Masterchef finalist and Cambridge restaurateur Alex Rushmer has come up with a recipe for "poshed-up" strawberries and cream and we agreed I would find a suitable wine match for it for a local magazine.
Alex's recipe is given below in detail, but in short it is an elegant dessert made with uncooked strawberries and Prosecco and needs an appropriately light and delicate wine to match, one that is slightly sweeter than the food or else it will taste thin and tart.
Continuing the Italian-fizz theme, this semi-sweet frizzante from Volpi in Piemonte has lots of sweet, juicy fruit flavours from the aromatic Muscat / Moscato grape and just the right level of sweetness. The fresh acidity cuts beautifully through the Chantilly cream whilst the prominent elderflower and ripe peach aromas match wonderfully with the strawberries.
Fresh, fruity and elegant, it is very well made with a long, balanced finish and, with just 5.5% alcohol, it feels as light as the jelly itself.
In fact, it matches so well, with both the food and the wine being enhanced by the pairing, you should almost consider the wine as an integral part of the dessert itself, rather than something on the side.
Cantine Volpi, Moscato DOC Piemonte £9.49 from Cambridge Wine Merchants
Recipe from Alex Rushmer - Strawberry and Prosecco Jelly Terrine
When strawberries are at their best it seems a shame to cook them - here they remain raw and the whole dish retains a freshness and vibrancy that sings. The terrine itself should be ever so slightly on the sour side because the Chantilly cream that goes with it is sweet and brings the dessert back to a point of delicious equilibrium.
Makes four individual or one large terrine.
400g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
c.50g caster sugar
4 gelatin leaves
Half a bottle of Prosecco
3 gelatin leaves
c.50g caster sugar
200ml double cream
25g icing sugar
half a teaspoon vanilla bean puree
Grease four small, or one large, loaf tins with a light film of cooking oil and then line each one with cling film.
Puree the strawberries in a blender and then pass the liquid through a sieve to remove any seeds. Measure out 300ml of puree and add sugar to your own taste. Soak four gelatin leaves in cold water for five minutes.
Whilst they are 'blooming' bring 50ml Prosecco to a gentle boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, squeeze any excess water from the gelatin sheets and add to the Prosecco, stirring until they have dissolved into the liquid. Add this to the strawberry puree and whisk gently to combine.
Pour three tablespoons of strawberry puree into the base of each mould and chill in the fridge until it sets.
For the Prosecco layer, bring the remaining half bottle of Prosecco to a boil for a couple of minutes to remove the harsh alcohol flavours. Bloom three gelatin leaves in cold water. Pour 250ml or Prosecco into a bowl and add the sugar to your own taste. Remove the gelatin leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid, and add them to the sweetened Prosecco.
Once the first strawberry layer is set, pour over the same amount of Prosecco jelly and return to the fridge to cool. Repeat three more times to obtain a five layered terrine, making sure that the previous layer is set before you pour on the next to ensure clean edges between the strata.
To make the Chantilly cream whip the cream together with icing sugar and vanilla. Keep everything in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Unmould the jellies onto cold plates, top with a spoonful of the sweetened cream and serve immediately.
Cambridge Edition - http://www.cambsedition.co.uk/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/
Alex Rushmer - http://www.alexrushmer.com/, twitter.com/justcookit