DOUBLE APHRODISIAC | Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate with a touch of pistachio luxury.
Looking for an aphrodisiac to seduce a love interest? Well, look no further than the strawberry. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. What’s more, these red gems are actually antioxidant powerhouses and are beneficial to your heart in more ways than one.
Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Did you know that just one serving – about eight strawberries – provides more vitamin C than an orange?
Not fond of the standalone strawberry? Fear not, you can easily and radically transform these delicate heart-shaped gems into decadent works of art in less than 30 minutes. To bolster the aphrodisiac qualities, simply dip the luscious fruit into dark chocolate that has been melted in a bain marie. For that extra touch of luxury, coat the strawberry with a layer of crushed pistachio (or desiccated coconut).
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries With Pistachio
TIME: 30 minutes | YIELDS: 10-12 large strawberries
- Box of long stemmed strawberries
- 1 pack (~100g) of quality dark chocolate (> 70%),
- 1 cup of pistachios, crushed (desiccated coconut is an alternate option)
- Line a roasting tray with parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a bain marie (double boiler method).
- In the meantime while chocolate is melting, crush pistachios gently in a mortar and pestle to break them apart into tiny chunks.
- Once chocolate has melted, hold the stem of the strawberry and dip the strawberries one-by-one in the melting pot of chocolate goodness and rotate 360 degrees to ensure it is coated all over.
- Before the chocolate solidifies, quickly roll the strawberry into the crumbed pistachio and rotate all over.
- Once complete, layer on the prepared roasting tray. Repeat the process for the other strawberries. If you fancy, instead of using pistachio, you can also roll the strawberries in a layer of desiccated coconut.
- Stick the tray in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving.
PISTACHIO-LICIOUS | A combination of pistachio, blackberries, and a dash of banana gives these financiers a touch of the extraordinary.
Since having left Paris not too long ago, I’m still going through a financier-crazed phase. This time I wanted to go real lush and experimented with blackberries, pistachios, and a smudge of banana.
Once again, the key is getting the beurre noisette (hazelnut butter in French) right in order to achieve that nutty flavour that makes a financier so distinctive and sets it apart from the ordinary muffin.
For those who aren’t aware, financiers are basically what I consider to be “baller” teacakes. They were so named because they were so “rich” (both in ingredients and in price) that only financiers/bankers could afford to eat them. The cakes were rich with brown butter, shaped into a gold bar, and made small and crumbles for portability – perfect for a busy banker.
Egg white, almond meal, and beurre noisette are the key fundamental ingredients that constitute the basic financier. After that, you are free to experiment at your whim and add any addition of fruits, nuts and/or spices.
For me, financiers are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of earl grey team come five o’clock. Simply relax and unwind with a good book. What’s more, tie two financiers together with a cute ribbon and voila, you will have a perfect treat for a special friend or special someone.
Simply tie two financiers up in a stack with a ribbon and it’ll make for a perfect gesture of love.
Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: makes 6
- 125g butter
- 90g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 tablespoon of mashed banana
- 1 punnet blackberries
- 60g almond flour
- 60g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 freshly grated lemon zest
- 50g pistachio (shells excluded)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (or 180 degrees celsius if fan forced). Then prepare the beurre noisette by melting the butter on a pan over medium high heat till it turns amber in colour and smells nutty. After a few minutes, you will see specks of brown bits. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- In the meantime, with a grater, freshly zest one lemon.
- Grind pistachio into fine crumbs using a mortar or pestle (or if you are more high-tech and have a food processor, opt for that instead). I purposely left some pistachios semi-grinded only so that I could get more texture.
- Mash a portion of a ripe banana to yield ~1 tablespoon.
- In a large bowl, mix pistachio flour with the almond and plain flour. Add in remaining sugar, cinnamon, mashed banana, and lemon zest.
- Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Place egg whites into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of sugar. Whisk egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy.
- Spoon 1/3rd of the egg white mixture into the flour batter. Fold with spatula until just combined. Repeat process with remaining egg white being careful to fold only and not over mix.
- Coat berries lightly with flour. Then add to the batter and fold.
- Spoon batter into buttered financier moulds (or muffin tins). Fill each mould with the batter until about 2/3rds full. Press any remaining blackberries on top of each financier (for aesthetic appeal).
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Financiers are done when they turn golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar to serve.