Jul 2011

Frozen Berries + Melted White Chocolate

This recipe exemplifies how the simplest ingredients can produce an experience much greater than the sum of its parts. Just before I met my hubby, I was spending lots of time in London. I would regularly take one week seminars as a way to update my education while writing off my vacay. Eating my way through the city, I would wonder how London could ever have had such a bad rap in the dining dept. This was back in the early days of the Millennium Wheel and OXO. Asia de Cuba was hot and The Ivy was a standard. It’s been way too long since I’ve visited and sadly, I’m no longer up to date on what’s hip.

During one of my visits, a friend and I had the most amazing dinner at The Ivy and I am still thankful for her insight in ordering the frozen berries with white chocolate. This dish wasn’t something that called to me as I’m not sold on the idea of fruit as a dessert.  But I watched as she drizzled creamy white chocolate from a small pitcher over her berries and actually experienced a pang of envy. Somehow my spoon ended up in her dessert. Shocking, right? The chill of the frozen fruit against the hot melted chocolate delivers a brilliant counterpoint…

When it comes to white chocolate, spring for the good stuff –  it’s crucial you steer clear of those nasty white imposter chips – and don’t be tempted to use bagged frozen fruit. The berries will not look as pretty nor taste as fresh, and uh,  it’s summer for gosh sakes.

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2 pints fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced thickly
1 pint blackberries
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, scrapped
10 oz. good white chocolate, chopped

Serves 6.

Spread (washed and dried) berries on a large baking sheet in a single layer to prevent sticking, and place in freezer until frozen – about 2 hours. As soon as they have frozen, transfer them to ziplock bags to prevent them from absorbing flavors from your freezer. When ready to serve, distribute berries between 6 dessert plates in a single layer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to defrost slightly while making the melted chocolate mixture. To make the chocolate mixture, heat the cream, white chocolate and vanilla bean seeds in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler style) until melted and hot.  Do not boil! Pour evenly over each plate of berries and serve immediately.

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