Sweeten up those long summer days with a couple of delectable summer dessert recipes, including a giant mint choc ice, a delightful strawberry and elderflower trifle and a lighter summer Pavlova perfect for garden parties and picnics!
And now for the recipes!
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
- 200g dark chocolate
- 500ml good-quality vanilla ice cream
- 8 chocolate digestives or wafers
- 250g chocolate mint thins (around 24 individual chocolates)
- Brush a 450g loaf tin with oil. As neatly as you can, line the bottom and sides of the tin with two strips of baking parchment. Melt 100g of the chocolate in the microwave with 1 tbsp vegetable oil on high in 30-sec bursts until smooth and glossy, then pour the melted chocolate into the loaf tin. Carefully spread the chocolate up the sides of the tin using a cutlery knife until they are all evenly coated. Put the tin in the freezer for 15 mins to set and take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften.
- Take the tin out of the freezer and, working as quickly as you can, spread a quarter of the ice cream onto the base, then top with a single layer of chocolate mint thins. Add another layer of ice cream, followed by a layer of biscuits and mint thins. Top with another layer of ice cream, then a single layer of mint thins, before sealing with the last of the ice cream. Put back in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hrs or overnight. Don’t worry if your layers are a bit messy – once everything has set and you cut a slice, it will look great.
- Melt the remaining chocolate with the oil, leave it to cool a little, then, working quickly, spoon blobs over the ice cream and smooth over with the back of the spoon to cover the base. Return to the freezer until set. About 10 mins before you want to serve it, invert the ice cream bar onto a plate and peel off the baking parchment. Cut into six slices using a hot, sharp knife.
For the custard
- 600ml pot double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 50ml elderflower cordial
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
For the ginger jelly
- 350ml Ginger wine
- 3 sheets leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 mins
For the sponge base
- 200g lemon drizzle cake, broken into small chunks
For the strawberry marinade
- 400g punnet of strawberries, hulled and halved
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the vanilla cream
- 600ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 50g icing sugar
- a few ginger biscuits, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
- For the custard, heat the double cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk together the eggs, cornflour, cordial and sugar in a bowl, then pour in the hot vanilla cream. Pour into a clean pan and set over a low-medium heat for 5-6 mins until thick and glossy. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and leave to cool.
- Put the wine and gelatine in a separate pan, heat gently to dissolve, then pass through another fine sieve into a jug and leave to cool slightly.
- Put the lemon drizzle cake in a trifle or serving dish, pour over the jelly and place in the fridge for 1 hr to set. Once set, pour the custard onto the trifle base and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, put the strawberries, caster sugar and vinegar in a mixing bowl, toss together and leave in the fridge for 1 hr or so. Spoon the strawberries on top of the custard, along with the balsamic juices.
- Whisk the double cream, vanilla and icing sugar together, then spoon on top of the trifle. To serve, crumble over the biscuits and scatter with thyme.
For the meringue
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 50g icing sugar
- edible red food colouring (optional)
For the filling
- 100ml whipping cream
- 200g 2% Greek yogurt
- 85g half-fat crème fraîche
- 2 tsp golden caster sugar
- 350g strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 150g punnet raspberries
- 150g punnet blueberries
- 2 passion fruits
- 1/8 tsp icing sugar, for sifting
- a few small mint leaves (optional)
- Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Cover a large baking sheet with baking parchment and use a pencil to draw a 20cm circle in the middle. Turn the parchment over.
- For the meringue, mix together the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla, and set aside. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until the mixture stands in stiff peaks. Tip in 1 tsp of the caster sugar, beat for a few seconds, then carry on adding and whisking in the caster sugar, 1 tsp at a time – this will give you a thick, glossy mixture. Sift and gently fold in half the icing sugar with a large metal spoon. Add the rest of the icing sugar in the same way, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the reserved cornflour mixture.
- Secure the parchment with some meringue mixture (see tip) if you want. Dollop a couple of big spoonfuls of the mixture into the middle of the circle on the baking parchment, then spread it out gently to make a 15cm circular base, about 1.5cm thick. (At this point you can give the remaining meringue mixture a pink ripple effect, if you like, by briefly swirling some food colouring through it with a knife.)
- Place a large spoonful of meringue on the edge of your meringue base to come out to the edge of the pencil circle. Repeat with 7 more spoonfuls in the same way, creating the raised edging for the Pavlova and leaving a wide hollow for the fruit and cream to go in later. Fill any gaps in the edging with a blob of meringue. Bake for 1 hr – if you gently tap the meringue, it should sound crisp. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for 1 hr to cool gradually. Remove, carefully peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight tin, or wrapped in foil.
- When you are ready to serve the Pavlova, prepare the filling. Whisk the whipping cream to stiff peaks. Fold in the Greek yogurt, then the crème fraîche and sugar. Scatter half the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries onto the base of the meringue. Cut the passion fruits in half widthways, scoop out the pulp and seeds, and scatter over the berries. Spoon about half of the yogurt mixture on top. Scatter over some of the remaining berries, top this with more spoonfuls of the yogurt mix, then finish off with the rest of the berries. Dust lightly with icing sugar and a scattering of mint leaves, if you like. Serve straight away – if you leave it sitting for too long, the creamy filling and juicy fruits will cause the meringue to start to soften.
The above recipes come courtesy of BBC Good Food.