Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Mascarpone Cream~

Adapted from Bon Appetit

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (splurge on the best you can afford)

4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


1 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

24 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved (or diced)

Combine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar and lemon juice in saucepan. Cook over medium till sugar dissolves, then bring to boil and reduce to about 1/4 cup.  Cool completely.

Combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Beat till soft peaks form.  Refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Combine berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.  Add balsamic syrup and mix gently.  Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide berries between 6 goblets.  Top with cream.  Garnish with chocolate shavings or mint.  Alternatively, divide cream between Chinese soup spoons for appetizer sized desserts.  Top with diced berries and mint to garnish if desired.

Serves 6 for dessert.