Painting the town red
The crimson raspberry is slowly becoming a pet fruit of chefs and bakers across the city. Sonal Ved tells you where you can relish the best raspberry desserts and recommends easy recipes that can be whipped up in a jiffy
Soft peaks of egg white are baked to resemble a crunchy, hot cloud. Its exterior is slathered with velvety smooth cream and a crumbly mixture of raspberry and strawberry is dusted on top. The disc is broken into several pieces and hastily transferred into chic shot glasses. The Summer Berry Pavlova — a dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova — greets us on the summer menu at Smoke House Deli. It lulls our summer-parched souls with its acerbic freshness and reinforces the aptness of berry-based desserts during this sweltering season.
This fruit-based dessert is just one such example. With a wide array of raspberry-infused teas, tarts, cookies, cakes and muffins available at eateries across the city, it’s evident that this scarlet fruit is clearly emerging as a favourite amongst chefs, bakers and bloggers. “Raspberries are getting popular because they provide a sour twist to the otherwise saccharine sweet desserts,” says Gayatri Lalvani, the young owner of frozen yogurt joint, Sugadaddy.
According to her unlike apples that need to be stewed for hours or pears that need to be poached, raspberries don’t take too long to cook and therefore are relatively easy to work with. The fruit is also packed with vital nutrients. “Raspberries are low on calories and high on antioxidants. The tiny fruit is capable of protecting us from various lifestyle-related disorders and the dietary fibre helps keep one feeling full for longer,” says Amita Gadre Kelkar, a nutritionist, columnist and food blogger at healthyfeasts.wordpress.com.
We sampled five raspberry desserts to tell you which are ones are worth digging into.
Frozen raspberry yogurt at Sugadaddy
Cheeky Sugadaddy’s hot pink menu has an endless list of fruit-based yogurts. While seasonal mango and strawberry is a first choice among regulars, we grabbed raspberry in cup size C (didn’t we say it’s cheeky?). The light-pink swirl with a fluffy texture has been puckering pouts as a seasonal special since a month. The dessert has a tart taste of fresh berry puree that is only intensified when mixed with sour yogurt. We recommend that you dress your bowl with a spoonful of extra raspberry puree and powdered oat crumble. The toppings give the dessert a much-needed texture and red colour. You can also blend your yogurt into a mixed berry smoothie.
Berry good: Tiny raspberry seeds in your yogurt testify freshness
What we didn’t like: Choice of toppings is limited
FOR: Rs 30 for cup size A
Address: 11, Sukh Sagar Building, N. S. Patkar Marg, Hughes Road, Next to Kobe Sizzlers, Opera House
Raspberry cheesecake from Cheesecake Republic
The one month-old Cheesecake Republic is a country built on buttery biscuit crumbs. Its raspberry cheesecake comes dressed in rich, red compote and swirls of thick cream. It is sparingly sweet and has more creamy notes than cheese. The makers recommend having the cheesecake cold (after half an hour of refrigeration).
Berry good: Available in other fresh fruit flavours too
What we didn’t like: Lacks a touch of fresh raspberries
Price: Rs 500 for half kilo
Address: B-14, Shruti Apartments, Yashodham, Goregaon (east)
CALL: 9820401012, 28421579
Raspberry sorbet at Haagen-Dazs
Patrons are lapping up the cherry-red sorbet at Haagen-Dazs ever since the chain opened its first outlet at Goregaon’s Oberoi Mall last June. With an icy texture and a sharp-sour bite, this dessert is what summer afternoons should be made up of. A tad finer than gola granules, the icy dessert is made using fresh raspberry puree. If you don’t like your dessert too redolent with raspberries, then it is advisable to offset it with crunchy bits of chocolate chips or crumbled waffle cone powder. The store also does a drink version of the sorbet by blending it with lemon soda.
Berry good: Since it contains no added preservatives, the debauchery seems worthwhile
What we didn’t like: Be prepared to choose your own toppings since the staff is not too helpful with suggestions
FOR: Rs 180 for a single scoop
Address: PVR Food Court, opposite PVR cinema, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel
Raspberry macaroons at Yuatcha
The macaroon available at Mumbai’s only tea and dimsum house has a tendency to transport you to a Parisian bakery in just one bite. The Venetian red buttons taste of fresh almond powder and come close to real raspberry flesh. Though the dessert lasts in our hand only for a few minutes, it rapidly jumps from one texture and flavour to another. The shell of the dessert is soft and crusty and the raspberry filling is squishy and gummy. The core taste of the macaroon fluctuates between fruity and tart, ending with a gratifying sweetness.
Berry good: The dessert leaves you with a stained pink pout.
What we didn’t like: A little overpriced
FOR: Rs 65 per piece
Address: Raheja Tower, First Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex,
Raspberry smoothie at NCPA Cafe
Gym junkies need not restrict themselves to boring protein shakes any more. The Raspberry Ripe smoothie, made out of low-fat skim milk or yogurt and raspberry, at NCPA Cafe is free of sugary sweetness. The drink is blended with chocolate sauce that creates an earthy note when paired with shimmering raspberries. The cafe does another smoothie called All Berry Bang by mixing blueberry, strawberry and raspberry with yogurt and apple juice. This healthy shake is a city dweller’s version of rolling on a berry field.
Berry good: Large portion size
What we didn’t like: The smoothie is served at a mild temperature. We wish it came chilled
FOR: Rs 140
Address: NCPA Marg, National Centre Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point
Cooking up a storm
Raspberry cake milkshake(By Chef Bunty Mahajan from Deliciae Patisserie, Powai and Bandra)
- 8 inch basic chocolate sponge cake
- 250 gm fresh whipped cream (whipped with 3 tbsp powdered sugar)
- 150 gm fresh raspberry puree
- 150 ml sugar syrup (made by diluting 25 gm sugar in 125 ml water)
- 50 gm chocolate (grated)
- 30 ml raspberry syrup
- 2.5 scoops of vanilla ice cream
- 60 ml milk
- Cut the sponge horizontally into three layers and place it on a table top
- Drizzle sugar syrup on the cake until it is moist
- In a bowl, mix raspberry puree with whipped cream and spread this mixture on a layer of sponge
- Sprinkle some grated chocolate over the cream and cover it with the second layer of sponge
- Repeat the process until you have exhausted your sponge cake
- To make milkshake, cut a slice of the raspberry pastry and place it in a blender, add milk, raspberry syrup and ice-cream to it
- Blend the ingredients to form a milkshake and serve chilled
Arugula & goat cheese salad with smoked raspberry vinaigrette (Recipe by Chef Glyston Gracias from Smoke House Deli, Lower Parel)
Ingredients for salad:
- 50 gm arugula lettuce
- 10 gm toasted pine nuts
- 40 gm goat cheese
- 20 gm bread crisps
- 20 gm black olives
- 20 gm black olives
- 20 gm cherry tomatoes
Ingredients for dressing:
- 20 gm raspberries
- 30 ml olive oil
- 15 ml vinegar
- 5 ml honey
- 2 gm salt
- 2 gm pepper
- 100 gm coal
- 5 ml oil
- Puree raspberries, olive oil, vinegar and honey in a blender
- Season the dressing with salt and pepper and keep aside
- For smoking, transfer the dressing into a small stainless steel container and place it into a large steel bowl
- Heat coal on the gas and drop it into the large bowl. Pour oil on top and cover the large steel bowl. Cover the dressing for 10 minutes
- Combine arugula, black olives and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl
- Toss them with enough dressing, ensuring it coats all the ingredients evenly
- Plate the salad and sprinkle it with goat cheese, pine nuts and bread crisps. Serve chilled