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Fresh strawberries do not need much dressing up but these take on another flavour dimension in this incredibly simple yet elegant French dessert.

Serves 4


400 g / 3/4 lb small strawberries, hulled and halved (if large)
250 ml / 1 cup dry red wine, I used a Merlot
50 g / 1/4 cup sugar
180 ml / 3/4 cup heavy cream
120 ml / 1/2 cup mascarpone
2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped out and reserved
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Place the strawberries in a large bowl and pour the wine over them
Sprinkle in the sugar and stir
Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but not more than 12
Remove from refrigerator just before serving
In another bowl, whisk the cream, mascarpone, vanilla seeds and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form
Spoon some cream into each bowl and top with the strawberries and wine