Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Berry Berry Good

A trip to any food store at this time of the year will no doubt greet you with punnets of beautiful British strawberries. Whether it be the giants of the supermarket world or your local greengrocer, you will certainly have to fight temptation to not spend a few quid on our favourite red berry. But why not just go for it and splash out on a few punnets? I did that yesterday, and it made for a happy hour or two of cooking.

The only problem I have with strawberries is that my daughter is addicted to them. I'm convinced that even at the age of 2 years, 4 months and 9 days, she could beat anybody at the 'popping as many strawberries in your mouth at one time' competition. It is a site for sore eyes when you see her go. Fortunately, she was safe at the in-law's when I arrived with 4 huge punnets. The berries almost breathed a sigh of relief.

First on the go was a few jars of Strawberry jam. I'm catering for a 50th birthday party this weekend and with some fresh scones on the go, I thought a few jars of jam would be the perfect accompaniment. Job done, I can deliver a superb and simple jam to the party and snaffle a jar to myself.

With a punnet left and my daughter arriving soon, (along with her nose that can smell a strawberry a mile off), I knew I wouldn't be able to get away with pretending a strawberry had not ventured through the door. So I thought a really easy and healthy dessert would deliver the treat we all richly deserved. So I stewed the punnet of strawberries down in a little honey and a split vanilla pod to make a rich and scent filled vibrant red fruit filled syrup. I then whipped up a little double cream, folded it into a tub of yoghurt along with some toasted almonds and then stirred in the fruit syrup to create a beautiful swirl effect. It worked, and as Cerys stomped through the door and demanded to know where the red things were, I safely delivered my Strawberry and Almond Swirl into her demanding hands. Phew.

Strawberry and Almond Swirl
Serves 4 in large glasses

*NOTE* Please be careful with your little ones with this recipe. This obviously contains nuts, so the one I served my daughter contained severely pounded almonds as opposed to slivers that could be caught in her throat. Thanks

1 tub of fresh low fat yoghurt
1 small tub of double cream
1 tub of strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
100g runny honey
1 vanilla pod
A handful of sliced or whole almonds, toasted

1 - In a pan, heat up the honey and strawberries along with the seeds of the vanilla pod. Cook until the berries begin to break up then leave aside to cool.
2 - Whip up the small tub of double cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the yoghurt in a large bowl.
3 - Toast your almonds in a dry pan. For young ones, pound them up in a pestle and mortar or a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Fold these into a separate helping of yoghurt and cream. For adults, fold in the almonds.
3 - When the fruit syrup has cooled, fold into the yoghurt, cream and almonds to create a swirl effect. Then pour into tall glasses. Top with more toasted almonds.


Hannah said...

This looks like a lovely pudding! We are eating homemade strawberry jam at the moment that my mum made at the weekend - her allotment is overflowing with strawberries at the moment - we are grateful recipients!

Squishy said...

On another note. I didn't notice before.....silly me. Fantastic job on the Master Chef Goes Large TV Series. I look forward to seeing you when we finally get the 2007 season. Here in Australia we are only up to 2006 and I love, love, love, love it! It is one of my favourite programmes here. Awesome job man........Two thumbs up Mate!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I cooked here on the Pay TV food channel it was a very emotional experience and gut wrenching. Cooking on television in front of a National TV audience is full on as it is, but not winning guts you forever. That's how I felt anyway :)

Cheers Amelita

Hannah said...

No tomato roses on this site - too scared to show them eh????