining ones. I crushed the speculoos cookies in a pestle mortar and spread them evenly on the bottom of the verrines. I added the cream, placed the heart shaped strawberries on the side of the glasses and spread the diced strawberries on the cream. I added one more thin layer of cream on the berries that I finally topped off with a few pieces of diced fruit, some speculoos powder and mint.
The recipe also works well with raspberries, redcurrants and I personally prefer lots of berries and less cream. So replace fruits and change quantities according to your liking.
If you like strawberries, check out my strawberry cobbler with almonds and pistachios recipe as well.
Bonus photos for today are once again from our vacation in Hungary (I shared photos from lake Balaton last week). Probably not one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Budapest, but still a great program if you’re spending several days in the city is to visit the Children’s Railway or Gyermekvasút.
Operated by children aged 10-14 under adult supervision, it is the world’s longest children’s railway with 11.2km between Széchényi-hegy and Hűvösvölgy.
My daughter loved it, it really is a special place! Hey, it’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records!