Saturday 29 June 2013

Pimms and Lemonade Sorbet

If I'm not drinking it, I'm eating it.

What I Used:
made around 4-6 servings
200ml Pimms
150ml Lemonade
200g Caster Sugar
300ml Water

I've never made sorbet before, but I always thought it to be a healthier alternative to icecream.  It's only when you make things from scratch and for yourself that you can realise just how wrong you are.  Sorbet is frozen syrup and is easy peasy to make with pretty minimal effort.  Once you have the quantities that you like figured out, you can substitute for any flavours you want and the sorbet world is your oyster.  High Five.

To start, I added the caster sugar to my water and brought to a simmer, stirring occasionally until they formed a syrup and the sugar and water were fully combined:
I then brought to a boil, stirring continuously to thicken the mixture for around 5-10 minutes.  Removing from the heat, I added my Pimms and Lemonade.  I went for strong Pimms.  If I was going to do it, I thought I may as well go for it - but make up the 350ml with the ratio that suits your taste.
Stir well and allow to cool, transferring to a freezable container with a lid:
I put this in overnight and checked on it and gave it a stir just to be cautious, but I don't think you 
really need to worry about this.  When frozen, it will look a little like this.  Really easy to spoon 
out immediately and still with a slightly syrupy texture:
I added to a small tumbler with a little chopped strawberry to make up for the very little effort 
made in actually making the sorbet:
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and will definitely make this again - I'm trying grape sorbet next, so I'll let you know how that does/does not work.  If you're watching, enjoy Wimbledon this weekend - it's been an amazing opening week!  Come on, Andy!

Friday 28 June 2013

Strawberry and Lemon Meringue

As I continue to combine strawberries and meringue at any given opportunity, I decided to try something I have been wanting to since peppermint meringues of Christmas past - fruit flavoured meringue for ice-cream toppings, desserts and in my case, general snacking.

I used these little lovelies to flavour and I cannot tell you how well they kept the smell of lemon and strawberry as well as the taste.  v. impressed and much better than I thought it would be.

As always, I used a ratio of 1 egg white to 50g caster sugar for 2 people and whipped up my mixture.
 To create the two-tone, I  lined the crease of my piping bag with a generous amount of food colouring.
Keeping this in the piping bag without getting it everywhere else requires a little help, so if 
someone is to hand, tell them to stop laughing at you and get them to hold the bag at an angle that 
wont drip whilst you transfer the meringue mixture, then pipe your meringue in whatever form you like:
...pop into a low heat oven [around 65 degrees C] for a few hours to dry and voila.  
Lemon and Strawberry flavoured meringues - yum.
Perfect on their own, but I'll be back soon with some other ideas of how you can use these which mainly involve cream, icecream and strawberries.  

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Mini Strawberry Pavlova

Two weekends ago was Father's Day and as dessert was my responsibility, I made mine his favourite:
- Strawberry Pavlova -
...but to me, this is an ultimate Wimbledon essential and Wimbledon is the best excuse to make it.

I've made mine as individual portions, as I had to transport the dessert from my flat to my parents house, by foot.  No way would a large pavlova make it there in one piece.

I used exactly the same quantities as all my meringue-based dessert attempts [which in short is 1
egg white to 50g caster sugar - and this serves 2]:  whisking 3 egg whites until peaks form, adding
150g caster sugar in stages until fully combined, glossy and can withstand the upside-down-bowl-
over-your-head trick:
  I've used piping bags before to create neat little meringues, but as I wanted a thicker meringue,
I just transferred the mixture to a lined baking tray with a spoon.  Messy as you like:
To create the base, I used the largest cookie round I had to hand to use as my guide:
In to the oven for the afternoon [about 4 hours in total as I forgot about them briefly]
at the lowest heat possible.  This was approximately 65 degrees C:
Once finished in the oven, remove and leave to fully cool.  This will prevent them sticking to the
lined tray and means that they should come away easily.
To build the pavlova, I whipped up cream, which I transferred to a piping bag, as I couldn't help myself.  I lined the base with the cream:
...complete with pointless rose decoration...added the top [to ruin it]:
...topped with a little more cream:
...and added a quartered strawberry on top:
before ruining the aesthetics like this.
But in all honesty, this creates a little chocolate holder for the strawberries if you like to pick
apart your food, like me.  The strawberry pulls away from the chocolate easily
the little things in life, friends. The little things.

Monday 24 June 2013

White Chocolate Cup Strawberry Mousse

Oh, Nadal.  I think I might need to eat both of these to myself tonight.

Strawberry mousse, or any flavour of mousse really, is another dessert I love, but was never really sure how to make and convinced it was a along process.  Unfortunately for my thighs, its simple and if you whip it up in the morning/at lunch time, it ill be ready for dinner dessert.  Perfect.

What I Used:
makes 4 chocolate cups
based on this
1 egg white
25g caster sugar
100g strawberries
75ml double cream
White chocolate chips
meringue and strawberries to decorate

For the chocolate cups, I used silicon cupcake cases as my mould.  How much chocolate you melt is entirely up to how thick you want your cups, but these are best made by coating a thin layer, putting in the fridge to set and then adding another until of a thickness you like [and at least thick enough to hold the mousse and to be taken out later]:
 P.S - It does not have to be pretty!
Once your cups have been created, you can start the mousse.  
I blended 100g [this was around 4 large] strawberries until pureed.Next, I whisked my
 double cream until thickened and then added the puree, whisking again until combined:
In a separate bowl, I whisked my egg white until thick and then added the caster sugar, whisking well until glossy and peaks are formed.
A spoonful at a time, I folded in the puree to the egg white, keeping as much of the air in as possible:
...and then transferred in to the cups to set in the fridge for a few hours:
When ready and to finish, I've topped with crushed meringue and some freeze-dried 
strawberry bits I found in Sainsburys.  Well done, Sainsburys.
I also made the mousse without the chocolate cups, straight into a small glass and 
layered by saving a little of the puree to mix in:

I recommend making and eating on the same day, mainly to keep the 'fluffiness'.
I'm off to console myself now.
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