This blog is sponsored by City Avenue Market
Strawberry picking was a part of my life growing up. Grandpa had rows and rows of strawberry plants that were free reign when we were visiting. We ran right from the car towards his garden and were rewarded with a handful of sweet goodness. If my brother, sister and I were lucky Granny had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer.
Schools out for summer holidays were signaled when I saw the canning materials appear on the kitchen counter. Mom and Granny made strawberry jam every year. Lets not forget all the strawberry shortcakes that were devoured for dessert.
A few fun facts about strawberries: they are a member of the rose family, there is a museum dedicated to them in Belgium, and a couple of nutritional facts – Strawberries are high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. And did you know that there are 48 growers of strawberries in BC? This adds up to approximately 600 acres of strawberry growing.
Thinking about creating a Strawberry dessert I didn’t want to make traditional shortcakes. I thought light and airy – that brought me to whipped cream, which led the thought further to a richer fluffy texture, something that was sturdier and that brought me to the addition of cream cheese. The mascarpone cheese came in at the last minute when I decided to use ladyfingers in replace of wafer cookies. It was a home run in my head. No kidding I was right, I published this blog post! And not to spoil anything BUT it’s a summer keeper!! Exchange the berries in between all the fluffy mixture throughout the summer. Oh my gosh, I am thinking of even bananas in there too! Next one is strawberries and bananas!
Ready….let’s whip it, whip it good and assemble + EAT!
1 L Whipping cream
2 TBSP Vanilla
¼-½ C Sugar (you decide the sweetness level)
½ C Mascarpone cheese
1 lb Cream cheese
1 Large package of ladyfingers
1 basket of Strawberries
I’d suggest having all your ingredients ready to add into the mixture before you start. It all comes together quite fast.
Put your bowl and beaters in the fridge to get cold, I’d say 15 minutes would do the trick. Have the mascarpone + cream cheese softened for best results. Cut up your strawberries.
Whip your cream in your mixer. The mixer will be quite full, start slowly so you don’t have whipped cream all over your kitchen (you are welcome ;). Gradually increase the mixer speed. Once the cream starts to have soft peaks add the vanilla, add the sugar.
Slow down the mixer speed a titch. Add in your mascarpone and cream cheese. Speed up the mixer and cream until medium peaks form and all ingredients are incorporated.
Putting it all together – start with a thin layer of cream mixture on the bottom, add a layer of ladyfingers (break them to fit if needed) now add a layer of strawberries, topped by a whip cream layer and continue til you are out of ingredients. Make the top layer strawberries.
Having a cold bowl and beaters, help whip up lighter cream.
Let your both the cream cheese + mascarpone soften before whipping
I’ve made this in a circular clear bowl more for visual appeal. Feel free to use any type of glass vessel to assemble. I would however recommend not putting it in a metal container.
When layering your strawberries and whipped cream mixture push down the layers to surround the ladyfingers. This will result in more moisture being absorbed and a softer cookie layer.
I suggest waiting to add your final layer of strawberries until right before you are going to serve it as they are full of water and they will bleed onto the whipped layer.
Let sit in the fridge for 4-24 hours before serving.
All ingredients for this recipe you can find at all 3 City Avenue Market locations – New Westminster, Port Coquitlam + Commercial Drive