Monday, April 6, 2009

Strawberry & Mascarpone on the Sponge...

This was an impromptu dessert to celebrate my son's monthly birthday. We hadn't gotten around to cutting a cake or celebrating his monthly Birthday on the 1st and I wanted to do something special for him over the weekend! We had a late Friday night and was up with my alarm clock (read: my son) at 6:30am.

I wanted a quick dessert completed within an hour before my boys woke up and demanded my attention... Delhi has become really really hot suddenly and I wanted to do something light and fluffy and fruity! I dug out a box of ready cake mix - moist vanilla cake flavor (Pillsbury). I thought I will bake a cake and add some fresh fruit and cream to it and voila my dessert would be ready.

I baked the cake according to the instructions and being a novice baker made added some Mascarpone cheese to the batter and baked it too much and instead of a white fluffy cake I found a flat bread like looking thing in my cake tin.

Anyways here goes the recipe:

Bake cake according to instructions on the box and add one yolk less and 2-3 tbsp Mascarpone cheese to the batter. Bake for 5-7 minutes less than what is mentioned on the box and let cake cool.

I then took equal parts Mascarpone cheese and heavy cream and whipped it together till slightly stiff with 1 tbsp Castor sugar and left it in the fridge (since it was too hot to leave it outside...). While the cake was cooling I ran to my "fruitwalla" and got a box of the most luscious looking strawberries to add to my dessert because I couldn't think of anything better than the bright blood red berries to offset the whiteness of the cake and cream...

If your cake rises nicely unlike mine then slice it from the middle and add 1/4 of the cream mixture and strawberries (cut into small bite sized pieces) and sandwich the two cakes together. Then take the remaining cream mixture and coat the cake on the outside and decorate with strawberries cut into halves.

That was my original idea which didn't pan out quite well... so this is what I did with my dessert:

I tried to slice my cake but that didn't turn out quite well so I cut out small round cakes from my big cake (using a sharp edged bowl). I then pretty much stuck to my original idea and used the marcarpone and cream mixture to sandwich together the cake and strawberries (as seen in the picture and I put the remnants of the cake I put them in glasses - alternating layers of cake, cream and strawberry's and topped it with a dollop of cream.
Despite my disastrous cake the end result turned out to be great. the mascarpone cheese in the cake gave it a a very soft texture dipped in syrup kinda texture and noone can really go wrong with strawberry's and cream!!!!
The dessert won me rave reviews from my in-laws and husband and he actually proclaimed it my best dessert ever! I wish the pictures could do justice to the taste but you will just have to take my word for it.
Till next time....

1 comment:

rahul said...

The best place to get strawberry's is from Mahabaleshwar, and Mapro is synonymous to Strwberry's and Mahabaleshwar.. I came across an article from Upper Crust: India's Food, Wine & Style Magazine called Strawberry Junction which I will share with you'll.. Enjoy the read..

The Mapro Garden in between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar is a popular halt for motorists who have lunch, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry ice-cream, and buy strawberries to take home. An UpperCrust discovery.

YOU know you are reaching the Mapro Garden between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar long before you actually do, because the twisting mountain road between the two hill-stations has signboards sponsored by the food company announcing its arrival. This is the place where Kishore Vora, a pharmacist who started making jams as a hobby for himself in the 1960s, set up a business that has come to be known for the excellence of its products. It is said his jams were so appreciated by friends, that they encouraged Kishore to go beyond his half-kilo home production.

Mapro has a variety of products now thanks to that initial push. Omprakash Mishra, manager at the Mapro Garden who makes the products, says that Mapro has 21 varieties of squashes, crushes and syrups. “Squashes are made from fruit juice and can be mixed with water. Crushes are whole fruits crushed and made into a pulp, these must be mixed with milk. And syrups are made from both, the juice and the pulp. You can mix a syrup with water, milk, soda,” Mishra explained. Additionally, Mapro has six jams, nine flavours of ice-cream and six flavours of ice-cream toppings.

The Mapro (which means, Mahabaleshwar Products) brand came into prominence in 1988 when the business was taken over by Kishore Vora’s heir, Mayur. While Mayur and his wife Rajvi introduced business-related activities at Mapro, and the promotion of the products professionally, Kishore went into retirement and is now engaged in doing social work. The Mapro Garden on the Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road has become a popular halt for its snacks and sales counter. Visitors are also invited to visit the strawberry garden and then the Mapro factory on the premises and to see how jams and squashes are processed from the strawberries.

Visitors can also taste all the products before actually buying them at the sales counter. It is a wonderful idea because the Mapro Garden is crawling with children who all want to taste the sweets and gum-drops and the parents then buy them. “The regulars don’t need to taste the products, they just buy them,” said Mishra.

Next time you are driving on the Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road, make it a point to visit the Mapro Garden with its snack bar, ice-cream parlour and sales counter. It is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a guided tour of the factory takes only 15 minutes. Its products are cheaper than what you get at shops in the two hill-stations.