this one's for Wuukiee... :-)

Russian cream is the traditional feast dessert of the SCA Barony of Rivenstar. The secret has been well guarded, passed down from cook to cook...but alas, Wuukiee wormed it out of me (she bribed me with hugglez..).

This is truly the food of the gods. Although it may sound strange, once you've tried it you'll be addicted. It was very sad at the last Rivenstar event to see the Baron with the empty Russian Cream dishes, doing everything short of licking them to get that last little precious scrap of Russian Cream...

ok, Wuukiee, I've done it - it's your fault if I can never show my face in Rivenstar again.. hope nobody except you, PMDboi and mcc is a Rivenstarian...

Russian Cream

Ingredients:

1 envelope Knox gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions:

Heat sugar and 1/2 and 1/2 in saucepan until dissolved (don't boil).
Add gelatin and water, stir until dissolved.
Cool in refrigerator, then stir in sour cream, vanilla and almond extract. Can be molded.

Serve with strawberry, raspberry or blackberry sauce

makes approximately 3 cups - you'll have to determine how many that serves yourself (my feeling is.. one...)

gwenllian's Russian cream is awesome, and quite easy to make. I would like to add here some things to enhance your experience of this sublime treat.

Recipe variations
Since this dessert is so nearly perfect, I have tried only three variations.

  • Use less almond extract and more vanilla. Perhaps my almond extract was stronger than most, but the taste was just enough to be distracting rather than being the subtle background taste it's meant to be
  • Substitute yogurt for the sour cream. The taste is nearly the same, but different enough to be distinct. It is also quite pleasant.
  • Substitute cream cheese for the sour cream. If you do this, add the cream cheese to the warm mixture rather than cooling it first. This sets up a bit more firmly, and again has a pleasant and distinctive taste.
I also mix in only a half-cup of water at first, then stir in a half cup of crushed ice to speed the cooling before stirring in the sour cream.

Toppings
The stated strawberry, raspberry or blackberry sauces are great, but there are additional toppings I have found to be quite wonderful:

  • Lemon or Lime sauce (mix the juice with powdered sugar until thick)
  • Flavored syrups - maple, berry, etc.
  • Ice cream toppings - there are dozens that are simply perfect for drizzling over russian cream!
  • Chocolate syrup - perfect for the cream cheese variant especially!
  • Spoonable jams - tart jams and preserves work best - mix in a bit of apple juice to make them more "drizzleable" if necessary
  • Caramalized sugar - melt sugar and corn syrup and heat until bubbling, dip in a spoon and dribble over the russian cream - makes a crunchy topping
  • Colored sugar granules or large-grain brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Whipped cream and nuts
  • Jello powder - just dust the top lighly with your choice of jello flavor

Serving variations

  • Pour the mixture into several custard cups after stirring in the sour cream. When it is set, you can remove it and make individual servings. A colorful berry or lemon drizzle with a mint leaf on the side makes an attractive dessert dish for fancy meals. You can also serve it with a side of diced fresh fruit as well.
  • Pour the still-liquid mixture into a flat glass pan. When it sets, cut the russian cream into small cubes and fill serving cups with the cubes, pouring your topping of choice over it.
  • Mold the russian cream in a bundt pan and fill the center with fresh fruit set in jello (pour the liquid mixture into the center and let it solidify there). Drizzle a matching topping over the dessert and serve on a fancy platter.

There are certainly many more variations on this theme, but these should get you started. Enjoy!

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