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Saturday, July 9, 2011
Let's be absolutely honest and not pretend to be lofty about it - when we cook, we cook to please others... We revel in the sense of pride and achievement when the ones we feed manifest delight over what we serve them. Well, luckily for most of us (food bloggers like us, anyway...) we actually find delight in cooking and pleasing our audience. So in the end, the endeavour is quite a win-win for both parties actually... wait a minute, I need to tag a little asterisk to that... provided the audience is appreciative.
The urge to please motivates the cook to constantly look for exciting and delicious recipes... and once in a while, impressive good food can run contrary to the general impression that 'good food is trouble'...
I picked up this recipe almost 10 years ago at a company team building cooking event. I was given the task of creating this dessert dish which eventually went on to become the unofficial winner of the meal. It was the first time I marinated strawberries with balsamic vinegar and I recall creasing my brows in sceptism as I read through the recipe then. It was also the first time I infused cream with a herb like thyme and I believe it was possibly also my first time having a working experience with those flimsy phyllo sheets. Yes, I was a late bloomer when it comes to pastry... The flavours, I recall, were so subtly elegant and the presentation with the phyllo nests ( I modify it to a cone here), so gourmet that I almost believed that I have some innate talent for baking.
And...wait for it.... the recipe is really easy to follow. Utterly accessible and feasible for home cooks of all abilities!
Doubt not and hesitate not - get into the kitchen and start cooking!
Lime Cream :
2 cups cream
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup sugar, castor
5 tbsp lime juice
1 punnet strawberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp castor sugar
Phyllo Cones :
6 sheets phyllo pastry
2 tbsp clarified butter
1. Heat cream and bring to boil. Remove from heat and put in thyme sprigs to infuse for 20mins
2. Remove thyme. Return to heat ad bring back to boil. Add sugar and let simmer for 3-4 mins.
3. Take off heat and stir in lime juice. Chill in fridge for 2 hours.
4. Dice strawberries and sprinkle sugar and balsamic vinegar tover it.
5. Allow to marinate for minimum 30mins.
6. Butter 3 sheets of phyllo, layer on top of each other, then cut to rectangles. Wrap them around butter cone molds and bake in over at 180C for about 10mins or until brown. (Alternatively, cut sheets into 4 inch squares and press these squares into lightly greased small muffin tins.
1. Pipe or spoon Lime thyme cream into phyllo cases. Top with marinated strawberries and serve immediately.