Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

EATING well

Let fancied-up fruit be the after-dinner star

End your meal with fresh berries served with a sugar syrup spiked with cocktail bitters and garnished with shavings of dark chocolate.

Associated Press

End your meal with fresh berries served with a sugar syrup spiked with cocktail bitters and garnished with shavings of dark chocolate.

According to my grandmother, fruit is God's candy, making it the perfect ending to a meal. I agree with Grandma — fruit is a lovely, healthy way to end a meal. But I'll also confess that the dessert lover in me sometimes craves something a smidge fancier. And by fancier, I mean with chocolate.

Berries are the perfect dessert fruit because their flavor is concentrated and bold, and they are sweet and a tiny bit tangy. Berries are gorgeous and elegant, which is important when it comes to pulling off fruit as a true dessert.

Plus, berries are rich in antioxidants, high in fiber and low in calories. Raspberries, for instance, have only about 60 calories per cup. Despite their sweet taste, they pack only about 5 grams of sugar, but a whopping 8 grams of fiber. All of which means this dessert isn't just tasty, it's filling, too.

Perhaps the best benefit to making berries the star of dessert is that there's a little wiggle room to add a few bells and whistles. One of my favorite fruit dessert strategies is to whip up a simple syrup (just water and sugar heated until they come together in a thin syrup) with cool flavors. Think about adding interesting spices, such as cardamom with vanilla bean and black pepper, or herbs, such as mint. Then just drizzle your way to dessert magic.

Add a tablespoon of liqueur or wine to the syrup — think orange liqueur or Marsala — and the flavors really pop. A few drops of almond extract or even cocktail bitters are a great addition. Only a tiny bit of a flavorful syrup is needed, but be aware that you are adding a bit of worthwhile sugar. Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave off a few shards of deep, almost bitter chocolate.

BITTERS AND BERRIES

cup raw coconut sugar

cup water

1 ½ tablespoons angostura bitters

½ vanilla pod, sliced open lengthwise, seeds scraped out

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice

4 cups mixed fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries)

Very dark chocolate bar, to shave

In a small saucepan over medium, heat the sugar and water, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bitters, vanilla pod and seeds, orange zest and juice, then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to steep at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. Discard the vanilla pod. Refrigerate if not using right away.

Divide the berries among 6 dessert cups. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the syrup over each berry bowl. Top with shavings of dark chocolate.

Makes 6 servings.

Let fancied-up fruit be the after-dinner star 05/12/16 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2016 6:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  2. White House tensions catch fire with Scaramucci interviews (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of …

    White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci gestures as he answers a question during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington on July 21, 2017. Scaramucci offered newsroom leaders a test on Thursday. They needed to decide whether to fully use the obscenities relied on by Scaramucci to describe fellow White House aides or talk around them. [Associated Press]
  3. Forecast: Drier pattern ending in Tampa Bay as front brings building rain chances throughout weekend

    Weather

    The drier, hot weather pattern across Tampa Bay will remain in place Friday before rain chances start to ramp up yet again through the weekend and into next week.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Police investigating death of child in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — An investigation is underway into the death of a child Thursday night at a mobile home park and a 25-year-old man has been named as a suspect, the Largo Police Department said.

  5. Goodbye, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle: Apple kills products as music moves to phones

    Science

    SAN FRANCISCO — The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.

    An iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are displayed at an Apple store in New York in 2015. The company discontinued sales of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. [Associated Press]