Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mascarpone and Berry Popsicles

This has been probably the hottest summer ever! August is almost over and I feel this summer just won't end. Don't get me wrong, I love summer and all the things it brings but the scorching heat is not one of them.

I have been dealing with the heat waves with light food, lemonade and popsicles, of course.
These frozen delights are easy to make. One can get really creative and never get bored as there are so many flavors that you can choose from. I shared with you before several popsicle recipes: pink lemonadebellini or blueberry lemon and lavender. It's time for a new one!

This frozen delight features a rich mascarpone cream combined with a vibrant and tangy mix of red summer berries and fruits. The combination is wonderful, but truth be told it is not as light as the other recipes I made, however, it's really worth the extra calories.

To make 8 popsicles (70 ml approximately each) you need:
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 250 mixed berries and fruits, fresh or frozen (use your favorites)
  • 30 to 50 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • half vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Simple syrup:
  • 100 ml water
  • 75 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

First start making the syrup by combining the sugar and water. Mix a bit to dissolve the sugar, then bring it to a simmer on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. When you start seeing bubbles on the surface add the lemon juice let it simmer for one minute, turn off the heat and let it cool.

While the syrup is cooling, combine the fruits with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and bring to a gentle simmer. The fruits will be ready when they are shiny and a bit soft. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down.

When everything is at room temperature, mix the simple syrup with the cheese, start filling the molds with both mixtures alternating between the cheese and the fruits. Now you're ready to pop the molds into the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Enjoy this colorful and full of flavor summer treat while you still can! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Super Easy Sweet Canapés!

Each month the Google plus community foodiesplus selects a special theme and for August canapés were featured. Canapés are ideal if you are entertaining a small group of friends or a large crowd during special occasions.
In addition to being elegant, they are extremely versatile and can be either savory or sweet. Canapés are fun to make and can be miniaturized versions of main dishes.
Personally, I decided to make sweet canapés featuring delicious summer fruits in addition to being a snap to make.

The ingredients I used are pretty common and easy to find. Additionally, the combinations you can make are quite flexible and you can alter ingredients according to your liking.

So to make these little beauties you need:
  • mini toasts
  • cream cheese
  • strawberries, blackberries and flat peach
  • honey and maple syrup
  • rosemary, lavender and pecans for garnish
  • chocolate spread

Prepare the fruits by cutting the peaches and the strawberries into thin slices; of course the blackberries are left whole.
The cream cheese should be removed a bit ahead of time from the fridge to make it more spreadable. You can mix the cheese with the maple syrup or honey or you can drizzle them later on the canapés. 

To assemble, spread the cream cheese or chocolate spread in reasonable amounts and layer the fruits on top. Drizzle the maple syrup or honey on top, if you haven't mixed them into the cream cheese.

I used the following combinations:
  • Chocolate spread, strawberries and garnished with rosemary leaves
  • Cream cheese, blackberries, maple syrup and garnished with a bit of crushed pecans.
  • Cream cheese, peaches, honey and garnished with a bit of lavender flowers.
You can play with these combinations as you want, but I do feel these flavors work best together. 
Next time you have friends coming over and you're short on time, these canapés will be a life saver. Enjoy!