We don’t need an excuse to indulge in the great British strawberry season, but we’re using Wimbledon as one. As the iconic tennis championship returns to SW19, we share our favourite pudding recipes laced the sweet red berry.

From show stopping cakes to air-light meringues and the traditional Victoria sponge (it would be rude not to include), here are seven recipes sure to delight friends and family this summer…

Strawberry & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Name a better dessert than a chewy, sugary meringue. This recipe sits somewhere between pavlova and Victoria sponge to make a delicious summer-appropriate meringue cake.

Serves: 10

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 100g blanched hazelnuts
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 150g caster sugar, plus an extra 2 tbsp
  • 3 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • 170ml tub double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 170g Greek-style natural yogurt
  • 400g strawberries, hulled

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Put the hazelnuts on a small baking tray and roast for 8 minutes or until golden; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grease and line the base and sides of 2 loose-bottomed 18cm sandwich cake tins. Put the cooled hazelnuts and 1 tbsp caster sugar in a small food processor; pulse until ground (a few chunky pieces are fine).

  2. Put the egg whites and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk to stiff peaks, then whisk in 150g caster sugar in 3 additions. Fold through the ground hazelnuts and vinegar, divide between the tins, smoothing the tops, then bake for 30-35 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  3. Using electric beaters, whisk the cream, remaining 1 tbsp sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Stir in the yogurt. Remove the meringue cakes from the tins; place one on a cake stand. Spread with ½ the cream mixture and tumble over ½ the strawberries. Repeat with a second layer and serve at once.

Cook’s Tip: Don’t grind the hazelnuts for too long in the food processor, otherwise they’ll become oily (and eventually turn to nut butter). Just pulse them until they’re quite finely ground.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose

www.waitrose.com

Strawberry Chiffon Cake

As Instagrammable as it is delicious., if you have a birthday, christening or big event to celebrate this strawberry season, this is an absolute showstopper. The sponge is whipped up in an American style, making it super fresh, light and fluffy.

Serves: 10

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Chill Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 175g (6oz) strawberries. hulled
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, grated rind only
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • Little red paste food colouring

Filling

  • 150g (5oz) strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) double cream

Frosting

  • 250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 lemon, finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 400ml (14 fl oz) double cream
  • Little red paste food colouring

To decorate

  • Few pink primula flowers and/or viola flowers
  • Few small strawberries, if liked

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan assisted, Gas 4. To make the cake, grease and line the bases of 2 x 20 cm (8 inch) springform tins with circles of non-stick baking paper. Puree the strawberries then press through a sieve and discard their seeds. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a second bowl.

2.       Add the egg yolks, oil, lemon rind and 175g (6oz) of the sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the strawberry puree and a little food colouring and whisk for about 5 minutes until very thick.

3.       Wash and dry the whisk then beat the egg whites until stiff moist looking peaks then gradually whisk in the remaining 50g (2oz) sugar a teaspoonful at a time until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

4.       Sift the flour and baking powder over the top of the strawberry mix then gently mix in. Stir in a large spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the mixture then add the rest and very gently fold in so that you keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

5.       Spoon the mixture evenly between the two tins, gently ease the tops level then bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is set, very lightly browned and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of each cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the sides and leave to cool. Remove the base when cold. (The cake will sink slightly as it cools.)

6.       When the cakes are cold, peel off the base paper. Cut each cake in half, then put two of the halves to one side. Keep the other two halves, still stacked then cut out a circle from the centre using a smaller 15cm (5 inch) baking tin as a template. (This centre circle can be given to the kids or eaten now with a cup of tea!)

7.       Put one of the whole circles of cake on a serving plate, spread a band of jam around the outer edge about 2.5cm (1 inch) wide then place one of the ring cakes on top. Spread the top edge with jam, then add the second cake ring.

8.       Add the cold water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine, making sure that all the dry powder is absorbed by the water. Set aside for 5 minutes.

9.       Pick out the best strawberries and arrange over the inside of the cake, when you know you have enough, take them out and reserve on a plate. Puree 175g (6oz) of the remaining strawberries then press through a sieve and discard the seeds.

10.   Stand the bowl of gelatine in a saucepan of gently simmering water and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until it becomes a clear liquid. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, add the strawberry puree and gradually mix in the gelatine until smooth. Spread a few spoonfuls in the base of the centre of the cake, arrange the whole strawberries on top then cover with the remaining strawberry cream. Stick the remaining cake half in place with jam around the edges as before. Chill for 4 hours.

11.   About an hour or so before serving, whisk the mascarpone, lemon rind and icing sugar together in a bowl then gradually whisk in the cream until soft and spreadable, don’t be tempted to whisk too vigorously or the frosting will be too thick to spread. Take out one third of the frosting and divide between two small bowls, colour one pale pink, the other a deeper pink.

12.   Spread a very thin layer of the uncoloured frosting all over the cake to stick the crumbs in place then spread a thicker layer all over, being more generous on the top. Spread the sides smooth with a knife. Using a teaspoon and round bladed knife, press small dots of dark pink frosting in a band around the base of the cake. Make a second paler pink band above it and a third plain band of uncoloured frosting then smooth the sides to merge the colours with a palette knife. Decorate the top of the cake with edible flowers and small strawberries, if liked.

Cook’s Tip: As this cake is quite involved, you might prefer to make the cake the day before then wrap in foil or make and fill the cake then chill overnight and just decorate with the frosting an hour or so before you want to serve it and keep it in the fridge.

Recipe courtesy of Love Fresh Berries

www.lovefreshberries.co.uk

Strawberry & Cream Choux Buns

Strawberries and cream: the classic summertime duo makes these glamorous buns irresistible. Choux pastry is easier than you might think, and unlike éclairs, doesn’t require a piping bag. Make ahead for your next big gathering.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins

Ingredients:

  • 400g strawberries, halved (or sliced if large)
  • 6 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150ml Essential Double Cream
  • 50g fresh custard

For the choux pastry:

  • 70g Essential Plain Flour
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7, and line a large baking tray with parchment. For the choux pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and add a pinch of salt. Put the butter and 120ml water in a medium pan; melt over a medium heat. Increase the heat, bring to the boil, then very quickly tip in all the flour, take off the heat and beat really well with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy (1⁄2-1 minute). It should come away from the sides of the pan and cling to the spoon; if it doesn’t, put it back over a high heat for up to 1 minute, beating constantly, until it does.

  2. Off the heat, add a little beaten egg and beat well. Gradually add more, beating continuously, until the mixture is thick, shiny and drops off the spoon in 3 seconds (you may not need it all). Use a large spoon to dollop 6 mounds of the mixture onto the baking tray. Don’t worry about any little peaks. (If making in advance, cover and chill for up to 2 days.)

  3. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190oC, gas mark 5, and bake for a further 15-18 minutes, until puffed up, golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut each warm bun in half horizontally, then arrange on the tray, cut-side up. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes, to ensure the centres are dry. Set aside until cooled completely. (They will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but will benefit from being crisped up in the oven.)

  4. Meanwhile, put the berries in a pan with 4 tbsp icing sugar, the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 minutes until syrupy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. (If making ahead, cover and chill for up to 3 days.)

  5. In a bowl, use a balloon whisk to whip the cream and remaining 2 tbsp icing sugar to almost firm peaks, then fold through the custard and 1 tbsp syrup from the strawberries. Spoon some of the syrupy strawberries onto the base of each bun, then top with cream, followed by the lids. Dust over a little extra icing sugar and serve right away.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose

www.waitrose.com

Classic Victoria Sponge

Who can resist this Great British favourite especially when filled with softly whipped cream and home-grown juicy strawberries?

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 175 g (6 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten

For the filling:

  • 150 g (5 oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) double cream
  • 4 strawberries to decorate, halved, hulls left on
  • Little strawberry sugar, see tip or caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  Lightly brush the base and sides of 2, 20 cm (8 inch) Victoria sandwich tins with a little oil then line the bases with 2 circles of non-stick baking paper the same as the base of the tins.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or in an electric mixer until light and fluffy then stir in the lemon rind.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder on to a plate. Gradually beat alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and flour into the creamed butter mixture until smooth, continue until all the eggs and flour have been added.
  4. Divide the mixture between the tins, spread level with a round bladed knife then cook on the middle shelf in the oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Allow to cool for a few minutes then loosen the edges of the cakes with a round bladed knife and turn out on to a large wire rack. Peel off the lining paper then turn cakes back up the other way and leave to cool completely.
  5. Mix the sliced strawberries with the jam, if the jam is very set, warm briefly in the microwave before adding the strawberries. Softly whip the cream. Transfer one of the cakes to a serving plate. Top with spoonfuls of the cream then the strawberry jam mix. Carefully lift the top cake in place, arrange the halved strawberries on top and sprinkle with sugar. Serve cut into wedges.

Recipe courtesy of Love Fresh Berries

www.lovefreshberries.co.uk

Watermelon, Strawberry & Rose Pudding

Sweet strawberries and juicy watermelon star in this delicious summer pudding – along with lashings of double cream, plenty of strawberry jam and scattered rose petals for a final flourish.

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 35 mins

Cooking Time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 unwaxed lime, zest
  • 100g plain flour
  • 500ml lukewarm milk

For the filling:

  • 1 Mini Watermelon
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 175g strawberry jam
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 350g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Rose Petals

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl, then beat until light and fluffy with electric beaters. With the beaters on a low speed, gradually add the melted butter, vanilla extract and lime zest. Fold in the flour, ⅓ at a time. Gradually pour in the lukewarm milk and continue to mix on a low-medium speed until all combined (don’t worry if it looks like a lot of milk – it will all mix in). Wash and dry the beaters; in a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. Gently fold into the batter, in three batches, until almost all combined (it may be a bit uneven). Pour into a rectangular or oval baking dish (roughly 35cm x 23cm) and bake for 30 minutes until golden but still with a gentle wobble. Set aside to cool completely in the dish.

  2. While the pudding is cooling, peel and cut the watermelon into 3cm chunks; put in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with the rose water and sugar, then set aside to drain.

  3. Once the pudding is cool, warm the strawberry jam in a pan along with the lemon juice to loosen it up. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ the watermelon chunks. Gently spread the jammy watermelon over the surface of the pudding.

  4. For the topping, whisk the cream, sugar and rose water to medium peaks. Spoon the mixture over the watermelon, then put in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour. Just before serving, top with the strawberries and remaining watermelon, then scatter over the pistachios and rose petals.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose

www.waitrose.com

Healthier Strawberry Ice Cream

As long as you have an emergency supply of berries in the freezer you can make this in minutes. Perfect for heat wave days in the city.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 mins + freezing time

Ingredients:

  • 200g strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp low fat yogurt
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

Method: 

  1.  Freeze the strawberries overnight then simply add all the ingredients to a blender or use a stick blender to blitz into ice cream.  Serve immediately in scoops, in a cone or freeze for later.

Cook’s Tip: If you don’t have a blender simply mash the fresh unfrozen strawberries with the banana and other ingredients and still freeze until firm enough to scoop.

Recipe courtesy of Love Fresh Berries

www.lovefreshberries.co.uk

Strawberry, Mascarpone & Lemon Curd Tart

Take the pressure off your next summer soirée and make a pudding with a shop-bought pastry case. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

Serves: 6

Prep Time:  15 mins + chilling time

Ingredients:

  • 125g mascarpone
  • 125g Greek yogurt
  • 175g lemon curd
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 1 Waitrose & Partners sweet pastry case (215g)
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • icing sugar, to dust

Method:

  1. Beat together the mascarpone and yogurt in a bowl until smooth, then beat in the lemon curd and most of the lemon zest until combined. Use to fill the pastry case evenly. Arrange the strawberries over the filling, then chill for at least 20 minutes. Serve the tart scattered with the remaining lemon zest and a dusting of icing sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose

www.waitrose.com


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