Raspberries & strawberries

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Pavlova roll with balsamic basil, strawberry & raspberry salad

serves 8-10 desserts
difficulty moderate
prep time 15mins (approx.)
total time 1hrs 15mins (approx.)
main ingredient(s) Raspberries & strawberries, eggs, sugar, mascarpone, berries, yoghurt
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Rolling your pavlova gives an impressive finish to the presentation and adds a lovely, unusual chewiness to the texture. It also makes it easier to transport if you’re bringing a plate or having a picnic. Just pour over the berry salad and icing sugar when you arrive.

(This recipe was featured at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE, Melbourne, 2012)

Ingredients

Pavlova
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 heaped teaspoons cream of tartar (or 2 teaspoons white vinegar)
250 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 heaped teaspoons cornflour
1/2 cup icing sugar, for dusting, plus a little extra to serve
250 grams sheep’s milk yoghurt
250 grams mascarpone
Berry salad
1 1/2 punnets ripe strawberries, sliced in rounds
1 1/2 punnets raspberries
10 basil leaves, shredded
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 vanilla bean, splintered

Method

Preheat oven to 165°C.

Line a tray with paper, cut to approximately 32 x 24 cm.

To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a mixer and whisk to soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar then gradually beat in the caster sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla and cornflour, and vinegar if using. Beat on low until combined.

Spread the meringue over the baking paper in a flat rectangular shape. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Turn onto a tea towel that has been dusted with the icing sugar.

Combine the berries, basil, balsamic vinegar, caster sugar and vanilla. Let macerate for 5 minutes.

Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and soften it with a whisk. Whisk in the yoghurt and then spread the mixture over the meringue. Roll it up like a Swiss roll, using the tea towel as you go. Place on a platter and spoon over the berries and their juices. Dust with extra icing sugar if desired.

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Strawberry trifle

serves 8 desserts
difficulty moderate
prep time 15mins (approx.) + jelly setting time
total time 1hr (approx.) + trifle setting time
main ingredient(s) jelly, sherry, sponge, vanilla, cream, jam, Raspberries & strawberries
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The result is divine, especially the flavour combination of strawberries and sherry. The flavours actually improve overnight, as I discovered after eating leftovers mid-morning, so you could make this dessert the day before.

Ingredients

Jelly
3 punnets strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
150 ml dry sherry
160 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
100 ml water
9 sheets gelatine
Custard
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
150 grams caster sugar
1/2 lemon, zested
4 tablespoons cornflour
6 egg yolks
675 ml milk
450 ml cream
To assemble
1 small sponge cake, cut in half horizontally
300 ml whipping cream
60 ml sherry vinegar
2 punnets strawberries, hulled and sliced in rounds
60 grams sugar
To serve
300 ml whipping cream
2 punnet strawberries
50 grams flaked almonds, optional
30 grams icing sugar, optional

Method

To make the jelly, place the strawberries, sherry, sugar, jam and water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4 minutes, then set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Soak the gelatine in a large bowl of cold water. When it’s soft, squeeze the water out. Discard water and set gelatine aside.

Strain the strawberry mixture, pushing the juice through the sieve. You should have about 600 ml liquid.

Add the gelatine while the liquid is hot and stir through. Strain it again and pour the mixture into a shallow rectangular tray and set in the fridge for a couple of hours or more. Cut the jelly into strips when it’s set.

To make the custard, place the vanilla seeds, sugar, zest and cornflour in a bowl. Mix, then whisk in the egg yolks.

In a medium pot, place the milk, cream and vanilla pod. Heat, and cook at a simmer for 2 minutes over medium heat.

Pour the milk mixture over the egg mixture, whisking as you add it, then pour the whole lot back into the pot. Cook over medium heat until it’s thickened, stirring or whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

Once the custard is smooth and of a thick pouring consistency, transfer it to a bowl and allow to cool, stirring often.

To assemble, pour a little room-temperature custard into tall glasses. Top with jelly strips. Whip 300 ml of cream and toss with the vinegar, strawberry slices and sugar. Lay over the jelly.

Allow to set for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

To serve, top with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and more jelly. Top with flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar if desired.

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