Strawberry Savarin

Strawberries are just divine. They burst with flavour when you pop them into your mouth. I can’t think of anything better than strawberries and cream on a hot summer day. It’s my favourite dessert. These berries are organic and they taste so much better and more natural than the hybrid variety. I’m sad that we don’t get them throughout the year.

I have made this Savarin several times. A Savarin is actually a brioche dough baked in the shape of a ring. It’s where bread meets cake! I once made the recipe from the queen of cakes – Rose Levy Beranbaum. It took two days but the result was superb. She recommends resting the dough overnight in the fridge and does not use instant yeast. I have used instant yeast for this recipe, which is quite easy. Don’t worry if the dough is wet. It all turns out perfectly in the end, I promise you. It’s quite simple to make and the syrup has to be poured on the savarin and left aside for a few hours. The best way to do this is to unmould it first and put it back in the mould after some time. I made some holes in the cake bread and then poured the sugar syrup over it.

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I used rosewater to flavour the syrup and the cream. It was a refreshing change from the usual rum or vanilla. Rosewater and strawberries turned out to be a lovely flavour combination. You can also fill the savarin with Chantilly cream and serve the berries on the side. Either way, it’s just delicious. If you want to make something special, then this savarin will be perfect. As you can see in the photo below, the texture of the Savarin is great.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 4050 minutes TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

Ingredients

135 gms plain flour

3/4 ozs instant yeast

15 gms caster sugar

2 eggs

3 ozs warm milk

40 gms butter

Pinch of salt

Syrup

120 gms sugar

1/2 cup water

1-2 tbsp rosewater

Crème Chantilly

Instructions

Grease a 7 inch Savarin pan.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, beaten eggs and yeast to the warm milk and mix well. Tip the mixture into the centre of the flour and beat for about 5 minutes. A stand mixer is a good option, but if you don’t have one, then just beat well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until it doubles in size – around 40-50 minutes. Cream the butter and salt and beat it into the yeast mixture with the remaining sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes and pour the batter into the prepared pan and prove until the mixture reaches the top of the pan – around 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven at this point to 200C, while the dough is proving. Bake for 20-30 minutes until well browned.

While the Savarin is baking, prepare the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil steadily for 5 minutes. Flavour with the rosewater and set aside.

Loosen the savarin from the pan and turn it out carefully on to a wire rack. When it is still warm, put it back into the pan and make small holes with a toothpick. Baste the savarin with the syrup until the cake is completely soaked through. Leave it in the pan for 4-5 hours or overnight and turn it out carefully on to a serving plate. Fill the centre with the strawberries and serve with Chantilly crème.

Strawberry Bread

I found this intriguing recipe just when I had made strawberry preserve. It seemed the perfect time to make it.

The bread was moist and delicious. Though the original recipe had about 1 tablespoon of red colouring, I decided to add just a few drops of red colouring so that it would be pink and the strawberries would stand out.

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A nice tea time treat for the entire family! Juicy strawberries baked into a bread – what could be better? This recipe makes two loaves of bread.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

4 eggs

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup sour cream

3 cups flour

½ cup chopped nuts

1 cup strawberry preserve

A few drops red colouring

Instructions

Grease and flour two loaf pans.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Blend butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon juice. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Dissolve soda in sour cream and add it to the egg mixture. Fold in flour, nuts, strawberry preserve and the colouring. Spoon the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Strawberry Meringue Cake

I love strawberries. I could eat them everyday, several times a day! They were in season a while ago and I seized the opportunity to make something. When I saw this recipe from an old Woman & Home magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Simply heavenly!

Baking is my first love, especially cakes and pastries. I loved the idea of baking the cake and meringue together. I have made meringue layered cakes before by making the meringue separately and then assembling it. What I loved about this recipe is that you bake the meringue together with the cake. So easy.

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When I took the cakes out of the oven, the meringue had risen almost to the top of the pan. They did go down after sometime, but that didn’t affect the taste. There’s only one word to describe this cake – divine. It looks pretty spectacular too. And it’s easy to make – so what are you waiting for?

Don’t worry if the cake batter is a little thick. You will need to gently level it with your fingers.

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Strawberries, sponge, meringue and a creamy yogurt filling – strawberry cake doesn’t get better than this!

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

50g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

½tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tsp baking powder

5tbsp double cream

Icing sugar to dust

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

For the filling

150ml double cream

150ml thick Greek yogurt

400g strawberries, hulled

Instructions

Butter and line 2 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Finally, fold in the cream and mix together gently. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins.

In a separate clean bow, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, beating continuously until thick and glossy. Divide the meringue between the tins and layer on top, making sure that you don’t mix the meringue with the cake mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack – meringue side uppermost. For the filling, whip the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt. Lightly crush 250g of the strawberries and stir into the cream.

Place one cake meringue-side up on a plate and spread two-thirds of the cream on top. Put the other cake on top, meringue-side up and fill with the remaining cream. Top with strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Poached Mangoes with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers.

She passed away some years ago, but I was blessed to continue to cook the recipes she gave me; my love for food I passed on to my own daughter. When Beryl taught me this recipe, she used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.

Fresh mangoes are the best for this recipe. You can use any type of mango. The mango needs to be a little ripe, but not completely so.

 

Cut the mango lengthwise with a sharp knife. You have to remember not to overcook the mangoes, or they will turn mushy and break apart. They should be al dente.

What a lovely burst of colour on the plate — yellow and strawberry pink. You can also serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe:

1 mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 clove

For the coulis:

1 cup strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

Heat the sugar, water, and spices in a pan over medium heat, while stirring constantly. When the sugar has melted completely, add the mangoes and cook gently for around 5 minutes.

Test the mango pieces with a knife; they should be al dente. Remove from heat and cool. Retain the sugar syrup to use in other recipes or to poach other fruits; it will keep well in the fridge.

To make the coulis, blitz the strawberries and the sugar in a food processor. I like my coulis a little chunky; you can blitz to a smooth puree if you prefer. Stir in the lemon juice.

Serve on a bed of strawberry coulis, with some coulis drizzled on top, as shown.