This dessert looks so fancy yet it is very simple. I loved the combination of ginger cream with the strawberries and the pop of balsamic syrup. In fact, I loved the ginger cream so much I ate it with a spoon like crème brûlée.
You could even serve this at breakfast (with or without the balsamic syrup). Simply provide the crème anglaise in a little pitcher and let your guests pour it over their sliced berries.
- 8-10 fresh whole strawberries (to serve 2 guests)
- drizzle of balsamic syrup (I used Isola Imports ‘Classic Cream with aceto balsamico Di Modena’)
- 1 batch of crème anglaise (recipe follows) (you will have extra leftover, eat it with a spoon out of the fridge!)
- a 4-inch piece peeled fresh gingerroot (or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Cut gingerroot into 4 pieces and smash with flat side of a knife.
- In a small heavy saucepan bring half-and-half and gingerroot just to a simmer over moderately low heat, about 10 minutes (do not let boil). [NOTE: Or use 1 teaspoon of refrigerated ginger paste from a tube and add that to the half-and-half.)
- While mixture is heating, in a bowl whisk together yolks and sugar until smooth.
- (If you’ve used gingerroot pieces, fish them out and discard when half-and-half is warm and infused. If you’ve used ginger paste you can leave that in as it will melt into sauce.)
- Add hot half-and-half mixture to the egg yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then transfer custard back to pan.
- Cook custard over very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 5 minutes until it thickens slightly (do not let boil).
- Pour custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cool. (Crème anglaise may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring crème anglaise to room temperature before serving.)
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the ginger creme anglaise on a dessert plate (the amount will depend on the size of your plate.
Then carefully arrange the strawberry slices in a circular pattern until the entire plate is covered.
Drizzle the balsamic syrup lightly across the strawberries in a decorative pattern (a little syrup goes a long way.)
Enjoy with your Valentine!
Here’s a quick video tutorial from Epicurious to show you how to make a créme anglaise without curdling the eggs. It’s important to not overcook the cream and to temper the eggs before adding them back to the cream. Once you have the hang of it, you are set to make all kinds of custard desserts.