Strawberry and Vanilla Velouté — Velouté de fraises à la vanille

How the idea started:

I swear, the oddest happened. At the beginning of winter, I took one of my azaleas inside just because it was going to be unhappy alone in its pot outside. One day, I am sitting at the dinner table and look at it wondering, “Funny, it almost looks like there is a flower there!“. You are not awake yet. A few days later, I saw this:


I cannot believe I had tricked my plant into thinking it was Summer! Maybe I can do this with you? ;-)

Swim swim, swim. It could almost be Spring then. A real strawberry bath, soft, fragrant, delicate.

This dessert is simple (yes, très très simple!) and just delicate. With it comes the taste of wine (I should put a bit more next time), the velvety feel from the yogurts, and the fragrance of the vanilla. On top, if you like strawberries (I love them), this makes for a very nice dessert fix when you get bored of the simple traditional piece of fruit or yogurt. In fact, there is a reason why I made this treat. Back again to past loved times, it simply reminds me a lot of a typical dessert I had as a kid: I know many people would be horrified by the look of it but here it is: mash freshly picked strawberries with a fork, then add cream (liquid texture, type heavy cream) and sugar. Simple but I can only tell you how great that was. When I was only 12, I remember cycling for 10 kms to visit a friend’s in the next door village. We would run to her mum’s huge vegetable garden, pick baskets of fresh ripe strawberries and have them as described before, as a snack. After that, I would happily cycle back home. Le vrai bonheur d’une petite fille! (Pure happiness of a little girl). Even writing it makes me smile and happy. Those were the good times I think, the ones country children like me, ah, have!

And so, I have always felt deprived to not be able to have a vegetable garden. It would be hard considering that we only have about over 350 square feet behind the house, already cluttered with my little herb corner which takes a big chunk of space. Still, last year I planted a few strawberries plants in my tiny garden, and whenever I would see a strawberry turn red, it was utter joy! Rushing to the garden, picking it, looking at it and, yes yes, sharing it! Don’t know how I managed to do this one, but I did! And every year, I want to plant more! May it rain a bigger garden! Merci!

I do not always feel that I have to spend 2 hours making desserts, so making this particular one was very rewarding. It is fresh (quand même!), sweet and, well, I like the colour, does it count?
Once at our favorite wine store (Marty’s Fine Wines in Newton), I asked our friend Peter what wine to buy (He is just the best with recommendations). I needed a fruity red wine. He told me to go with a Beaujolais nouveau, which I did.

So here it is, to a very simple strawberry dessert! Tchin-tchin! Cheers!

Strawberry and Vanilla Velouté


You need:

  • 500 g strawberries
  • 3 plain yogurt (Velouté or Bulgare, best equivalent I have found in the States is from the brand Liberty, vive les canadiens! you can find it at Whole Foods), about 380 g
  • 15 cl fruity red wine (I took Beaujolais nouveau)
  • 15 cl water
  • 35 g sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean

Steps:

  • Clean the strawberries under fresh water and remove the green parts.
  • In a pot, pour the wine with the water. Add the vanilla (open in 2 halves) and the sugar.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to let infuse for about 10 mns.
  • Poach the strawberries in the syrup for 5 mns.
  • Remove the vanilla bean and mix the strawberries with the syrup.
  • Add the beaten yogurts.
  • Pour the velouté in individual bowls or a big one and place in the fridge.
  • Decorate with vanilla beans (just for the picture, ah!)

I made Matcha tea madeleines with it (recipe to follow). You can just now take a deep breath. C’est bon, non?

Adapted from Elle A Table.

Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Soup | 15 Comments

15 comments

  1. WOW! They look beautiful..!! We got snow yesterday–first time in 20 years so half my garden is dead.

    The fraise-vanille velouté looks yummmy!

  2. Oh Bea, this is so pretty! Pink is my favorite color, and I love strawberries, so this whole entry is just perfect!:) Very springlike! I like the vanilla bean in the first shot!

  3. Bea,

    It has been a long day but I could not go to bed without checking your blog first. And I am so glad that I did.

    I love the story of the azalea. I love flowers and I know how rewarding it is when the plant gives you the gift of the bloom!

    And I also agree that gardening is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

    The dessert … c’est incroyable! I cannot wait for strawberry season!

    Bonne nuit (I shall have SWEET dreams!)

    Merci!

  4. Bea, those look gorgeous. Do you think it’s the kind of dish that might even improve after a day or two in the fridge?

    I saw strawberries just the other day at the market and almost bought a package. They’re the perfect antidote to winter. Well, that and the azaleas.

  5. So THAT is what I should have done with my azalea! (Well to be honest I just plain forgot about it when we were moving) Poor thing is brown and frozen solid outside.

    Bea this is just so spring/summer pretty with all of those vivid colors. I’m curious to hear about the matcha green tea madeleines

  6. Mijo,

    C ‘est bien vrai, vivement le printemps, il arrive!!

    Fiordizucca,

    Sorry :-) they are all gone!

    Riana,

    Wow, you got snow, in the South of France?? I bet people did not know what to do with it! ;-)

    Sophie et Martine,

    Merci de votre message! ;-) C’est vrai que ces azaleas sont belles dans la maison, ca donne envie de chanter ;-)

    Anita,

    Thanks! ;-) This pink was beautiful indeed. And an easy dessert full of fun! Nice on your table, esp with the matcha tea madeleines I have to say.

    Ivonne,

    Merci! ;-) I hope your dreams were sweet! Yes flowers and garden are amazing, aren’t they? I just love the feel to put my hands in dirt, go figure! ;-)
    Rob,

    You are totally right, I think one day after is even better. I had made that a day before my dinner and tasted both nights and I preferred it the second day as the flavour opened up!
    Rowena,
    Yes the green tea matcha madeleines are coming. I am actually about to make a second batch! ;-) Too bad for the azalea but next Spring, you will be pleased. luckily they are sturdy flowers
    Kat,
    Glad this put some sun in your day. I keep looking at my azalea and wondering how pretty it was. A friend of mine thought it was fake when she first saw it, as we could not believe it was true!

  7. What a beautiful blog :)
    I love your Azaleas, no wonder they inspired you to make this summerlicious strawberry dessert!

  8. What beautiful photography! I would love to try this, but do not know how to convert (don’t know the measurement for “15 cl”) the ingredients for the red wine and water. I can see myself wowing my friends with this – Please help!

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