The weather in Portland has been a dreary gray. I've had a case of the blues, and have sorely missed writing and cooking and trying to find the glamorous moments of life.
Inspiration has eluded me I'm afraid.
But yesterday, as I raced into Fred Meyer's after work to grab a bag of greens to go with dinner, a box of organic strawberries winked at me from the produce section. (if there is one organic grocery store purchase you can splurge on, it should be strawberries)
I'm a sucker for warm, melted dark chocolate with fruit, but in this recipe, the dark golden homemade caramel sauce shines through, and the combination is beautifully complex, and deliciously mesmerizing. Shock your dinner guests with the sheer simplicity and brilliance of this dessert.
Serve the fresh ruby berries in wine glasses , drizzled with the warm dark chocolate and slightly salty , cozy, caramel sauce, along with a well chosen Port. You will be a rock star.
Even in the rain.
Strawberries with Chocolate Caramel Sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (warmed up a tad in the microwave or on the stove top)
- 1.5 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened; no more than 60% cacao if labeled), coarsely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 lb strawberries, (halved if they are humongous)
- Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream
Cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel, (1 to 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and carefully pour in cream (mixture will steam and bubble vigorously). Once bubbles begin to subside, return pan to moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until caramel is dissolved.
Remove from heat, then add chocolate and salt and stir until chocolate is melted. Add butter and stir until just melted.
Cool sauce slightly, then drizzle over strawberries.
*For an added treat, (and to cure the blues during Portland's rainy season) try it along with a bottle of Port from McMenamins