Think strawberries & cream, strawberry ice cream and pavlova all combined into a delicious, beautiful ice cream cake. This is a recipe of Rachel Allen’s and is an absolutely “wow” dessert, easy to make and would not be out of place on the menu for any dinner party, special occasion or as a dessert for Christmas dinner. The fact that it can be prepared ahead and kept in the freezer makes it a great choice for entertaining. All you have to do when you want to serve it, is take it out of the freezer, leave it for about 5 minutes, then decorate it with some fresh strawberries. Don’t be put off by the length of the instructions as each step is really easy. I do this in two stages – I make the meringues in the evening (after dinner) and then leave them to dry out in the oven overnight (with the oven door ajar). Then the next day whip the cream, whizz the strawberries and mix everything together .
Ingredients for meringues:
4 egg whites*
pinch of salt
300 g (11oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for the strawberry sauce:
200g (7oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
juice of 1 lemon
50g (2oz) icing sugar
500 ml (18fl oz) regular cream
You will need a 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F), Gas mark 1,
- Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or use two silicon baking sheets
- Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean bowl, add the salt and whisk into soft peaks.
- Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition. Continue whisking until all the sugar has been added and the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.
- Using a large spatula or metal spoon, fold in the vanilla extract.
- With a tablespoon or dessertspoon, scoop up a heaped spoonful of the meringue mixture, then use a second spoon to scrape the mixture onto one of the lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining mixture, leaving a little room in between each meringue. (Note – the meringues are going to be broken up anyway so don’t worry if they are a bit uneven or messy looking!)
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. (To test whether the meringues are ready, gently lift up one and press the base – it should be crisp but give way with a bit of pressure.
- If possible, allow to cool down completely in the oven, with the heat switched off and the door slightly ajar.
- Transfer the cooked meringues to a wire rack – they will crisp up further as they cool.
- Line the cake tin with a double layer of cling film and then make the strawberry sauce.
- In a food processor or blender, whiz the strawberries with the lemon juice and icing sugar
- Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds left in the sieve. (You can get away without doing this, believe me!!)
- Pour the cream into another bowl and whisk into soft peaks,
- Crumble the meringue into the whipped cream and stir together to mix.
- Add the strawberry sauce, swirling it through the cream and meringue mixture.
- Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.
- Wrap the tin in cling film and freeze for at least eight hours or preferably overnight.
To serve: Take the frozen cake from the freezer, unclip the tin and carefully lift out the ‘cake’. Remove the cling film from the sides of the cake, then use a palette knife or metal fish slice to carefully transfer the cake from the base of the tin to a serving plate. Cut into slices to serve, either on its own or with fresh strawberries.
*1 egg white weighs 25g or 1 oz