Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada's Day with Summer Berry Fools and Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles...

Readying for Canada Day celebrations! Can't wait to try these cool German Radlers-- beer blended with grapefruit, strawberry & lime and blood orange. I've taken care of beverages for party mode, now onto food and treats/desserts...

Starting off with a family brunch of Cinnamon French Toast with sautéed apples, bananas, and tropical mangos and papaya, and you got it-- a hefty drizzle of none other than Quebec maple syrup-eh!

Of course you can't celebrate Canada's Day without some red and white. Here are two simple and fun cool treats to enjoy in the sun-- fools and popsicles. Fools got their name because they are foolishly simple and quick to make- with strawberries and/or raspberries, fresh in season, frozen (thawed) when not. It's a perfect not-too-sweet delight for everyone to enjoy!

Summer Berry Fools
Makes 12 servings (or half recipe to serve 6)

3 cups strawberries
1 cup raspberries
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract or your favourite liqueur
garnish with more berries, crushed amaretto or meringue cookies or chocolate cookie sticks

Mash or purée berries (4 cups makes 2 cups crushed). Add some powdered sugar if the berry mix is not sweet and adjust to your taste. In a large bowl, using an electric beater on medium, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla/liqueur until thick (about two minutes). 

You can present it in a number of ways: i) Pour crushed fruit over top of whipped cream and fold in leaving streaks. Spoon into individual clear bowls or cups; ii) Layer individual cups with whipped cream, crushed berries, more whipped cream then topped with crushed berries or as I'm doing iii) Using 3/4 purée layer bottom of cup, then next with 1/4 purée mixed in 3/4 of the whipped cream and finished with remaining whipped topping. 

Serve with whole or sliced berries on top, crushed cookies or chocolate cookie sticks.

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles
Makes 4 popsicles

170 g (one pint) fresh raspberries (or blueberries/strawberries/blackberries/cherries)
2 tsp. water

1 tsp. granulated sugar
3/4 cup cream cheese
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered (icing) sugar
popsicle molds (pick up a set at the dollar store)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook raspberries, water and sugar for ten minutes or until they are easily broken up with a wooden spoon. Transfer mixture to a food processor (or strong blender) and purée until there are no lumps left. Refrigerate raspberry purée until cool, about 30 minutes. Then in food processor, blend cream cheese, milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until smooth. 

In popsicle molds, layer raspberry puree and cream cheese mixture. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least two hours. When ready to eat, dip popsicle molds into warm-hot water to help loosen and unmold. Enjoy!


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