Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Strawberry Meringue, Crowning Glory

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on July 24, 2012 at 7:57 am

Strawberry Meringue

Is there any finer pudding in these summer months than the crisp, chewy, light texture of home made meringue, whipped cream with fresh vanilla and the star of the show… the voluptuous strawberry.

This dish has great impact, the rustic wow factor and is every bit as tasty and gorgeous as it looks. I urge you all to go find the finest strawberries you can,  a good double cream and free range eggs.

Ingredients (serves 6 with leftovers)

4 fresh egg whites (large)

225g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod split and seeded

500 ml double cream

3 tbsp icing sugar

2 punnets of strawberries



Preheat oven to 140 C, line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper and draw circles in pencil using a plate as a guideline.

Using a very clean bowl and electric beaters, whisk the egg whites until medium to stiff peaks are formed. Beat for a little longer then add 1 tablespoon of sugar then whisk again, repeat before adding the remaining sugar. Beat until thick and glossy.

Spoon onto your baking sheets and place on the bottom two shelves and bake for one hour, then turn the oven off completely and leave the meringue to cool overnight.

When you are ready to serve your meringue, wash, hull and chop your strawberries into quarters. Keep a few whole for decoration I usually set 7 aside. You can add a little sugar and cointreau to the strawberries if you like for added sweetness and kick.

Whip the cream with the vanilla seeds and icing sugar until thick enough to hold its own weight but still be spread.

Carefully remove the meringue from the greaseproof paper and using a large plate to serve keep your best meringue for the top.

Spread the cream on the bottom of the meringue, top with the strawberries together with any juice that has leached out, use a little of the cream to sandwich the top on carefully and decorate with the strawberries set aside using a little more of the cream.

It is very fragile at this stage but if it cracks don’t worry too much, serve and enjoy!

If there is any left you can pop it in the fridge and serve as an eton mess the next day, delicious.





Sensational Strawberries

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on July 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm








Pick Your Own, while you can…

It’s that time of year when the call of the pick your own beckons, not everyone is lucky enough to have one to hand but I recently stumbled across Grays Farm nearby and had a great, nostalgic time.

Check out my latest blog for Get Wokingham


Maybe it will inspire you to hunt out your local PYO.

Giant Victoria Sponge

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on April 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

Victoria Sponge

Well it’s a Friday and what better way to celebrate than with a gorgeous, moist if slightly wonky victoria sponge. These are great cakes, quick, simple and can still pack a wow factor punch. The only downside is that it’s best enjoyed fresh and eaten on the day of creation. Still for many that’s not too big a burden! I saw some English strawberries the other day and although they might not be at their best just yet, I bought them just to get in the mood for summer. Let me know if you think it’s too soon for strawberries?

Ingredients for 2 x 8 inch tins

Preheat oven to 180C

175g butter ( must be at room temperature)

175g caster sugar

3 large eggs

175 g self raising flour

Good quality strawberry jam and lightly whipped double cream if feeling particularly decadent!


Prepare your baking tins by lining the base with butter and then greaseproof paper.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale, fluffy mixture  that is almost creamy white in appearance. Beat the eggs together separately then add a little at a time to avoid curdling. If it curdles a little don’t worry too much but it’s best avoided so you get a light fluffy sponge.

Lightly fold using a metal spoon the flour (sieved) into the mixture. You should have a light mixture that drops off the spoon easily. Place into the baking tins in equal measure.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven for around 25 to 30 minutes.

When the cakes are done they should feel springy to the touch and come away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then find a grand plate or stand if you have one. Sandwich together with jam if you’re a purist or together with double cream if you’re feeling ultra indulgent. Top with strawberries and sieve with icing sugar. Enjoy…immediately!