Recipe – Strawberries Romanoff

Strawberries Romanoff
I’ve seen this simple dessert credited to Câreme and Escoffier (under the name Strawberries Americaine-style) though it seems to have become famous at Romanoff’s, a popular Beverly Hills restaurant in the 1940s and 50s. It was a favourite of mine at a suburban Italian restaurant that I frequented in the 1980s … where they used blue curaçao, which seemed very fancy at the time! Curaçao is an orange liqueur from the Dutch Caribbean island of the same name – but Cointreau, Grand Marnier or any orange liqueur works well. Don’t leave the strawberries in the liqueur for more than a few hours or they’ll become mushy. Chef Janni Kyritsis taught me to always serve a thin, crisp biscuit on the side of a soft dessert, for a little textural contrast; I like Jules Destrooper almond thins with this dish. Lightly sparkling, Brachetto d’Soumah from the Yarra Valley is only slightly sweet, low in alcohol (9.5%) and, with a hint of strawberries on the nose and palate, an ideal accompaniment.

Serves 6

Ingredients
  • 500g strawberries, hulled
  • 45ml curaçao
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 300ml single cream
  • Few drops vanilla essence
  • Crisp biscuits, for serving
Method
  1. Halve or quarter strawberries, depending on size.
  2. Dissolve half the sugar in the curaçao and combine with strawberries, cover and set aside for 1-4 hours, mixing occasionally.
  3. Whip cream, vanilla essence and remaining sugar together until firm peaks form.
  4. Fold strawberries through the cream, spoon into glasses and serve with a crisp biscuit on the side. 

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