Make life sweeter – Madeira Marinated Strawberries With Toasted Sponge Cake


 Strawberries are devious little buggers, they look like the key to the promised land of sweetness but you can never be sure if they live up to that promise or not. How many times haven’t you bought strawberries without that wonderful sweetness the best of them have? It often happens to me when I buy them at the supermarket but as I already know it is a gamble, I buy them with the scope of marinating them; it is a great way to bring out that strawberry flavour that is hidden somewhere inside the berries.


Usually I do it the simple way with sugar and a bit of fresh lemon or orange juice squeezed over it all but sometimes I feel we need to eat our strawberries in a more grownup way and this is one them. Madeira wine is similar to sherry, I use dry Marsala but you can use almost anything with alcohol: red or white wine, port or even cognac, rhum or vodka but if you use stronger stuff, remember not to use as much maybe or you wont feel the flavour of the strawberries. The first time I tasted strawberries marinated in red wine ages ago here in Italy, it blew me off my chair and it opened up a new world of possibilities. I know that nowadays this is not anything special and you often see recipes in magazines and on blogs but it is such a brilliant way of transforming boring berries that I dare to post it anyway. In this version I added diced and  toasted sponge cake to make it more like a dessert.

Madeira Marinated Strawberries With Toasted Sponge Cake

4 servings

500 g/ 1,1 lb strawberries
about 6-8 tbsp sugar
5-6 tbsp Madeira wine
4 slices sponge cake, diced

   Cut the strawberries in pieces or you can slice them like I did, put them in a bowl and add sugar and Madeira. Mix well and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  Toast the diced sponge cake, I did it in the oven under the grill.

   Spoon the marinated strawberries with some of the marinade in smaller bowls, add the sponge cake, mix a little and serve.