Indulge yourself. Sounds good, isn’t it? Round and soft. Pamper yourself, take care of yourself. It is not necessary to have had a bad day to take some time for yourself and find your own little corner of paradise into your daily routine, made up of things that have to be made, people that have to be met, tasks that have to be accomplished. In between all these “have to be”s, it would be important to get a few moments of pleasure, something done only because you want to do it, because it makes you feel good.
It is really easy: an example? a walk when the sun glows and spreads its golden and pink gleams. One of the moments of pleasure I prefer is to choose a side country street, not the faster road clogged with traffic, but that road, the one that crosses fields and woods, where I can slow down the speed, lower the car windows and breathe the smell of hedges and fields of flowers. Immersed in a relaxed atmosphere, I choose my favourite cd (guess what? ABBA), turn up the radio and begin to sing with the scented air that caresses me and covers my happy but out of tune notes of Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen. Suddenly I’m a movie star, and I can always choose the soundtrack and the happy ending of that movie!
There are many ways to indulge and treat yourself, which is yours? I’m always looking for a new way to relax and recharge at the end of the day. Alongside the country roads, I certainly would put a yummy sweet, savoured spoon after spoon. Mascarpone, chocolate, cream, custard. But what if I feel guilty later on? There is always a solution! Do you remember the agar agar experimented a few weeks ago? Well, combined with strawberries and milk, it becomes a delicious pudding: zero guilt but the greatest pleasure, perfect for cuddling a bit!
- Strawberries, about 500 gr – enough to have about 300 ml of strawberry puree
- Semi-skimmed milk, 200 ml
- Caster sugar, 4 tablespoons
- Agar agar, 2 teaspoons
- Long pepper (Javanese Pepper), 1 fruit finely grated
Wash strawberries thoroughly, remove leaves and cut into small pieces. Blend them with an immersion blender until you obtain a smooth puree. Sieve the puree through a strainer into a jug: you’ll need about 300 ml of strawberry puree. Combine low-fat milk and sugar to the puree, stir to mix and bring to the boil. At this point, add agar agar, let simmer for about 30 seconds and remove from heat.
Pour into individual moulds or cups, choosing the shape you fancy the most. Let cool for a few hours.
This is the light version. The result is a light dessert, very fruity and not too sweet. The consistency is firm and smooth, very delightful in your mouth. Obviously the semi-skimmed milk may be substituted for whole milk or even single or double cream for a richer and more sumptuous pudding. Right now, while I’m writing, an idea popped out: instead of cow milk you could try rice milk! I would be curious to experience taste and texture variation.
To spice up the dessert, I used the long pepper, an intense and pungent berry, scented and resinous, that blends perfectly with the strawberries, already used in a truly scrumptious combination with this fruit, dried version. Variants in this case are obviously endless, for example vanilla, or mint, or a nice and original match tried several times by Alex: basil.
Final tip: if you pour hot strawberry mixture into a jar with a lid and let it cool down completely, you’ll have a light, healthy and fruity snack to bring with you at work or to slide into your kids’ rucksack for school.