Hey ya’ll! I’ve been largely absent from the blog-o-sphere (and normal life in general) because we’re in the middle of a big move. Moving the contents of a home is hard enough but we’re also moving the studio which is, in a word, bonkers. It’s super exciting to have a new home and shoot space so you won’t catch me complaining, but the days are quite grueling and seemingly endless at the moment. At the end of a physically and mentally demanding day, I like to curl up at night even if just for 15 minutes and indulge in some kind of treat. Hey, I did all that hard work today! I’ve earned it!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not much for baking. Because of this I need to get a bit more creative with desserts. I like creamy desserts that are a celebration of fresh and seasonal flavors. This sweet whipped ricotta is creamy and rich and the balsamic strawberry sauce celebrates the sweet tang of seasonal strawberries. I freeze clean farmers’ market strawberries every year in bulk so I have extra special strawberries year-round. This recipe can absolutely sing with store bought frozen strawberries as well. Give it a whirl on these hot hot days!
The balsamic strawberry sauce is fantastic in yogurt as well. If you reduce it even more you’ll have a jam for toast or fancy PBJs! My young toddler can’t get enough!
The spiced maple crisp is just a quick oven candy. It’s totally optional and crazy delicious.
SWEET WHIPPED RICOTTA
- 2 cups (1 tub) ricotta cheese (I’ve used whole and part-skim with no problems)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ Blend all ingredients in blender until completely smooth. Pour into covered bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours to set. Can be made ahead. Stir before serving.
BALSAMIC STRAWBERRY SAUCE
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Smash many of the strawberries to release their juices. Bring to boil and reduce, stirring frequently, until liquid reduces to desired thickness (usually reduce the liquid by half).
~ Let cool. Pour into jars and refrigerate.
SPICED MAPLE CRISP
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrups
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chinese 5 spice
~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add maple syrup, salt and spice. Whisk thoroughly.
~Pour mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
~ Allow to cool completely then break into pieces.
~ Spoon ricotta mixture into glasses. Top with strawberry sauce and sprinkle broken shards of spiced candy over top.