Strawberries and cream. It’s one of those matches made in heaven. The fruity sweetness of the berries goes so well with the delicate flavor of the cream; the chin-dripping succulence perfect with ethereal, billowy creaminess.
It’s a combination that works in such ways as a schmear of strawberry jam and a generous glop of clotted cream on a toasted English muffin, proper strawberry shortcakes done on buttery scones, and that heavenly melange of cream, meringues, and sweetened berries known as an Eton mess.
Eton mess, however, is a relatively unknown dessert in this part of the world, seeing how the Philippines was never a British colony. But those of us who do know what an Eton mess is rejoice when strawberry season rolls around. We don’t faff about making our own meringues when shop-bought ones will suffice; plus, we sometimes replace the whipped cream with vanilla ice cream or – for a slightly healthier twist – good shop-bought frozen yogurt.
For the rest of the year, most Eton mess fanciers go with Starbucks’ strawberries and cream frappucino, a drink that I find a tad too sweet for my palate. Well, until they recently started offering a soy strawberries and cream frappucino!
Less sweet than the dairy-rich original, the new version involves a seeded strawberry sauce swirled into a thick, icy mix of lightly sweetened soy milk and ice. The soy milk actually adds an almond-like nutty flavor that goes beautifully with the strawberry sauce in lieu of the meringue element. Add the floppy-soft cloud of dairy cream on top to the mix and you have a winning combination that makes a strawberry-mad person such as myself curl up in an armchair, relax, and know that life is good – very good. 🙂