Thanksgiving Desserts: Elegant Affairs’ Miniature Strawberry Shortcakes

This recipe is courtesy of Elegant Affairs.
Serving Size: 10

For biscuits
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar (plus extra for dusting)
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons butter — cut in pieces
1 cup heavy cream (plus extra for brushing)

Fruit
2 pints strawberries

For whipped cream
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For raspberry sauce
1 pint raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Strawberry Shortcake Spoons
photo courtesy of Elegant Affairs

Directions:
Prepare the biscuits by mixing the dry ingredients, place them in a kitchen aide mixing bowl with the paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter and mix till it resembles a course meal then add the cream and mix just until the dough forms.

Remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Gently push the dough together and dust with flour, roll the dough to a thickness of about 3/4 of and inch to an inch. Using a cookie cutter (2 inch diameter) cut circles out and place on a parchment lined cookie tray. Take some heavy cream and brush each biscuit, then dust with extra sugar.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 22 minutes till golden brown.

While the biscuits are cooking whip the cream, vanilla and confectioners sugar. Whip to firm peaks and refrigerate.

For the raspberry sauce heat the water and sugar till it boils, shut it off, place the raspberries in a food processor or blender and while the machine is running pour the sugar water in until the berries resemble a thick sauce. Run the sauce though a strainer and then refrigerate.

For the strawberries, wash them and quarter them.

To assemble the shortcakes:

With the biscuits cool, cut them in half long ways and then on the bottoms put a little raspberry sauce then whipped cream and then strawberries. place the biscuit top. on a plate or serving platter drizzle a little raspberry sauce and then place the shortcakes and serve.
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NOTES : We served these in Asian spoons as seen in the photo, for this unique approach just cut the biscuits smaller, for that style you get 50 portions. Enjoy!

About Elegant Affairs: Elegant Affairs is considered a five-star, full service, catering and event planning company, which serves social, corporate and philanthropic clients across Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons for over the past decade. Having worked with clients like Billy Joel, Russell Simmons, Ivana Trump, Mariah Carey and Natalie Cole, Elegant Affairs’ President Andrea Correale and her team know how to cater for the world¹s most discriminating palates. Elegant Affairs is the exclusive on-site caterer for The Player¹s, the historic club in Gramercy Park, and the Nassau County Museum of Art, a stunning Mansion on the Gold Coast of Long Island.

Raw Chocolate by Gnosis Chocolate

Gnosis Chocolate is handcrafted Chocolate using the finest 100% Organic raw ingredients.  Each bar is dairy, soy, refined sugar, cholesterol and gluten free. Created by a certified holistic health counselor, Gnosis Chocolate was created keeping the health, nutrition, and amazing qualities of chocolate as a nutrient-dense super-food maintained. High quality raw cacao beans are combined with various nuts, fruits, and medicinal herbs to create the various flavors offer.  Gnosis Chocolate is based in Astoria, NY were every bar is mixed, poured, and wrapped by hand. Gnosis Chocolate can also create create custom and private labels to personalized and have your chocolate  wrapped for any occasion: business, special day, or a much deserved gift to yourself!

Not only is Gnosis Chocolate conscious about its chocolate, its also dedicated to improving the plant as well. All Gnosis Chocolate products are made by hand, no machines, and all the ingredients are sourced sustainably.  The packing on the bars are 100% recycled and FSC certified, plus the labels are made from corn!  10% of the profits from Gnosis Chocolate are donated to The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.

All bars are 2 oz. A few of the flavors offered:

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Simplicity

Ingredients:Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter, Agave Nectar, Vanilla Bean, Crystal Manna blue-green algae.

The essential chocolate bar.  Raw, organic cacao combined with Crystal Manna for mood and concentration enhancement. Vanilla beans are blend in Vanilla Bean for immune support. Making this bar  Simply Gnosis.

iconiconCashew Goji Berry

Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter, Cashews, Goji Berries, Black Currants, Agave Nectar, Vanilla Bean, Crystal Manna blue-green algae.

A fusion of East and West whose taste and texture you’ll not forget. Soft-sweet goji berries gift their antioxidants, protein, and vitamins B6 and beta carotene for your beauty, and blood health. Rich in both protein and heart-healthy oleic acid, nuggets of raw, crunchy cashews nestled happily in-between.

iconiconCool Peppermint

Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter, Agave Nectar, Fresh Peppermint Leaves, Vanilla Bean, Crystal Manna blue-green algae, Peppermint Essential Oil.

The Cool Peppermint gives you  fresh and clean in a bar. Containing chlorophyll,  a powerful anti-oxidant and tissue repairer, and peppermint, often called “the world’s oldest medicine”, which calms the stomach, and stimulates the body and mind.

iconiconLemon Berry Rose

Ingredients:Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter, Dried Strawberries, Goji Berries, Black Currants, Cherries, Almonds, Cashews, Agave Nectar, Freeze-Dried Strawberries, Rose Hips, Rose Petals, Camu Camu Berry, Passion Flower, Lemon Zest, Vanilla Bean, Crystal Manna, Lemon Essential Oil, Rose Essential Oil.

Lemon Berry Rose’s ingredients support the immunity power of Vitamin C. Strawberries, goji berries, and cherries supply iron and a host of other benefits, while the Roses just make this a romantic and fragrant bar.

iconPomegranate Acai

Ingredients:Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter, Brazil Nuts, Black Currants, Agave Nectar, Barberries, Pomegranate Powder, Acai Powder, Crystal Manna, Vanilla Bean.

The Pomegranate Acai Bar combines the antioxidant protection of acai and pomegranate with the raw, organic cacao.

icon iconSuperChoc
Ingredients:Cacao beans, cacao butter, agave nectar, goji berries, raspberries, mesquite, maca root powder, Siberian ginseng powder, ashwaghanda powder, ginko biloba powder, gotu kola powder, burdock root powder, açai powder, crystal manna flakes, camu camu powder, vanilla bean, reishi mushroom powder, passionflower powder, rose hips, lavender flowers.

SuperChoc’s raw has a  mega combination of superfoods, superherbs, antioxidants, and adaptogens to send nourishment to the brain and healing tonics to the blood. Making this truly a Super Chocolate Bar!

Check out Chocolate.com for more information on Gnosis Chocolate.
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Ninjas are whipping up desserts!

I’ve been extremely lucky this year, and thankfully, my luck hasn’t run out yet because I was able to head down to New York City last week for the launch of the new Euro-Pro Ninja Master Prep. Joined by some of my best blogging friends, our fearsome foursome, as well as a few others were able to experience first hand what the Ninja Master Prep can do.

Since this is a dessert blog, I seriously HAVE TO tell you about the amazing sorbet and sherbert that the Ninja whipped up effortlessly.  And yes, I tried it and it was AMAZING! I loved the raspberry orange combination of it and the Ninja made it just too easy to prepare. I’m sure you wouldn’t have to stop at the raspberry orange, and there’s a million other flavors that you could go with. I’m thinking pomegranate lime?? Can you imagine how good that would be?

Raspberry Orange Sorbet
Raspberry Orange Sorbet
Not only did we get to experience the launch of the Ninja Master Prep, we got to do it with class and in style. Staying at the Sheraton Times Square and having the awesome Robin Miller from Food Network as the most awesome host for our group. She definitely rocked and made using the Ninja look ridiculously easy- and it is!

You can make awesome smoothies and dessert drinks as well, like the Mocha Frozen Fusion Lite that Robin taught us all about or the Caramel Banana Smoothie. Sometimes those frozen slushy drinks hit the spot for the sweet tooth! And let’s not forget the drinkie-poos that can be made of the adult variety! Strawberry margaritas anyone?

For more info about the Ninja Master Prep and examples of great dinners, desserts and smoothies, please visit their website at ninjakitchen.com.

To read about my whole experience, stay tuned for my post to come on my blog, A Couch With A View.

Strawberry and Mascarpone Dessert

Ingredients
450g/1 lb of strawberries
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup fresh cream
1 tub (250g/9 oz) mascarpone

Directions:
Wash strawberries and grind in food processor, set aside.
Add the confectioners sugar to marscapone and whip for only a minute.
In a separate bowl, beat fresh cream until stiff peaks.
Now, fold in fresh cream into mascarpone a little at a time.
Do not add all the fresh cream, leave a small amount for piping.
Lastly fold in the ground strawberries.
Spoon into bowls and pipe fresh cream on top and garnish with sliced strawberries.

Enjoy!

strawberry_mascarpone

Milk Tart Recipe

Crust ingredients:
250g butter
250ml (1 cup) sugar
2 x-large eggs
500g (3 1/2 cups ) cake flour
10ml (2tsp.)baking powder
pinch salt

Filling ingredients:
750ml (3 cups )milk
cinnamon stick
45 ml (3Tblsp) custard powder
15ml (1 Tblsp) cornflour
condense milk (according to taste…I used a little over 10 Tblsp.)
pinch salt
15ml (1Tblsp) butter
3 x-large eggs, separated

Directions:

milk_tartPreheat oven to 180c.

Crust
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and beat well.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Add to the egg mixture, beating well.
Press into two greased pie dishes or cut out rounds and make minis and place in mini foil trays or muffin pans.
Bake for about 10mins.

Filling
Heat the milk and cinnamon together.
Combine the cake flour,cornflour,condense and salt.
Add a little milk to the flour mixture and make a paste.
Then stir the paste into the hot milk and bring to the boil stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
Add the butter.
Beat the egg yolks and add to the milk mixture .
Remove from stove.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the filling.
Pour the filling into the crusts and sprinkle with a little cinnamon powder.
Bake for 10 mins.milk-tart

Back to Basics

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Berries cream and flowers courtesy of Elle Moss

Chocolate caramel swirl mousse or double chocolate fudge cheesecake may sound delicious but, at the end of the meal, these desserts leave you with heavy bellies and droopy eyelids effectively dampening your hot summer nights. The sweet summer months deserve a different sort of dessert, one that entices you to reconcile body and mind with the miracles of mother nature, leaving you feeling healthy and light on your feet.

The succulent taste of nature’s fruits are unparalleled, not to mention the potentially immense health benefits that are hidden within the beautifully colored skins and juices of blueberries, cranberries, blackberries and pomegranates. I have yet to taste anything created by man that can rival the the sour, sweet, salty, and bitter flavors than can be found in even the smallest sized nature-made edibles. It’s time we appreciate these tiny miracles and enjoy them in their pure and natural form.

Try taking fresh blueberries (or other fresh fruit of your choice) and dropping them into a saucer of real cream. Eat them slowly with a spoon, and savor the sweet and sour of the blueberries mixing in with the sweet cream. The flavor burst is unbelievable and the texture is smooth. An added bonus is that children will go nuts for a simple dessert such as this, and you can feel good about offering your child an all natural dessert in two minutes flat.

Sometimes, it is the simplest of combinations that make the most delicious explosions in your mouth. For a sweet summer dessert that fulfills both your desire for sweet richness and your inevitable need to be able to get up and walk away from the table, try fresh blueberries and cream. Nothing beats pure and natural, so succumb to mother nature and taste the magic for yourself.