You will have to excuse the lack of posts of late but I have been very busy, as I am sure most of you have been in the last week or two. No matter what we plan to do, we end up trying to squash too much into the lead up to Christmas.
It is not that I haven’t been cooking, quite the contrary, it feels like I haven’t stopped cooking. It’s just that I have also been eating and drinking and not taking any photos.
Notwithstanding the above, I was determined to squeeze a post in on this lovely dessert before the end of the festive season. Strawberries are plentiful at the moment and everything can be prepared well in advance, making this a perfect festive season dessert. Don’t be put off by the fact that there are three elements involved. Each is very simple and takes no time at all.
Before making this dessert, I had never heard of roasted strawberries but now I love them and make them throughout the summer. Roasting really intensifies their flavour.
This recipe comes from the book Turkey by Leanne Kitchen. These quantities will easily serve 8. I usually only roast two, 250g punnets of strawberries which is plenty for 6-8.
The recipe suggests sandwiching the meringues with the rose cream but I prefer to serve them separately.
If you wish, you can thicken the syrup formed from roasting the strawberries or serve it as is.
- 800g strawberries, hulled and halved lengthways (see my note above)
- 220g caster sugar
- 300g quark cheese – (Quark is a fresh cheese. It is readily available in Perth (check out the deli section near the cottage cheese, mascarpone etc) but the last time I made this dessert I was in Bridgetown and couldn’t get it, so I substituted crème fraîche which was fine).
- 2½ tbs* icing sugar
- 1 tsp rosewater, or to taste (being a rosewater fiend, I usually add more)
- 80ml pouring (whipping) cream
- 3-4 drops red food colouring (optional)
- 125g hazelnuts, roasted and peeled. (I buy mine already roasted and peeled but, of course, you could do it the hard way.)
- 3 egg whites
- 150g caster (super fine) sugar
*These are 15 mil tablespoons.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Place the strawberries in a single layer in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle over the sugar, then pour over 125mls water.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the strawberries are tender and a syrup has formed.
- Set aside to cool.
- Combine in a bowl the quark, cream, icing sugar, rosewater and enough red food colouring to tint the cream pink.
- Mix until well combined and smooth.
- Refrigerate until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 120°C.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Process the roasted hazelnuts until very finely ground (Be careful not to grind them to a paste).
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form.
- Continue whisking, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time.
- When all the sugar has been added gently fold through the hazelnuts.
- Either pipe small rounds of the meringue mixture onto the tray or make small rounds with a spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until dry to touch.
- Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven.
Serve the strawberries drizzled with some of the syrup, a dollop of cream and a couple of meringues.
Finally, Merry Christmas everyone. Have a great day.