Ok, so I’m invited to Andrea and Latte’s yearly cookout jam. (A cookout jam being a party where everyone brings some sort of food.) At this particular cookout jam there’s only media types/musicians/entrepreneurs/hipsters who are also, all of them, really into food. Like, they can seriously cook. Like, you have someone there who runs half of Stockholm’s restaurants. In other words, it’s a potluck for extreme foodies.
So, I realize I have to come up with something in between extraordinary and mind-blowing. My first 2 thoughts are: 1. A lavish dessert is a short cut to people’s hart. 2. A swirl in any form makes people happy. So, a lavish swirl it is.
Ok, first off, credit where credit is due: I got the idea of roasting strawberries from David Lebovitz. Just like him I seldom feel the need to do anything to my strawberries. They are perfect as they are. But still, if you’re eating strawberries every day throughout your entire summers, there should be some room left for experimenting, right? And roasting it sounds sooo good, right?
So, ok, now I’m thinking: What could be the best and most yummy (read most impressive) way to serve roasted strawberries? With an excitement bordering on craziness I start think-talking to myself: “Ok, so roasted strawberries is dark and sweet and jam-sticky, yes? Yes. Ice cream and cream is a given, right? Yes, absolutely. And then I want something extravagant to go with it. Some caramel sauce? No, it would dissolve into the juicy strawberries. Hot chocolate fudge sauce? No. It would be like two leading stars fighting for attention. A white chocolate sauce? Oh, yes, perfect. Perhaps scented with lemon zest and lavender to give it some character and counteract the childish sweetness of the white chocolate? Yes!! OMG, and that creamy whiteness is gonna go sooo well with the burgundy red of the strawberries! Yeah, awesome. Almost there! But I need something crunchy to go with all that soft gooey awesomeness. Like what? Cookie crumbs of course! But what kind? The white, crusty, sugary one of course! Hell yeah!”
Ok, settled. Now it’s time to put my vision to the test. Would it taste as good as I had imagined it would? Or would the whole thing just implode, like an idea sprung out of a drunken mind at 3 am in the morning? The answer is: no. It did not implode. It was a TOTAL F-ING SUCCESS.
And what did people think of it at the cookout jam? They absolutely loved it! Seriously, people complimented me, people wanted to be my friend, people wanted to talk about eventual collaborations. People wanted to package the white chocolate sauce and sell it. Yep. True story.
PS. The day after the cookout jam we were having pancakes for breakfast. Oh, wait. Hello leftovers! Hello, second revelation! Oven roasted. Strawberries. With. White. Chocolate. Sauce. On pancakes. Oh lord.
PS 2. And, hrm, later that afternoon I served it at a barbecue, this time subbing a lovely rhubarb- and nectarine compote for the strawberries. Flavors that also go ridiculously well with white chocolate. (For 4 persons, just chop up 2 rhubarb stalks and 4-5 nectarines/peaches roughly and boil it gently with ½ dl / 1/4 cup of sugar for 10 minutes. Done!)
- 1 L of strawberries
- Sugar, any kind, 1 tbsp, I used brown sugar
- Balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp
- 3 dl / 2¼ cup double/full cream
- 200 g / 1 scant white chocolate, cup chopped up
- 1 lemon, the zest
- 2 sprigs of lavender, the blue flowers, picked
- 200 g / a bit more than ¾ cup / a bit less than 2 sticks of butter
- 5 dl / 2 heaping cups of flour
- 2 dl / a heaping ¾ cup of caster sugar
- 2 pinches of salt
- Preheat oven to 200 °C/ 375 F. Chop up the strawberries in halves or quarters. Put berries on a prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle with the sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Bring the cream almost to the boil. Take from heat and add the chopped up chocolate. Stir. When thoroughly melted add the zest and the picked lavender flowers. Let cool in a glass jar.
- (After 24 hours it’s still runny, like regular fudge chocolate sauce. After 48 hour it thickens and turns into this otherworldly cream.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- In a food processor mix butter, flour and sugar to a crumbly paste. Wrap it up and let it rest in fridge for 30 min. On a dusted board roll out the dough until ½ cm thin. The shape doesn’t matter. Bake until cookies/your mess is lightly browned around edges, 12-15 minutes.
- Move baking paper from trays and let cool completely. Preferably on oven racks. Smash up your cookies/mess in a zip bag, with a rolling pin, with your fists or in any fashion you like.
- Scoop up the ice cream on plates/in glasses/cups, then pour over some strawberries and chocolate sauce. Lastly sprinkle cookie crumbs on top.