I love when a recipe that I've conjured up in my head actually comes out as planned. Have had my share of kitchen disasters, but this time, I must say total success. I know yummy doesn't really add anything to the conversation, doesn't describe the flavors, but what the heck, this is one yummy dessert.
It all started with the strawberries and grew from there. I knew that I wanted to roast the strawberries in the oven with a little brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and fortified wine (in this case Madeira, since that's what I had on hand, but Marsala, sherry, or port would be equally good). Initially was thinking (okay, dreaming) about a dark chocolate flourless cake and spooning the roasted strawberries on top. But, these tartlets seemed a more spring-like and a bit on the lighter side, a little less decadent (but there will be a chocolate flourless cake in the future).
Next, I needed a crust for my tartlets. Butter crust? Not exactly what I had in mind. I know, a ginger snap crust, perfect; spice things up a bit. You can certainly use store bought ginger snaps, or, if feeling adventurous, make your own. These ginger snaps are homemade using three forms of ginger -- fresh, ground, and crystallized -- with a touch of cardamom and clove, which makes for one spicy cookie. It all works really well together, from the ginger snap crust, to the vanilla cream filling, to the roasted strawberries on top.
Bake 13 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies...