Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

Was I a fool to think I could make mousse? (Heh…heh…heh…) Read on, friends. Read on.

Mousse will always make me think of my father. Ever the chocolate lover, I know I have mentioned multiple times in this blog how I’ve seen him make brownies at midnight many times in my 33 years. I’ve also seen him make his fair share of mousse, the light chocolaty fluff making its usual appearances around the Christmas season, topped with copious amounts of whipped cream.

If my dad’s a pro at it, surely the ability to make it is hereditary!

For a pink sexy Valentine’s Day theme – bolstered for my urge to eat a ton of strawberries during this chilly bleak winter season – the idea to create a strawberry mousse popped into my head. A little crunchy chocolate bottom would make for a nice treat as you dug closer to the bottom, I thought!

Well, I got the cream. I got the berries. I got the gelatin.

I got SCREWED. Ha!

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

So, mind you, having not made mousse before, nor having worked with gelatin outside of helping my dad make Strawberry Jell-O as a kid, I took to Google to find a strawberry mousse recipe. I found what I thought was a good one! I followed it to a T. The photos for this recipe looked luscious!

Apparently, 4 teaspoons of gelatin mixed with 2 tablespoons of water is not the ratio you want. Well, unless you want to pull something out of your fridge a few hours later that springs back at you like a marshmallow!

COME ON. JEEEEEEZ.

Well, after that disappointment – that’s recipe development for ya – I decided to make a Strawberry Fool instead of trying mousse again. Folding strawberry puree into whipped cream is more my style anyways. Simple. Easy.

I’ll save mousse-making for another time, once I am over this trauma…

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers. 😘

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

JOIN IN ON THE VIRTUAL PARTY! Check out the links below for some Valentine’s Day-theme goodies from a troop of wonderful fellow bloggers. Follow along on Instagram with #galentinesday and thanks to The Sweet Nerd for organizing! 

1.) Earl Grey Frosted Brownies by Madeline Hall
2.) Red Velvet Whoopie Pies by What Should I Make For…
3.) Chocolate Wine Cake by The Sweet Nerd
4.) Pink Grapefruit & Thyme Shortbread Hearts by The Beach House Kitchen
5.) Blood Orange Margarita Sorbet by Beyone Mere Sustenance
6.) Vanilla Rose Shortbread Cookies by Seasons and Suppers
7.) Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Compote by Ciao Chow Bambina
8.) Horchata Latte Cheesecake Meg Is Well
9.) Chocolate Coffee Layer Cake by Katherine In Brooklyn
10.) Chocolate Topped Seed & Nut Bars by This Brown Kitchen

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool
(Makes 4 [roughly] 4 oz. servings)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Bottom:
– 16 Oreo cookies (or any chocolate sandwich cookie brand)
– 1 tablespoon melted butter or refined coconut oil

Strawberry Fool:
– 2 cups strawberries, rinsed and hulled
– 2 cups heavy whipping cream
– 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

1.) Place cookies inside of a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until finely broken. Mix crumbs with butter or coconut oil until well combined. Spoon a heaping tablespoon on the mixture into the bottom of a small serving dish and lightly press down to set. Set aside.

2.) Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4.) In large (preferably chilled metal) bowl, whip together cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the pureed strawberry mixture and slowly incorporate; do not overmix and allow the mixture to remain light and airy!

5.) Carefully spoon or pipe whipped cream into chocolate-bottomed serving dishes. Eat immediately or refrigerate for no more than 4 hours; mixture can deflate and become somewhat soupy if not eaten quickly.

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Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcakes

We got those Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries.

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

We’ve got those Buttermilk Biscuits.

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What else is there to do?

FOOD TEAM, ASSEMBLE!!!!

(Please say the proceeding in your best Ron Burgundy voice, preferably aloud.)

Strawberry Shortcakes

All that previous work was leading up to this one glorious moment!

Strawberry Shortcakes are such a wonderful dessert. Light yet hardy, crumbly and a little messy, undeniably sweet yet buttery, and an all-around comfort.

Meet your favorite spring dessert. ✌🏻

Strawberry Shortcakes
(Makes 4)

– 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste)
– 4 Buttermilk Biscuits (click for recipe)
– 2 cups Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries (click for recipe; see note in Before We Get Started…)

Before We Get Started…

– The original recipe for Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries yields closer to 1 & 1/2 cups of strawberries once cooked down. Increase strawberries in recipe to 8 cups; liquids and sweeteners can remain the same.

Directions:

1.) To make whipped cream, place cream, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large bowl, preferably a chilled metal bowl. Whip with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Set aside.

2.) To assemble strawberry shortcakes, split or cut biscuits in half; a serrated knife works well here!

3.) Place 1/2 cup strawberries on bottom biscuit halves. Top with whipped cream. Place top biscuit halves on top. Pour yourself another glass of rosé. INDULGE.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Oh, hey kids! It’s time to revisit this blog’s most common theme: let us continue the discussion of foods that confused, puzzled, and / or terrified Allison as a child! This week’s food is rhubarb. In my youth, I was both curious as to why and utterly disgusted by the fact that people would put a funky looking vegetable stalk into a fruit pie. I even recall my childhood friend, Amanda, having some growing on the property of their dairy farm. Though the term SMH certainly did not exist circa 1992, I literally shook my head at the notion that adding something such as rhubarb to a pie would make it delicious.

And here I am today, studiously examining stalks of rhubarb at my local farmers’ market and making pies.

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I do love the slightly tart bite of rhubarb; I regularly nibble on a few nubs of it in the pie making process. On its own, its absolutely a polarizing flavor, though it is one I truly enjoy. I like tart. I like sour. In 8th grade, I could totally eat a few WarHeads without making a face.

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Thanks to some of my favorite food blogs and Pinterest accounts, I’ve been falling in love with rhubarb lattices! My inspiration for putting one on one of my pies grew from Baking a Moment’s Rhubarb Tart. Because I made two pies while recipe testing, I didn’t end up having enough rhubarb to make a full and beautiful lattice such as hers, but I definitely have more chances to give this a shot.

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Even though I would have loved a few more strips, it’s definitely a nice visual touch. Plus, less dough equals fewer carbs, right? Isn’t that how it all works?

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 pie crust or shell, pre-made or homemade
– 1 & 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into bite-sized pieces
– 1 & 1/2 cups strawberries, diced
– 1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar, to taste
– 2 tablespoons flour or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– Dash of cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– If you are interested in attempting a rhubarb lattice, please reference the directions from Baking a Moment.

– Be sure to have a baking sheet handy to bake the pie on top of; the baking process can release a lot of moisture from the strawberries and rhubarb, and it may or may not spill over the crust.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. If you have a pre-made pie crust, set aside. If you are creating a homemade pie crust, prepare crust according to your directions.

2.) Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour or cornstarch, vinegar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

3.) Pour fruit mixture into pie crust; bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until edges of pie are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Strawberry Pineapple Kale Smoothie

Those of you in New York City are well aware that this was one of the coldest Februarys since 1869. (I can only assume NBC 4’s fact-checking was correct on that one…) February was brutal and never-ending, despite it being the shortest month of the year. March came in like a lion, but there was some hope with random 50 degree days popping up every now and then. The first day of spring was March 20th, and…

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…cold white stuff fell on the ground in Fort Tryon Park. NO.

I needed some artificial spring, if only in drinkable form.

I had some kale handy in the fridge, and I recall a former roommate of yesteryear making me an amazing glass of kale and pineapple juice once upon a time. Mixed with some organic strawberries on sale at Westside Market at three for $5 (…YES!), the three combined to make a surprisingly creamy and fresh creation. I was lucky to have one of my roommates, Liz, at home when I was whipping it up; it was her 26th birthday, and what better way to start a new year off right than with pulverized Vitamins A, C, and B-12?

green smoothie

 Liz, the Birthday Girl, throwing her Birthday Smoothie up on The Instagrams.

This smoothie truly is as easy as prepping a few fruits and veggies and blending them in your blender. Even the laziest of us can muster up the energy, I assure you. This makes for a great breakfast accompaniment or a light afternoon snack.

green smoothie

 Strawberry Pineapple Kale Smoothie
(Serves Two)

Ingredients:
– 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds, plus an additional 1/2 teaspoon for topping
– 2 cups kale, washed and roughly torn
– 2 cups pineapple, cubed
– 8 large strawberries, hulled and quartered

Directions:

Add all ingredients to blender; blend for three minutes or until mixture has reached desired smoothness. Add to two small glasses. Top with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds.

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P.S.: This is Ellie, Liz’s beautiful brindle and resident kitchen activity overseer. Glad she was there to make sure I made the smoothies right! Though, I’m sure she was disappointed I didn’t add her favorite vegetable to the smoothie: carrot. Elle Belle ain’t a fan of kale. Haaa.