Berry Meringue Creams

Berry Meringue Creams

 

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.

 

Berry Meringue Creams
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Preparation time if making meringues: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time for the meringues: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time for the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) strawberries (1 pint)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar/white 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)

  • Equipment
  • 4 x glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

  7. For the Berry Meringue Creams
  8. 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.

  9. Pour the cream into a bowl and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla. Whisk until the cream holds a soft peak.

  10. 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.

  11. Divide between the four dishes. Top with the reserved strawberries, cutting any into halves or quarters if they are too large.

  12. Dust a little icing sugar over top just before serving.

  13. They can be refrigerated for up to two hours, leaving the icing sugar to be dusted over until just before serving.

Updated: July 19, 2017

Posh Raspberry Mess

Posh Raspberry Mess

 

This is a grown up version of the famous Eton Mess but with raspberries. Raspberries are drizzled with framboise, a raspberry liqueur, and then folded with crushed meringue shells into mounds of whipped cream.

 

Posh Raspberry Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time without making the meringues: 10 minutes
  • Preparation time including making the meringues: 18 minutes
  • Cooking time if making the meringues: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time if making the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 4 meringue shells*
  • 450g (1 1b) raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp framboise/raspberry liqueur, optional

  • *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 + 1 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 4 × glass dessert dishes or sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. For the fool
  8. Pat dry the washed raspberries and put in a bowl, reserving 12 for later.. Drizzle over the framboise, if using, and set to one side.

  9. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  10. Roughly crush 4 meringue shells and fold into the cream.

  11. Just using a few strokes, fold in the raspberries along with any juice.

  12. Divide between the glass dishes and top each one with three reserved raspberries.

  13. Note
  14. This summer dessert still tastes delicious without the framboise. It just misses that little bit extra. To make your own, see Drinks – Framboise Liqueur.

Updated: July 19, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

So summery. A very light strawberry shortcake that is filled with sliced berries and whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Shortcake
Prepares: 8 servings (photo shows 4 servings)
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcake
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour, plus extra for dusting (1½ cups + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, cut into small cubes (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster sugar/white sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 14g (½ oz) melted butter (1 tbsp)

  • For the filling
  • 1 pint container strawberries
  • small carton double cream/whipping cream
  • icing sugar/powdered sugar for dusting

  • Equipment
  • A 20cm (8 in) sandwich tin that is 5cm (2in) deep and brushed with a little of the melted butter.


  1. Method
  2. For the filling
  3. Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Hull, then slice them lengthways and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and toss to coat. Put to one side for at least 1 hour to draw out the juices.

  4. For the shortcake
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips.

  7. In a smaller bowl, add the egg and whisk with a fork to break up, then add the sugar and milk and mix together. Pour the mixture liberally over the dry ingredients and, using a table knife, cut through the mixture bringing it together to make a rough soft dough. With floured fingers, draw the mixture together, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly a couple of times to smooth the surface.

  8. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and gently pat each half out to a circle that will fit the buttered tin. With floured fingers, lift one circle of dough and lay it in the tin, gently pressing it to fit. Brush the surface of the dough liberally with the melted butter. Now place the second circle of dough on top and press gently to fit.

  9. Bake the shortcake for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Then, using the tip of a palette knife, gently separate the two pieces of shortcake. The melted butter separating the two layers will have allowed them to remain separate.

  10. To assemble
  11. Place the shortcake base on a serving plate. Divide the top into 8 equal slices, which will make cutting the dessert easier to serve.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

  13. Spoon the strawberries and their juice over the base and then cover with the whipped cream. Place the 8 slices on top in exactly the order they were cut so they will fit back together.

  14. Dust with icing sugar/powdered sugar using a small sieve and serve immediately.

 

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

 

Eton Mess – a mix of strawberry halves, soft whipped cream and crushed meringue.

 

Eton Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time:
  • 15 minutes plus 30 minutes standing time, if using ready-made meringues
  • 25 minutes plus 20 minutes standing time, if making the meringues as well
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes (only if making the meringues)

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 6 small meringues*
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

  • * This dish is a great way to use up any leftover meringue. However, if making the meringues especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare them first.

  • For the meringues
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas mark 1)

  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.

  5. 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.

  6. Spoon six mounds of meringue onto the baking paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should now lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool.

  7. For the Eton Mess
  8. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle with the Grand Marnier if using. Mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  9. In a separate bowl, break the meringues into bite-sized pieces.

  10. Whip the cream until it just forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.

  11. Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringues to one side for decoration.

  12. Now gently mix the cream into the strawberries in the large bowl and add the remaining meringue pieces. Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.

  13. Serve immediately.

Updated: June 25, 2017

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes

 

For these delicious sundaes, banana slices are coated in maple syrup, mixed with vanilla ice cream and crushed meringue shells, then topped with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate, a cherry and a wafer.

 

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 meringue nests, roughly crushed
  • 8 small scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp grated plain/dark chocolate
  • 4 glacé cherries
  • 4 fan wafers (U.K. only)*

  • *I have been unable to locate anything similar in Canada

  • Equipment
  • 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. (If making your own meringue nests, you can follow my recipe for Eton Mess.)

  3. Whip the cream until stiff.

  4. Slice the bananas into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to coat the slices.

  5. Divide the banana slices, ice cream and meringue pieces between the four sundae glasses, layering as you go.

  6. Top each one with a spoonful of cream.

  7. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, then decorate with a glacé cherry and fan wafer.

  8. Serve immediately.

 

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

 

Frozen raspberries are used in this light, creamy trifle. Raspberry filled sponges are soaked in sherry and then topped with raspberries and covered in a creamy custard before decorating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed biscuits.

 

Raspberry Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 8 trifle sponges or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve/raspberry jam
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) sherry or framboise (¼ cup)
  • 340g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups), thawed
  • 360ml (12 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 3 ratafias or amaretti biscuits

  • Equipment
  • A large flat bottomed glass dish or 8 individual glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. Pour the milk into a pan.

  3. Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and take 2 tablespoons of milk from the pan.Whisk until blended and pale in colour. Set aside.

  4. Stir the vanilla into the milk in the pan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the milk onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly. When smooth, pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

  5. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave for 30 minutes to cool.

  6. Meanwhile slice the trifle sponges in half or open up the lady fingers and spread one half with the raspberry conserve or jam. Sandwich back together. Arrange in a single layer over the bottom of the glass dish or individual dishes. Drizzle the sherry over the sponges, then scatter the raspberries on top.

  7. Whisk 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of the cream until thick. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the custard to loosen it a little, then whisk in the cream until well blended. Pour on top of the raspberries.

  8. Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Using a large spoon, dollop the cream on top of the trifle in the large glass dish or spoon one dollop on top of the trifle in the individual glass dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  9. Crush the biscuits into small pieces. Just before serving, sprinkle them over the cream.

  10. Note
  11. If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.

Updated: April 24, 2017

Easter Lemon Pavlova

I am indebted to Mary Berry of The Great British Bakeoff for this recipe. It is very light, and the lemon makes it a refreshing end to a holiday meal with family and friends.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

This is a lovely dessert that really does taste heavenly and looks very impressive too. The one thing I like about it is that you can prepare a lot in advance. The candied lemon peel can easily be made the day before and the lemon curd a few days before. The meringue is best made on the day you wish to serve it but that takes very little time to prepare. Then all there is to do is to mix the whipped cream into the lemon curd and assemble everything.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova
Prepares: 8–10 servings (picture shows 4–6)
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
  • Cooking time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the candied lemon zest
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
  • 2 lemons

  • For the meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 340g (12 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the lemon curd filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)

  • 2 lemons at room temperature (to add to the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • Equipment
  • Piping bag, fitted with a rose nozzle


  1. Method
  2. For the candied lemon zest
  3. (Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)

  4. Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. Reserve the lemons for their juice for the lemon curd.

  5. Put the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Then add the zest and boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes. Drain on parchment paper, then roll in the extra sugar until they are well coated. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or over night.

  6. For the meringue
  7. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  8. Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray.


  9. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until stiff but before they get to peak stage. Use an electric hand-whisk or a free-standing mixer. Then gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time while still whisking on the maximum speed until the mixture is stiff and shiny, and stands in peaks. 


  10. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Gently stir this into the meringue mixture. 


  11. Take half of the meringue and spread onto the baking parchment within the lines of the drawn circle. With the remaining half of meringue fill the piping bag and carefully pipe 10 separate nests equally around the edge of the meringue base. 


  12. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, turn the heat down to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2) and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will come off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check after an hour until it has reached this stage. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in the oven to become cold. 


  13. For the lemon curd
  14. (The lemon curd can also be made ahead of time and once cooled can be refrigerated, covered with cling film, until needed. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to seven days.)

  15. Squeeze the juice from all 4 lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield 12 tablespoons (¾ cup))

  16. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  17. Gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted and combined.

  18. Continue stirring until it the mixture starts to thicken. Patience is needed for this as this stage can take up to 20 minutes before it starts to thicken. It will thicken suddenly, so don’t give up! Remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further as it cools.

  19. To assemble
  20. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until really thick. Then add it to the lemon curd, gently swirling it through. Spoon a little into each of the nests. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

  21. Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each of the nests and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova creating a mound.

Updated: March 25, 2017

Crêpes aux Fraises

Crêpe aux Fraises

 

Crêpes aux fraises is a simple traditional recipe that tastes heavenly. Very light crêpes are filled with strawberries and then topped with mounds of whipped cream.

 

Crêpes aux Fraises
Prepares: 4 servings (2 crêpes each)
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 120g/4 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 200ml/7½ fl oz full fat/whole milk mixed with 75 ml/2½ fl oz water
  • 60g/2 oz butter

  • For the filling
  • 450g/1 lb strawberries
  • 600ml/20 fl oz/1 pint double cream/whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

  • Equipment
  • a heavy gauge aluminium frying pan


  1. Method
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, wash, hull and pat dry the strawberries. Cut large strawberries into quarters and smaller ones in half so they are all of a similar size. Set to one side.

  5. Pour the cream into a large bowl and add the icing sugar. Whisk until stiff.

  6. When the batter has stood for its 20 minutes, start cooking the crêpes.

  7. First melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in, pour the rest into a small bowl and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between cooking each crêpe.

  8. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  9. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with the batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.

  10. Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper on a plate.

  11. Continue until you have 8 crêpes, overlapping them on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper as you go.

  12. Divide the strawberries evenly between the crêpes, spooning them onto a quarter of each one. Fold the crêpes in half and then half again. Top each crêpe with a good dollop of cream.

  13. Serve immediately.

 

Summer Trifle

This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.

 

Summer Trifle

 

This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.

 

Summer Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 vanilla pod OR
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml/7 fl oz milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 75g/2½ oz caster sugar, plus ½ tsp
  • 20 sponge fingers/lady fingers
  • 1 tbsp sweet white wine or sherry
  • 284ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 1kg/2lb 3½ oz summer fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants
  • a splash of white wine (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 100g/3½ oz unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, or walnuts


  1. Method
  2. Chill eight dessert plates in the fridge.

  3. Pour the milk in a small pan. Split the vanilla pod in two lengthways and add to the pan or add the extract, if using. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.

  4. Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in the sugar to make a paste.

  5. Slowly add the milk and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Return to the pan and stir over a low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool briefly.

  6. Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in two and lay them in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle over the wine or sherry.

  7. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold into the cooled custard.

  8. Wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the ½ teaspoon of sugar and wine. Purée until smooth and then push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp, using the back of a spoon. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.

  9. Divide the sponge fingers between the chilled plates, arranging them around the edge.

  10. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.

  11. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  12. Pour the custard over the sponge fingers then sprinkle the nuts on top.

  13. Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes

I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.

Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.

I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes

 

Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes
Prepares: Makes 8–10, 8 inch crêpes to serve 4
 
  • Preparation time: 15–20 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 120g/4 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 200ml/7½ fl oz semi-skimmed milk mixed with 75 ml/2½ fl oz water
  • 60g/2oz butter
  • 450g/1 lb a selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
  • 600ml/20 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 60g/2 oz plain/dark chocolate

  • Equipment
  • heavy gauge aluminium frying pan
  • 4 plates


  1. Method
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, wash the berries and pat dry. Hull any strawberries, if using. Place in a bowl and set to one side.

  5. Over a shallow bowl, grate the chocolate to create chocolate shavings to be used for decoration.

  6. Then in a large bowl whip the cream until stiff and put to one side while making the crêpes.

  7. Melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in, pour the rest into a small bowl. and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between each crêpe.

  8. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  9. Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with the batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.

  10. Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

  11. Continue until there are 8 crêpes, (you may not use all the batter) overlapping them on the plate as you go and separating each one with a piece of kitchen paper. Keep them warm by covering the plate loosely with foil.

  12. They can now be filled. Divide the fruit between the crêpes, spooning a portion onto a quarter of each crêpe. Fold the crêpe in half and then in half again to form a triangle. Place two on each plate.

  13. Then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top of each crêpe and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.

 

Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

 

Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!

 

Strawberry Tartlets
Prepares: 4 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 145g/5 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g/3 oz cold butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, extra fine sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only

  • For the filling
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz whipping cream
  • custard powder
  • 110ml/4 fl oz full fat milk/whole milk
  • 350g/12 oz small strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

  • Equipment
  • 4 × 10cm/4 inch tartlet tins


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolk, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon cold water and mix to a firm dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Wrap in cling film/wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface then use to line the tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork, line with parchment paper and baking beans, then cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until light golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.

  7. For the filling
  8. Make up the custard according to the packet using 110ml/4 fl oz of milk. You want a thick custard. Cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin and leave it to become cold.

  9. Whip the cream until stiff and then fold into the cold custard. Spoon into the tart cases.

  10. Decorate the top with the strawberries, cutting them into halves or quarters, depending on their size.

  11. Add a little boiling water to melt the jelly (about 1 teaspoon) and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

 

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

 

These individual pavlovas are a mix of vanilla and chocolate meringue which is then covered in whipped cream, topped with fresh raspberries and dusted with cocoa.

 

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas
Prepares: 4 pavlovas
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/extra fine sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 7g/¼ oz cocoa powder
  • 140g/5 oz double/whipping cream
  • 15g/½ oz icing sugar
  • 110g/4 oz raspberries

  • Equipment
  • large baking sheet lined with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.

  3. Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition until stiff. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy.

  4. Using a metal spoon, spoon a third of the meringue into another bowl. Sift over all but 2 teaspoons of the cocoa powder and gently fold this into the meringue.

  5. Spoon cocoa meringue over the white meringue and then, using the metal spoon, fold together once to create a rippled effect.

  6. Spoon four dollops onto the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes until the meringue is crisp on the outside and peels away easily from the parchment. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. Whisk the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks and then spoon to to the meringues. Add the raspberries and then dust with the reserved cocoa powder.

  8. Serve.