Strawberry season is here (at least in the U.S. ): those plump and luscious fruits are ubiquitous at farmers’ markets these days and are incredibly irresistible. We were intrigued by the combination of guava and strawberry flavors, but how should we combine them? I used to make for Bird my Desserts of +2 Wooing (that’s a roleplaying game joke) of chocolate dipped strawberries filled with Grand Marnier. Bird loved them, and we haven’t had them in a while, so we decided to revisit that format for our experiment.
We used large organic strawberries because their cavities were big enough to hold significant volumes of guava-liquor:
We had made guava gelée previously using guava nectar and pectin. The guava nectar brand we bought tasted best when diluted 1:3 with water. The amount of calcium phosphate (cross-linking agent) and pectin used were according manufacturer’s recommendations given the total volume of water and guava nectar. Calcium was dissolved in the 1 part of water and brought to a boil. Pectin was added once the water boiled and stirred until dissolved. 3 parts guava nectar were then added, stirred, and brought to a boil again. The whole thing was then poured into a jam jar and placed in the fridge to cool and gel.
Mixing guava gelée and Cognac or Grand Marnier took a little bit of effort…
…but totally worth it:
We loved the combination of strawberries, guava gelée and liquor for the blend of flavors and texture. The sharpness of liquor gave a needed edge to guava so it was not overpowered by the strawberries. I liked the Cognac/guava gelée, Bird preferred the less sharp, more citrusy combination with Grand Marnier. The gel provided a soft textural contrast to the plumpness of strawberry flesh and crunchiness of the seeds.
Our original idea was to inject the guava liquor gelée into the middle of each fruit. However, the gel was too thick to pass through the small gauge needles we had so we came up with a different presentation of the dish: we cut strawberry in half, filled the cavity and topped it off with guava-liquor gelée. This method worked to our advantage, allowing us to incorporate more guava and liquor mixture in each strawberry half and thus reaching a more balanced composition.
We can’t wait to make more and serve this delectable dessert this summer!