Cool and creamy. Lightly sweet and wonderfully fruity. This easy dish is a refreshing dessert or an elegant addition to brunch. The best part is that it only looks fancy.
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I first had this amazing dish at La Madeline’s French Bakery and Cafe in Houston, Texas. Running late for a Monday morning client meeting at the cafe, I grabbed the first thing in front of me. Disinterest in the food was an understatement.
One bite in and I was hooked. It was so delicious, creamy, and slightly sweet. I became a bit obsessed and went back often. It got to the point that when I walked into the cafe, the guys behind the counter grabbed a tray and just put a dish of this deliciousness onto the tray for me. Needless to say that I was thrilled to find the recipe!
Reading the recipe that was in a local newspaper, I was surprised by the sour cream in the recipe. It does add a hint of tanginess, but is it really necessary? Well, I tried using vanilla Greek yogurt and it was a watery disaster that separated before I could devour the berries. I discovered that the sour cream helps to stabilize the heavy cream. No more separation. Brilliant.
Strawberries Romanoff was first created by the famed chef, Auguste Escoffier at the Carlton Hotel in London, England. It was then recreated by conman/restaurateur, “Prince” Michael Romanoff for his self-named restaurant.
This restaurant also claims to have given the world, Noodles Romanoff-a cream, and parmesan cheese noodle dish.
Michael Romanoff, besides claiming to be a Russian Prince, was also a bit of an eccentric. Rather than have his meals with family, friends or acquaintances, he was known to take his meals with his two dogs.
Personally, I don’t see how lunching with your furry friends makes one an eccentric. Taking meals with pups makes everything taste better.
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR STRAWBERRIES ROMANOFF
- Make the dish child-friendly by substituting orange juice for the Grand Marnier. You can omit the brandy in the whipped cream as well.
- No time to whip heavy cream? Swap in French Vanilla ice cream. Simply allow the ice cream to get very soft, almost to the point of melted and then stir in the sour cream.
- Switch the fruit. I think fresh sliced peaches would be wonderful with this cream sauce. Maybe add a bit of almond flavoring instead of the vanilla.
A very easy, yet so elegant recipe that combines sweet berries and a slightly boozy whipped cream topping. Perfect for brunch or dessert.
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced into quarters
- 4 Tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- ½ cup full fat sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons brandy, optional
- In a large bowl, place the washed, stemmed and quartered berries. Add the orange liqueur. Stir well and allow to macerate for 15-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the sour cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and brandy together until the sugars are dissolved.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it thickens to a stiff peak stage. Carefully fold in the sour cream mixture and blend well.
- To serve: spoon berries with a bit of the liqueur sauce into a small bowl. Spoon the cream mixture on top. Garnish with orange zest and a mint sprig, if desired.
- Serving Size: 1
There have been many versions of the Strawberries Romanoff recipe. The French used Curacao, whipped cream, orange juice, vanilla, and sugar. The Russians would make it with Cointreau, sugar, whipped cream, vanilla, and sour cream. But only the Americanized version used vanilla ice cream.
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Not sure how to whip heavy cream? Here’s a video to help you whip it flawlessly: