The Beef Wellington was baking in the oven on Christmas Day. My plan of making Christmas cake aka strawberry shortcake was altered to make this Dreamy Russian Cream (no, really, that is the real name of this recipe) because unlike my daughter’s kitchen I only have uno oven. The old newspaper clipping of this recipe was chosen for just that cause.
For uneducated me, the images associated with Russia are very limited – the Kremlin, Lenin, Romanoff, Anastasia, crazy Rasputin, Chernobyl, babushka dolls, one of the 007 movies (From Russia With Love?), super cold and deep snow. Do they really have this for dessert? Though I have never been there, I know 5 people that have and 4 of them did missionary work in Russia (one of person was born and raised in Hawaii so it must have been quite an adjustment). I looked for a Jell-O mold in the house but could not find any. Right, I don’t make Jell-O but I have a Bundt pan. One thing that I was concerned about was will it come out from the pan cleanly? Or will we have to eat it from the pan with a spoon?
I needed to modify the recipe because I didn’t have one main ingredient- sour cream. Christmas day and Sunday so no store is open I bet. I substituted Greek style yogurt. It was better than I expected. The flavor is similar to panna cotta bit stiffer and as fans of panna cotta we’re delighted. I didn’t care for the old fashioned look of the dessert however and the ‘dreamy’ is overrated in my opinion but maybe not using sour-cream has something to do with that?
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin-use less if you like softer texture.
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 pint half and half
- 1 cup sugar
- 16 ounces yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla-for variation, try almond extract.
- 2 cups strawberries, blueberries, peaches or other fruits- for Christmas color I used strawberries and kiwis.
- Raspberry sauce (optional)
- Combine gelatin with cold water and set aside.
- Heat half-and-half and sugar in a small sauce pan to scald stage over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and stir gelatin into the pan with the cream mixture.
- Add yogurt or sour cream and vanilla.
- Pour into a 5-cup mold and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours or more.
- Dip bottom of pan in warm water for 10 seconds or so to loosen. Put a plate larger than the mold over the pan and flip. Clap your hands if it comes out in one piece! (optional).
- Decorate with fruits.
I love eating this dessert with raspberry sauce which is easy to make. Put however many raspberries you want in a small pan, add water just to cover the raspberries then add sugar and cook over low heat until it makes a syrupy sauce. Add a few drops of red food coloring if you have some to brighten the color. Add lemon juice. You can strain the syrup for a smooth seedless sauce. Now that’s more of a dreamy dessert!
I hope your 2012 will be healthy and happy and that all your dreams come true.