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Strawberry Infused Champagne Gélee with Vanilla Bean Cremeux

For this month’s recipe Culinary Capers‘ Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw creates a divine Valentine’s Day dessert that is luxurious and light. The vanilla bean cremeux is pudding-like but has a lighter, creamier consistency. There are a few steps to this layered creation but will be well worth your time and an impressive dessert any time of the year.
Line-thin-340Strawberry Infused Champagne Gelée with Vanilla Bean Cremeux and Rose Water Shortbread Crumbs
Makes 6 (depending on size of your glass)

Strawberry infused Champagne Gélee
4 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
½ cup white granulated sugar
2 cups Champagne or sparkling wine
1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
6 vanilla macarons

Soften gelatin in 3 tablespoons cold water. Set aside.
Split the vanilla bean length wise. Place strawberries including the juice, sugar, vanilla bean and Champagne in a saucepan. On high heat, bring mixture to a low boil.
Remove from heat and let sit for approximately half an hour.
Strain mixture and place back in saucepan. Reheat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.
Place a macaron on the bottom of each glass and pour gelée mixture over each.
Set gelée in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

Vanilla Bean Cremeux
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp powdered gelatin
1 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
½ tsp salt

Soften gelatin with 1 tablespoon cold water. Set aside.
Place cream in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and bring to a near boil.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until it thickens slightly and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes. Do not boil.
Remove from heat and strain sauce into bowl. Whisk in gelatin and continue to whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and chill.
Once chilled spoon over gelée. Set in fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

Rose Water Shortbread Crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup icing sugar
½ tsp rose water

Preheat oven 325˚F.
In a mixer bowl soften butter. Add sugar and combine.
Slowly add flour and salt. Mix until just combined.
Add in rose water.
Place mixture on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Break it apart with your fingers to create ‘crumbs’.
Bake approximately 10 minutes or until it just starts to turn a little brown.

To assemble:
Top the cremeux with fresh whipped cream and fresh berries of your choice.
Finish with shortbread crumbs.

Pastry Chef tip: There will be left over shortbread crumbs. Store these in an airtight container. These would be delicious on ice cream or yogurt.
Recipe: Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw
Photo: Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm

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Important Message: Culinary Capers + Savoury Chef