A delicious light dessert served in individual glass dishes. Fresh raspberries and strawberries are folded in whipped cream with crushed meringue lightly mixed in. They are decorated with cut strawberries and dusted with icing sugar.
300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream (1¼ cups)
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 meringue shells*
140g (5 oz) raspberries
icing/powdered sugar to decorate
*This dish is a great way to use up any left over meringue. However, if making the meringues especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare these first.
For the meringue
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbsp)
4 x glass dessert dishes
For the meringues
Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition until stiff and glossy.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheet first to keep the lining in place.
Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking parchment. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues will lift from the paper easily. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven for a further 2 hours. This will allow the meringues to completely dry out. (You will only need four of the meringue shells for this recipe.)
For the Berry Meringue Creams
Wash, pat dry and hull strawberries. Reserve a quarter and set aside. Quarter the rest and place in a small bowl, then gently mix in 4 teaspoons of the sugar and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Pour the cream into a bowl and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla. Whisk until the cream holds a soft peak.
Carefully break 4 of the meringue shells into small pieces and mix into the cream. Fold in the raspberries and strawberries, including any of their juice, being careful not to over mix.
Divide between the four dishes. Top with the reserved strawberries, cutting any into halves or quarters if they are too large.
Dust a little icing sugar over top just before serving.
They can be refrigerated for up to two hours, leaving the icing sugar to be dusted over until just before serving.
Thin French fries, mushrooms, tomatoes and lettuce leaves
With tip of a knife, lightly score each steak to allow the marinade to seep into the steak.
Prepare the marinade by whisking the red wine, olive oil and pepper together.
Place the steaks in a single layer in a dish. Add the shallots, garlic and bay leaves. Pour the marinade over the steaks and turn them in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours, or overnight if possible.
Lift the steaks out of the dish and dry on kitchen paper, reserving the marinade.
Brush a heavy based pan with oil. (A ridged one works well.) Heat the pan and, when it is hot, add the steaks and cook over a medium–high heat, turning once. As a rough guide, allow 1 minute per side for rare, 2 minutes per side for medium–rare, and 3 minutes for medium. Place the steaks on a warm plate and and cover with foil. Rest for 5 minutes, turning halfway through, to allow the juices to settle evenly.
Meanwhile, allow the pan to cool down slightly. Add the reserved marinade to the pan with the redcurrant jelly and half a cup water. Bring the mixture to the boil. Add the butter and boil down until reduced by about half. Season. Remove bay leaves.
Take two pieces of baking parchment and cut to fit the baking sheets. Mark one side of each piece of parchment with sixteen 4.5cm (1.75 in) lines, spaced evenly apart. (This will give a good guide when piping the biscuit mixture.)
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Then sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in until completely combined.
Dab a small amount of mixture on each corner of the baking sheets and place the baking parchment to fit making sure the marked side is facing down on the sheets. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle and pipe 32 lengths as marked on the pieces of baking parchment.
Bake for 12–14 minutes until they are just starting to become darker around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to become cold on the baking sheets, then remove with a palette knife to a cooling rack.
For the filling
While the biscuits are cooling make the filling.
Place the butter in a mixing bowl and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cold water, then beat until it is smooth and creamy.
Turn 16 of the biscuits over and using a teaspoon divide the filling between them. (This way it is easier to see if the mixture is evenly divided before spreading.) Then using a small palette knife, carefully spread the filling over the biscuits. Now sandwich together with the remaining halves.