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A decadent Valentine’s dessert with a surprise twist

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and have I got a treat for you! Are you sitting down? Prepare yourself: Red velvet waffles with cream cheese mousse and balsamic strawberries topped with sliced almonds.

Believe it or not, this dish isn’t cloyingly sweet. In fact, it’s beautifully balanced, if I do say so myself. You have the warm crisp of the waffles sandwiched with a tangy, fluffy cream cheese mousse topped with the sweet and slightly tart strawberries and a crumble of crunchy chopped almonds. What’s not to love? This beautiful dish is perfect for Valentine’s Day dessert. You could even call this breakfast and no one would complain.

The twist here is how easy this is to bring together because I’ve used shortcuts. The waffles are made using boxed cake mix, the mousse is just whipped cream cheese and whipped cream mixed together. The strawberries are simply macerated using a touch of balsamic vinegar for an amazing zing that brings this plate to another level. The mousse and strawberries could be prepared the night before to make your day even easier.

CREAM CHEESE MOUSSE

What You’ll Need:

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese – at room temperature

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar – divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Here’s How:

In medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ¼ cup powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. In another medium bowl (you can use the same beaters, I won’t tell) beat the whipping cream with one tablespoon powdered sugar until peaks form. Fold half the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, follow with the remaining whipped cream and fold until combined. Cover and refrigerate.

 

The balsamic strawberries give the dessert a more grown-up taste that balances the sweetness of the rest of the dish. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar or don’t think your family would like the sweet and tangy taste, then simply macerate your berries with a little sugar and call it good. Because it will be.

BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES

What You’ll Need:

1 pound fresh strawberries – cleaned and sliced

1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon almond extract

Pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (No, I haven’t lost my mind)

Here’s How:

Place all ingredients in a medium glass bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

RED VELVET WAFFLES

Mix red velvet cake mix according to box instructions. Pre-heat your waffle maker and spray with cooking spray. Fill waffle maker with the amount of batter and bake according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Allow to cool slightly. One cake mix made 14 waffles in my waffle maker, but your maker may be different.

To assemble – Place a waffle on a plate and schmear with cream cheese mousse and a spoonful of strawberries, repeat as desired to make a nice stack and top with sliced almonds. Divine!

If you have leftover waffles; freeze them and use your toaster to reheat them. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Divas On A Dime.

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

 

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