Shirin Mehrotra sneak’s into the kitchens of Chef Vikas Seth and Chef Ajmal Salim and learns to make strawberry desserts.

As much as we like to eat out or order in, there are days that demand more. With Valentine’s Day approaching and strawberry season making a slow exit we suggest you whip up these beautiful desserts for your partner, family or friends quickly.

strawberry tres lechesStrawberry tres leches
by Chef Vikas Seth, Sanchos

Cake Sponge
Eggs 6
Sugar 200 gms
Vanilla essence 10 gms
Flour 400 gms
Baking powder 10 gms
Salt 2 gms
Milk 45 ml
Butter 10 gms

Milk Mixture
Evaporated Milk 300 ml
Condensed Milk 300 ml
Whole Milk 100 ml

Filling & topping
Strawberries 300 gms
Castor Sugar 30 gms
Whipping Cream 300 gms
Mint Leaves 8 sprigs

• In a medium bowl, sieve the flour with the baking powder and salt.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla essence at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy.
• Add half of the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just incorporated.
• Gradually add the milk, and then mix in the remaining flour mixture.
• Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.
• Lightly butter a nine-inch diameter-baking dish.
• Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch.
• Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes.
• In a small bowl, blend whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
• Using a fork, poke holes all over the cooled cake.
• Gradually pour the milk mixture over the entire cake.
• Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
• In a bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
• Cut cake in half horizontally. Remove top, spread bottom layer with half of the strawberries tossed in sugar.
• Replace top of cake. Beat sweetened whipping cream in small bowl at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
• Frost cooled cake.
• Decorate the top with the remaining sliced strawberries.
• Store in refrigerator.
• Cut the preparation into eight or twelve equal wedges and garnish with a swirl of whipped cream and sprig of mint leaves.

Strawberry chiffon cake
by Chef Ajmal Salim, Mariott

Eggs 6
Egg white 1
All purpose flour 225 gms
Castor sugar 300 gms
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Corn oil 120 ml
Strawberry juice 75 ml
Fresh strawberries 100 gms
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Icing sugar 50 gms

• Preheat the oven at 180 Degrees Celsius.
• Separate the eggs while they are still cold. Place the egg yolks in one bowl and the whites (along with the extra egg white) in another.
• Mix the flour, sugar (keep 50 grams aside) and baking powder separately in a bowl.
• Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, strawberry juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
• Beat the egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks form.
• Gradually beat in the remaining 50 grams of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
• Fold the egg whites slowly into the batter just until blended being careful not to deflate the batter.
• Pour the batter in the cake dish.
• Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes.
• Dust the top with icing sugar.
• Serve with softly whipped cream or ice cream and fresh strawberries.

Strawberry and cheesecake parfait
by Chef Ajmal Salim, Mariott

Fresh strawberries 500 gms
Castor sugar 20 gms
Butter biscuits 100 gms
Unsalted butter 30 gms
Cream cheese 360 gms
Sour cream 125 ml
Whipped cream 250 gms
Icing sugar 75 gms

• Crush butter biscuits to fine crumbs and add sugar to it.
• Melt butter and add to the above, mixing it all with a fork.
• Use a hand blender and whip cream until soft peaks form.
• In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and icing sugar.
• Now fold-in the whipped cream into the cheese mix until smooth and light.
• Cut ¾ of strawberries into halves.
• Use small glasses or cups to finish the parfait.
• Put the biscuit crumb on the bottom, then pipe the cheese and cream mixture, place cut strawberries and repeat the process once more, so that the glass is full.
• Finally garnish with strawberries.
• Serve chilled.

Make these easy desserts at home, light a few candles and spend an indulgent evening together. Need we say more?