Strawberries – so lush and vibrant and gorgeous. Spring is an awesome time to indulge in these berries and these sweet juicy ones never disappoint you. I could never understand why these were relegated to the month of love ( February ) . My little rule book says, use them when they are in season. Eat them, add them in smoothies, make a nice jam out of these, freeze them .. They are so versatile! While They are amazing as such, add a dash of whipped cream and they are so delectable. Want to take it tp another whole new level ? Dip them in melted chocolate wafers .. OOOH yes ! While my personal preference is dark chocolate, these white dippers were my choice for a spring chilling out party. The clincher – it took about 15 -20 minutes for a whole big box of strawberries. Chilled it for an hour and it lasted just a few minutes as part of the dessert entourage ! That good if I may say so myself!
Luscious sweet berries dipped in white chocolate and drizzled with some milk chocolate drizzlers.. Celebrations anytime!
Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping White Melting Wafers : 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Strawberries : 25-30 pieces
Toothpicks : 25-30
Milk chocolate : 6-10 wafers
Microwave safe bowl
Large baking tray lined with parchment paper
Wash the strawberries very well, pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible. ( Water droplets and chocolates are not a good combination)
Trim the leaves of the strawberries if that is your preference. I left it in to add the visual of green pop of color and also because I knew we would be finishing it in a few hours.
Skewer the strawberries with a tooth pick ( use a strong one ) vertically. Line them all ready for dipping.
In a microwave safe bowl, add a portion of the candy chips and melt on medium power with intermittent stirring. *This step is very crucial. Intermittent stirring is essential if not you will burn the chocolate and will have a lump. You need a smooth creamy mix.
Using the toothpick, dip the strawberries one by one, swirl to cover the are desired. Remove and lay it gently on the lined baking tray. Repeat for the rest , melting chocolate wafers as required.
Cool at room temperature initially. Because we use candy dipping wafers , these will cool very fast.
Drizzle melted milk chocolate or dark chocolate to add contrast.
Without much ado, here it goes. A sure winner in Diwali Mithai list!
Prep time : 15 min Cooking time : 10 min Setting time : 1 hr Yield : 15- 20 pieces
Chopped Dates : 2 cups
Chopped Nuts : 3/4 cup ( mix of cashews, pistachios and walnuts)
Poppy seeds / Khus -Khus : 2-3 Tbsp.
Clarified Butter / Ghee : 1.5 tsp.
Chop the dates ( I used the sticky seedless kind) to yield about 2 cups of the chopped quantity. About 20-25 dates would yield this depending on the size and quality of the dry fruit.
Run it in the blender. This is going to be a slightly sticky mass. Do not over process it or add any liquid to this.
In a wok or non stick kadai, toast the poppy seeds on medium heat and keep aside. An easier option would be to nuke it in the microwave for about a min.
Also toast the nuts for a min or two. The result is 2 pronged – you get the crunch in the nuts and get rid of the raw edge of it too. Again do not over process it. Remove it and keep aside.
Next add in the 1.5 tsp. of ghee or clarified butter and add in the blended dates. Please process this on medium heat for about 5 min or so. You will notice the darkening in the color of the dates and a heavenly fragrance too.
Add in the nuts at the stage.
Make sure the nuts are distributed throughout the dates base. Now depending on the freshness of your dates, you might need to add in a teaspoon more of the ghee to bind it all together if required.
Turn off the heat and remove on to a parchment paper lined plate.
Let it cool for just a minute and roll out into logs of your desired thickness.
Coat it with the toasted poppy seeds and set it in the fridge for about an hour.
Remove, slice the logs to yield thick wedges of this .
Result is a delicious slice of dates and nuts without any added sugar!
I have a confession to make ! You know how some people love shiny new toys? the new car? the smell of new books? I have a few of these quirks ( .. which shall presently go unnamed ) and plenty more that can be quite baffling like mild obsession over sparkling wine glasses and beautiful crockery, Wolf range shiny new stove… But there is this particular lust factor, If I may call it , towards the King of the fruits that I find it particularly hard to overcome. Yessir, so when I spotted a box of ripe mangos, waiting.. just waiting to be picked up…It was the proverbial siren song for me as I drifted towards the box to pick it up. I knew , just knew,what they were going to transform into.. Mango Ice cream..I love it, the kids love it, my family loves it, neighbors love it, neighborhood and extended family love it , you get he picture I am sure .and I am in love with it .. Sigh!!
To make this particularly delectable and to die for creamy ice cream , Please note…
YOU DO NOT NEED AN ICE CREAM MAKER..YES ..NO ICE CREAM MAKER .. JUST 15 MIN OF YOUR PRECIOUS TIME 🙂
The goodies to be transformed :
6 -8 large,ripe mangos- deseeded, skinned and pulped. should yield about 2-2.25 cups
Condensed milk – fat free ( – 14 oz – one tin) Hey ! I need the sugar, not the fat. I used the Eagle variety. I am not a brand aficionado. So pick what works for you )
Whipped cream or cool whip – 2 tubs ( 8 oz each = 16 oz ) or for the extra creamy version add one more (use 3 tubs to make it 24 oz). I used the cool whip lite in this case.
Saffron – a pinch soaked in warm milk for about 5 min. ( optional)
Elaichi or Cardamom powder – 1 tsp( Optional )
1 large mango – skinned and cut into cubes ( this is optional)
In a large working bowl dump the contents of the mango puree and whipping cream using a hand blender or whipper, blend the mixture till you get a nice creamy concoction of goodness.
Now this should take at the maximum 7 -10 minutes.The point is for you to aerate the mixture very well. I have used the portable hand whippers as well on occasions and they have worked extremely well with no variations in the results.
Add in the saffron and cardamom powder if so desired and whip it up again for a min or so to ensure even distribution.
Now if you are using the cubed mango pieces, gently fold them into the mixture.
Pour into mould, tubs variations of any desired shapes. (Do ensure the bowl is licked clean meanwhile though !)
Let it set in the freezer for minimum of 4 hours or until it is firm.
Indulge, enjoy and pat yourself on the back for the bout of creamy goodness is worth it.
No Mangos, but still crave for it? Mango pulp is so worth it. A single tin of Mango pulp – any variety , 14 oz 850 gm would suffice.
If it is sweetened Mango pulp, reduce the amount of condensed milk – instead of 14 oz tin – use only half of it.
Cool whip – I have used the 16oz variation in this case and it was still extremely creamy. The 24 oz variant also worked very well when I had used the sweetened Mango pulp available commercially)
Bowl licked clean – check
Ice cream tasted heavenly – check
Indulged self, family and neighbors – check
2nd batch in the making – check
Served a family of 10. Now the serving size depends on the time of the day – dessert or after the hot sun indulgence!