This recipe is one of my favourite summer desserts. I adore fresh strawberries and they really shine in this dish. It’s a dessert that doesn’t take long to make and it is a big hit in our home. For the past two years I’ve served it when we watch the Eurovision Song Contest finals – you have to make your own traditions, right?
This is an adaptation of a recipe by Danish chef Claus Meyer. I can’t find any links to his version, but he had a TV show back in the 90’s and this dish was on it. It’s a bit of a clunky name for a dish – especially in Danish. The original name of the dish was Jordbær i jordbær med tung blød creme, which translates as Strawberries in Strawberries with Heavy Soft crème. My version is slightly renamed and every bit as delicious as the original, in my opinion.
The original recipe uses tykmælk for the cream topping. Tykmælk is a Danish soured dairy product. The name translates as “thick milk” and it is similar to yoghurt. Tykmælk is not available outside of Denmark, as far as I know, but I’ve found that Greek yoghurt works just as well. If you don’t have access to Greek yoghurt, you can use normal yoghurt instead. All you have to do is strain some of the whey out for up to 10 hours – as little as 2 hours works too if you are in a hurry.
The easiest way to strain yoghurt, is to line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth, coffee filters or a couple of layers of paper kitchen roll. Set the lined sieve over a bowl to catch the whey in and pour the yoghurt into the sieve. Put this setup in the fridge and let gravity do the rest. The liquid in the bottom of the bowl is the whey and will look a bit yellowish. You can discard the whey or use it as the liquid in bread baking or even water your plants with it.
This, for me, is a special occasion dessert celebrating strawberries and I recommend you use the 10% fat Greek yoghurt or full fat yoghurt. It will taste very different with low fat yoghurts, but if that is what you prefer of course that is what you should use.
For the strawberries in strawberries:
- 800 – 1000 g fresh strawberries.
- a small splash of lemon juice.
- a little powdered sugar (around 20-25 g depending on the sweetness of the strawberries).
For the cream topping:
- 250 g of 10% fat Greek yoghurt OR 500 g full fat regular yoghurt.
- ½ vanilla pod (½-1 tsp vanilla essence/vanilla sugar/vanilla extract works too).
- 75 g powdered sugar.
- 250 ml of whipping cream.
If you are using regular yoghurt, you need to allow for at least 2 hours of straining and up to 10 hours of straining. Line a fine mesh sieve or colander with cheesecloth, coffee filters or a couple of layers of paper kitchen roll. Place this on top of a bowl, to catch the whey. Pour your yoghurt into your straining contraption and put the whole thing in the fridge. When done straining, gently transfer the thickened yoghurt to a large mixing bowl.
If using Greek yoghurt, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
There, now both the people using Greek yoghurt and the people straining regular yoghurt are at the same point in the recipe 🙂
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the back of your knife to scrape out the vanilla grains – or are they seeds? Anyway, the little black dots with all the flavour are what we want here, so add them to the bowl along with the powdered sugar. Give everything a good mix.
In a separate bowl (I use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment) whisk the cream till fairly stiff peaks form, taking care not to over whip.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the yoghurt mix. Now the cream topping is done, so set it aside until you are ready to serve (see notes about make ahead tips).
Rinse and drain the strawberries and trim off the leaves and any dodgy bits with a small sharp knife.
Take between a third to half the strawberries aside for the marinade.
For the marinade you can use a stick blender, a blender, a food processor with the blade attachment or a mini blender. Blend the strawberries with a dash of lemon juice. Taste the marinade and see if it needs a little powdered sugar. You want this marinade to not be overly sweet, as the cream topping will balance everything nicely. How much powdered sugar you use depends on the natural sweetness of the strawberries.
Cut the remaining strawberries in quarters and place in a mixing bowl. Pour over the marinade and gently mix so all the strawberries are covered in strawberry marinade.
Serve the marinated strawberries with a dollop of the cream topping and enjoy!
This dessert is best when served soon after it’s done. You can leave both the finished cream topping and the marinated strawberries in covered bowls in the fridge for a little while, 1-2 hours max, before serving.
If you have leftovers, both the marinated strawberries and the cream topping will taste great the next day. However, the strawberries will get softer the longer they marinate and the cream topping will separate out a layer of whey on the bottom of the bowl you store it in. If this happens, just scoop the cream topping off the whey layer and you are good to enjoy the leftovers.