Long live the Queen!.................
..................and she has! I didn't plan it, but I happen to be heading to London today to visit my daughter and her family - on the very weekend of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee - a celebration of sixty years on the throne. She's definitely been a lovely "institution" in the UK, the second-longest reigning monarch in British history, being surpassed only by Victoria, who ruled England for sixty-three years! How fun to be a part of such delightful, royal history.
To celebrate this memorable event, I'm sharing what may be the simplest and yet most delicious dessert recipe - EVER! It hails from a famous London restaurant, The Ivy, located in the theater district, supposedly where the popular celebrities like to hang out. This easy, yet elegant dessert has received worldwide accolades. Oh, and it didn't hurt that Ina Garten, offered this recipe her cookbook; Barefoot Contessa at Home. It's been adapted here and there over the years but this amazingly simple dessert remains a stunning showstopper.
I have one other fun surprise for you; I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but my husband, Scott, and I write children's musicals. The musicals are interwoven with themes to help develop good character traits in kids. The students have a wonderful time learning, practicing and performing these musicals without even knowing they are learning about honesty, kindness, caring about others and much more.
Perhaps now you're thinking that I'm musical ........... you're wrong........... I guess I need to restate what I said in the above paragraph; my husband writes children's musicals and I help him with the scripts. You see, I don't have a musical bone in my body, but I do have a silly imagination and that's where my part comes in!
The children at Scott's school, just this past week, performed our third musical, A London Legend, which just happens to take place................. yep you guessed it, in London. One of the theme songs that Scott wrote for this musical is called "I love London". I thought it would be fun and appropriate to share his students singing this song as I head to London just in time for the Jubilee celebration:
Are you getting in the festive mood? If not, go out and buy the prettiest berries you can find and whip up this delicious dessert! I'll be celebrating right along with you. Oh, and if I see the Queen I'll be sure to give her your best regards! :)
Chilled Berries w/ White Hot Chocolate Sauce
4-6 cups fresh berries, I like to use a combination of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
6-7 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped (I use Ghiradelli or Lindt)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. At least 60-90 minutes before serving time, spread the berries on a baking sheet and place in the freezer.
2.While berries are freezing, place cream in a medium size microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until cream just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from microwave and immediately add white chocolate. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and alllow to sit for several minutes then stir well until all chocolate is melted and sauce is smooth. Set aside, covered until serving time.
3.When ready to serve, divide berries among 4 dessert plates or 4 pretty bowls. Re-heat white chocolate sauce for 40-50 seconds. Drizzle sauce generously over berries. Serve with a mint sprig for garnish.
Adapted from at least 6 different recipes, a smattering from each and a few of my own ideas