Basil & white chocolate creams

I loved eating dirt as a kid. I have definitely kicked the habit now, but sure enough as toddler you would find me snacking on some delicious mud while my brother cleaned his bike/danced in the driveway/beat my barbies up with his Skelator doll. We even have photographic evidence of mud around my mouth looking incredibly pleased with myself.

Having a fair amount of friends and family with children, I am starting to notice there is a difference between the way the first child and the second child are brought up. I’m told that when you have your first you worry about everything, but once the second one comes along you are a lot more relaxed. I suspect my place in the pecking order (second child and baby of the family) has something to do with my fondness for consuming dirt as a kid, and my continuing lack of germaphobia. Either that or I inherited my dad’s exploratory nature when it comes to food… (Frank is the third child, we’ll be doing some analysis on that soon!)

My mom and Dude are fairly germaphobic. Both will vehemently deny this, but it is alas still true. Due to Mom’s dislike of raw eggs I only ever made one chocolate mousse, with melted marshmallows. And having once described it as “fool-proof” to a friend, it no longer worked and always ended up a runny mess. I was left with no other choice, and learned to make mousse with raw eggs. Delicious!

Mom is coming to stay next month. As it is over summer I am keen to get some summer dessert recipes in, and chocolate mousse is a great one. Knowing the rules of no raw eggs, I searched for one to test out this weekend. The recipe I found is so easy to make, and incredibly morish. It has a twist to it, but it really works well. Just don’t go nuts on the basil!

Basil & white chocolate creams with sticky balsamic strawberries – from the BBC Good Food website

(serves 4)

284ml pot single cream
1 large handful basil, torn (about 2 big stalks plus leaves, depending how pungent your basil is), plus extra leaves to serve
300g good-quality white chocolate, chopped
50g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
250g strawberries , hulled and halved

Pour the cream into a saucepan, then add the torn basil leaves and stalks. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 mins.

Discard the basil and re-heat the cream to a simmer. Remove the cream from the heat and immediately tip in the chocolate. Leave for a few mins to melt, then stir until smooth. Pour the mixture into four small serving glasses and chill for at least 3 hours until firm. (This can be done up to a day ahead.)

In a small saucepan, mix the caster sugar and balsamic vinegar with 2 tbsp water and cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced by half to a sticky syrup (about 5 mins). Cool before pouring over the strawberries and allow to soak for at least 1 hr.

Spoon the balsamic strawberries over the creams and decorate with basil.

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5 Responses to “Basil & white chocolate creams”


  1. 1 Ellie 27/09/2010 at 6:45 pm

    How interesting! Basil and chocolate. Though to be fair, on Top Chef Just Desserts they used basil in buttercream. What a unique combination.

  2. 2 Honey @ honeyandsoy 27/09/2010 at 7:55 pm

    Definitely yum! I actually haven’t tried strawberries with basil before, but have seen the combi a lot. I really like your presentation! Love the colour contrast in the layers!

  3. 3 Tes 27/09/2010 at 10:15 pm

    What a clever recipe! I definitely have to try this basil and white chocolate creams… I think it will be great with raspberry, too πŸ™‚

  4. 4 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 28/09/2010 at 11:40 am

    What a gorgeous sounding flavour Loll! I have had basil in sweet desserts and it works so well! πŸ™‚

  5. 5 Anna Johnston 28/09/2010 at 5:30 pm

    From another dirt eating 2nd child I think it just shows an incredible palate in the making (that’s my excuse anyway) πŸ™‚
    These, my lovelies are to die for…., I love the ingredients so the flavours would be wonderful & the colours are so good.


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