‘Strawberries and cream’

‘Strawberries and cream’

By
From
Dig In!
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

This dish is filled with lots of textures and contrasts and has some Middle Eastern flavours. There are two different textures of jelly, crispy toffee shards and dehydrated strawberries for sprinkling over at the end. You use agar agar for the rosewater jelly as the panna cotta sits on top and you don’t want it to melt. The Champagne and strawberry sauce is a clear, delicious rose-pink syrup with an amazingly intense strawberry flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g strawberries, hulled
80g blueberries
20g caster sugar
2 teaspoons rosewater
35g pistachio nuts, crushed

Panna cotta

Quantity Ingredient
5g gold strength gelatine sheets
250ml milk
250ml pouring cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
40g caster sugar

Champagne and strawberry sauce

Quantity Ingredient
500g strawberries, hulled
20g caster sugar
60ml champagne or sparkling white wine

Rosewater jelly

Quantity Ingredient
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon agar agar
2 teaspoons rosewater

Toffee

Quantity Ingredient
60g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C (or 80°C for a fan-forced oven). Lightly spray four 125 ml dariole moulds with cooking spray. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. For the panna cotta, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 2–3 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, cream, split vanilla bean and seeds and sugar to the boil. Squeeze the excess liquid from the gelatine, add the gelatine to the pan and remove the pan from the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Pass through a sieve and pour into the prepared moulds. Place in the refrigerator to set for 3–4 hours.
  4. Thinly slice 4 of the strawberries and place them on the lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until dehydrated, turning the slices over after 30 minutes. Remove the strawberry slices from the oven and set aside.
  5. For the Champagne and strawberry sauce, place the strawberries, sugar and Champagne in a bowl over a saucepan of water on medium–low heat. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until softened, about 35–40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a sieve lined with 2 layers of muslin. Reserve the strawberry juices and discard the strawberries.
  6. For the rosewater jelly, place the sugar and 300 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the agar agar and boil for 5 minutes until dissolved. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve. Add the rosewater, mix well and pour into an 11 x 21 cm loaf tin, filling i t to a depth of about 2 cm and refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes.
  7. For the toffee, place the sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook the syrup until it is light golden in colour, about 3–4 minutes. Pour it onto a sheet of baking paper and carefully lift one side of the paper so the toffee spreads out thinly. Set aside to harden.
  8. Chop the remaining strawberries and put them in a bowl with the blueberries, sugar and rosewater. Stir and set aside to macerate until the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
  9. To serve, lightly crush half of the toffee and break the other half into shards.
  10. Turn the rosewater jelly out of the tin and, using a round cookie cutter, cut out discs a little larger than the panna cotta bases (to allow for a little spreading of the panna cotta). Place the jelly discs in shallow serving bowls.
  11. Remove the panna cottas from the refrigerator and unmould them onto the jelly bases.
  12. Top with the toffee shards, scatter with the dehydrated strawberries, macerated berries, crushed toffee and pistachio nuts. Serve a jug of the Champagne and strawberry sauce on the side.
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