Here is another recipe inspired by the movie “Chef”, Berries & Cream! “Chef” is by far my favorite movie about food and the realities of being in the industry. Again just a few simple ingredients elevated by technique.
Plain white granulated sugar turns into a deep golden caramel. The berries tossed with sugar and Grand Marnier release their natural juices to make the delicious sauce. Mint to balance the flavors with some freshness. And finally the whipped cream just brings it all together. The only part of this recipe that require a little more attention is the caramel.
The Magic of Making Caramel
The caramel only requires one ingredient: sugar. Here I used this induction burner so I could control the heat better. However this recipe works just fine over a regular stove top on medium heat. As the sugar melts you will notice that certain parts may melt much faster than others.
Do not be tempted to mix or stir the sugar. Instead as the sugar becomes more liquid you can simply swirl the pot around to distribute the molten sugar. I would only suggest moving the sugar around with a wooden spoon if you notice the sugar becoming too dark in certain hotspots.
One other piece of equipment you will need is a Silpat. This is basically just a non-stick silicone baking mat. In order to make a dust from the melted caramel we must pour it out onto the Silpat in a thin layer to harden. The hardened sugar will then easily release from the mat. You can order Silpats here on Amazon or try your luck at your local cooking supply store.
The Mind Behind Berries & Cream
Again another great recipe inspired by Chef Roy Choi, the culinary mind behind the scenes of the food in “Chef”. This Berries & Cream recipe is sure to impress while being simple enough for anyone to make. The caramel dust will take some patience but it is a pretty fun process!
If you don’t know Chef Roy Choi I fully recommend watching his shows and reading his cookbook. He’s a laid-back yet passionate advocate for the powers of good food. His shows include “The Chef Show” and “Broken Bread“. I also really enjoyed his cookbook “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food“. Read his story and listen to his message and you will understand what kind of Chef he is!
Movie Recipes to Try
Berries & Cream from “Chef”
- 1.5 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup quartered strawberries de-stemmed
- 1 cup blueberries optional
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, chiffonade
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream keep very cold
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the berries and sprinkle half a cup of sugar. Add in the Grand Marnier and mix to combine. Let sit in fridge for an hour. In the meantime make the caramel and the whipped cream.
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat. In a small sauce pan melt the sugar over a medium flame. Swirl the pan occasionally (do not stir) until all the sugar has dissolved and turned into a medium dark caramel color. Be careful not to burn it!
- Pour the caramel onto the silpat lined baking sheet in a thin even layer. Let cool completely.
- Break up the caramel with a wooden spoon. Take the broken shards and pulse them in a food processor until finely ground. Run through a mesh sieve to make a dust. Reserve a few shards if you would like to use them as a garnish. (If you don't have a food processor just put the shards in a cloth kitchen towel and lightly hammer with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium peaks form.
- Add the mint to the berries and mix to combine. Scoop the berries into serving bowls.
- Top with a large spoonful of whipped cream and dust with the caramel. Garnish with some of the cracked caramel sugar if you'd like. Enjoy!