Strawberry, Pistachio & Mint Salad with Rose Water Cream & Meringue

Serves 6

Taken from Around the World in Salads 120 Ways to Love Your Leaves by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books, priced at £16.99. Photography by Helen Cathcart.

Katie says: “This stunning party piece is sure to delight – summer strawberries are piled onto whipped rose water cream and broken meringues. It’s easy to assemble and you can decorate it with edible fresh rose petals, pistachios and mint. It will also work in individual glasses. We use Welsh rose water, which is absolutely lovely and available online. Rose water is also available from Middle Eastern stores  and supermarkets but they do vary. Expect to pay more for a good one and it will make all the difference. There are various methods of making meringue but we find the one below the most useful. It follows the Swiss method and is more robust than others when making flavoured meringues or using in a semifreddo.”

Ingredients

Makes 50 small meringues 4cm across and 2–3cm tall

 

For the meringues

  • 150g egg white (about 5 egg whites)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • for the coulis
  • 250–350g strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 2–3 tablespoons caster sugar

For the cream

  • 60g icing sugar
  • 600ml whipping cream
  • 4–5 tablespoons rose water

To serve

  • 300g strawberries
  • a handful of small mint leaves
  • 25g pistachios, peeled
  • a handful of pink edible rose petals, from organic roses
  • or wild dog roses

Method

  • Put the egg whites and three-quarters of the sugar into a mixing bowl and stir together. Put this over a pan of boiling water making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk using an electric mixer until the mixture comes up to 45°C on a thermometer or until it starts to become glossy and very thick. Remove from the heat and put into a food mixer with a whisk attachment or use an electric mixer and whisk until it doubles in size. While it is running, add the remaining sugar little by little.
  • Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Pipe or spoon the meringues 4cm across and 2–3cm tall onto the lined trays. Cook for 30–40 minutes or until they are light to the touch, lift off easily and are crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. If you like your meringues brittle, leave them in the oven for a further 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
  • To make the coulis, boil the strawberries and sugar for 15 minutes until the fruit has softened and reduced in volume. Strain through a sieve and cool.
  • For the cream, whip the icing sugar and cream together until stiff and beat in the rose water to taste.
  • To serve, pile the meringues, cream and strawberries onto a serving plate (or into individual glasses) and top with the mint, pistachios,rose petals and coulis.

Chocolate, Basil & Apple Pudding

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 30-35 minutes
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 40g cocoa
  • 1 pot basil, chopped
  • 2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Method

 

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Grease a 2 litre ovenproof serving dish.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, whisk in the chocolate mixture.
  • Sift together the flour and cocoa and stir into the mixture. Stir in half the basil.
  • Place the apples in the dish and sprinkle over the remaining basil. Pour over the cake mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked but still slightly gooey in the centre.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcal 654
Sugar 56.5g
Fat 38.4g
Saturated Fat 22.6g
Salt 0.7g

Chocolate & Basil Muffins

  • Makes: 12
  • Preparation time: 15m
  • Cooking time: 17-2om

Ingredients

  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 125g butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 large pot basil, leaves chopped
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Juice 1 lemon

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
  • Meanwhile, place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt.
  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and thickened, stir in the chocolate and all but 1 tbsp chopped basil. Fold in the flour and baking powder and spoon into the muffin cases.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes until just cooked through. Cool slightly.
  • Mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice and remaining chopped basil and spoon over the muffins.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcal 309
Sugar 27.5g
Fat 14.8g
Sat Fat 8.7g
Salt 0.5g

Minted Summer Pudding

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Preparation time: 20m plus chilling
  • Cooking time: 5m

Ingredients

  • 800g fresh red berries (strawberries, raspberries,blueberries, blackberries)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 pot mint, chopped
  • 6 slices medium sliced white bread, crusts removed

Method

  • Place the fruit, sugar and 2tbsp water in a large saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the juice and allow to cool. Stir all the mint except 2 tbsp into the fruit.
  • Dip the bread quickly in the juice on 1 side, sprinkle with the reserved mint and line a 1 litre pudding bowl, reserving 1 slice for the lid. Reserve the leftover juice for a sauce when serving.
  • Fill the bowl with the fruit, top with the last bread slice and fold over the edges. Place a small saucer on top and weigh down with weights. Allow to chill for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  • Turn out of the bowl and serve with the reserved juice and fresh cream.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcal 107
Sugar 11.5g
Fat 0.7g
Saturated Fat 0.1g
Salt 0.3g

Mint Topped Carrot Cake

  • Serves: 8-10
  • Preparation time: 1-1/4 hours

Ingredients

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 350g carrots, grated
  • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • 75g soft cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Sprigs of fresh mint

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Grease and base line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together and fold into the butter mixture. Stir in the carrots and walnuts, reserving 2 tbsp walnuts for decorating. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 1-1¼ hours or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.
  • Mix the soft cheese with the icing sugar and spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with sprigs of fresh mint and sprinkle over the reserved walnuts. 

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 615
Sugar 37g
Fat 40g
Saturated Fat 20g
Salt Trace

Thyme & Mint Poached Pears with Raspberry Sauce

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 10m
  • Cooking time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 ripe Conference pears, peeled (620g)
  • 10g fresh thyme + 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 300g raspberries
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Method

  • Place the sugar and 500ml water in a medium saucepan and add bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Trim the bases of the pears so they stand upright. Add the thyme, mint and pears to the syrup, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pears and set aside, discard the herbs and boil the syrup until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the raspberries and lemon juice and cook for 1-2 minutes, blend with a hand held blender, sprinkle reserved thyme leaves and serve with the pears.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 249
Sugar 60g
Fat Trace
Saturated Fat Trace
Salt Trace