Strawberry Pavlova is an easy, make-ahead, show-stopping dessert recipe. It tastes delicious with the classic combination of strawberries, cream and meringue. With its crisp meringue, billows of whipped cream and juicy strawberries, it also looks beautiful and makes a great centrepiece for a buffet or celebration meal. It is best eaten soon after it has been assembled but you can keep any left over pieces in the fridge for up to a couple of days.
What you need to know about Strawberry Pavlova
Adding the cornflour and lemon juice helps to stabilise the meringue and ensure that your pavlova is crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside.
You can make your pavlova any shape you like. Just spoon the meringue mixture into your desired shape. I generally make mine either round or oval but have occasionally made one heart-shaped.
It is important to cook the pavlova and a very low heat. Check towards the end of the cooking time to make sure that it is not starting to turn light brown which is a sign that it is over-cooked. Once the pavlova has finished cooking, open the oven door and leave it to cool in the oven. This should prevent cracking.
It is important to allow your pavlova to cool completely before adding the cream and strawberries. I generally make mine the day before I serve them. They keep very well at room temperature if covered in cling-film or foil.
You should add the cream and strawberries just before you are ready to serve the pavlova. If you add them a long time in advance, they will make the meringue soggy.
It is possible to get sweet and full-flavoured strawberries. However, sometimes they do not taste so good. If you have some flavourless strawberries, cut them in half and put in a bowl with a sprinkling of caster sugar and leave for about an hour before spooning them on to the pavlova.
This recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar. The end result does not taste sour or vinegary at all. The balsamic vinegar enhances the flavour of the strawberries and cuts through their sweetness. Sometimes it is hard to get hold of really tasty strawberries and the addition of the vinegar can help you create super-tasty ice cream from average tasting berries. Essentially, it is strawberry ice cream but with an extra flavour boost.
This ice cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar. This cuts through the sweetness of the berries and enhances their taste. When you try the ice cream, you would not guess that it contains vinegar.
500 g fresh strawberries
55 ml balsamic vinegar
110 g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
425 ml double cream
Wash the strawberries, remove the green stalks and roughly chop.
Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar. Allow to macerate for around 30 minutes.
Put the sugar in a saucepan with 55 ml of water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Set the sugar syrup aside to cool slightly.
Set aside 150 g of the macerated strawberries. Place the remaining 350 g of the macerated strawberries in a blender together with the sugar syrup. Blend to form a thick puree.
Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
Put the egg yolks in a bowl and add the heated cream, whisking all the time.
Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl. Add the strawberry puree to the custard together with the 150 g of macerated strawberries that you set aside (see point 4).
Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
When you are ready to make the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
Although the preparation time and cook time totals 20 minutes you will need to allow additional time for the ice cream mixture to become completely cold before you freeze it.
This Strawberry Roulade is an easy dessert recipe that consists of a light rolled sponge filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream. In this recipe, I have used my Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam for the filling which gives it a subtle flavour of rose. In essence, it is a posh strawberry Swiss Roll.
It is a good dessert for a party as it looks impressive on the table, can be made in advance and is easy to slice into individual portions. It is a bit retro but, in my view, is none the worse for that.
What you need to know about this Strawberry Roulade recipe
You need a Swiss Roll tin – a shallow, flat tin (approximately 38 cm x 26 cm or 10 x 15 inches) to make this recipe. It also makes it much easier if you have a food-processor with a whisk attachment or an electric whisk as hand-whisking the mixture can take a while.
This is a very quick recipe. The sponge is thin so it cooks in 15 minutes which is much more quickly than a cake.
It is vital that you roll up the roulade (step 8) while it is still warm. If you leave it to cool before doing this, it will be very hard to roll.
It is good for a party as, in addition to looking good on the table, it is easy to slice into individual portions.
I use my Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam to add a hint of rose flavour. If you want to add a note of rose to your roulade, you can add a few drops of rosewater to a good home-made or shop-bought strawberry jam.
In this recipe, I used whipped cream and strawberry jam to fill the roulade. However, you could use another type of jam – raspberry or black cherry are good options – or honey as a substitute. You could also use fresh fruit, or a mixture of jam and fruit if you prefer. Any fresh berry, such as raspberries or blueberries, are good. You could also use a fruit compote, a simple mixture of fresh fruit and sugar which has been cooked very quickly, as a substitute. I have a recipe for Rhubarb Roulade which uses rhubarb compote.
Other easy dessert recipes
If you are looking for an easy, make-ahead dessert, you might also like some of my other recipes.
200 ml (700 fluid oz) double cream, whipped to form soft peaks
A little icing sugar
Set oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
Line your Swiss roll tin with baking parchment or grease-proof paper.
Combine the eggs and sugar and whisk until thick and foamy. This can take up to 5 minutes. This is one recipe where you really need a food processor with a whisk attachment or an electric whisk rather than attempting to do it with a hand whisk.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the foamy egg and sugar mixture.
Pour the combined mixture into your Swiss roll tin.
Put the tin in the oven and bake the sponge for 15 minutes until firm and golden.
Turn the cooked sponge onto another sheet of baking parchment or grease-proof paper on which you have sprinkled around a tablespoon of caster sugar.
While the sponge is still warm, roll it up so it looks like a Swiss roll with the paper inside. You need to roll it up while it is warm – you can’t do this when it has cooled off as the cake will crack! Allow to cool completely.
You need to construct your roulade a couple of hours before you are ready to eat it – otherwise, the cream and jam will make it soggy. You need to unroll the sponge and remove the paper. Spread your jam over the sponge and top it with the whipped double cream. Don’t spread filling too thick and don’t take it quite up to the edge of the sponge (leave a gap of a couple of centimetres). This will avoid too much squidging out when you roll the cake up again!
Roll the filled cake up into a Swiss roll shape again.
I created this Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake for a family birthday. My brief was to produce a simple Victoria Sandwich cake with jam and cream with no “funny stuff” (why do my family always say this….?). I tried very hard to stick to the brief and started off with a classic strawberry-and-cream Victoria Sandwich cake but, inevitably, I got enthused by the possibilities of adding an element of rose (strawberry and rose – such a great combination!).
My efforts resulted in a lovely buttery Victoria sponge cake, sandwiched together with strawberry and rose-flavoured jam and billowing cream, and adorned by romantically-strewn rose petals. I was very proud until my daughter said to me “It’s not the most masculine of cakes, is it?” and I was struck by the realisation that perhaps my hearty, hill-walking husband might not be as enthusiastic about the rose petals as I was….. Luckily, he tends to focus on how things taste and was quite happy with his rather girly looking cake. (And as one of my sons, quite rightly, commented, “you need to break those gender stereotypes, mum…!”).
I made some Crystallised Rose Petals to decorate the cake because I think they are beautiful. They are very easy to make but you do need to make them the day before so that they have time to dry off. I also used my home-made Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam in this cake but, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make this, you can flavour ordinary strawberry jam with .
Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
Add the milk, vanilla extract and rosewater.
Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin. You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.
Method: Filling and topping
Spread the rose-flavoured strawberry jam over the top of one of your cakes.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spread it on top of the jam. Then place the other cake on top.
Put the icing sugar in a sieve and sift it over the top of the assembled cake.
In the (unlikely) event that there is any cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the cream icing. It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.
Keywords: rose and strawberry cake, victoria sandwich, cream
Easy-to-make Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam has all the fruity loveliness of strawberries but with a floral boost provided by the addition of Rose Geranium leaves. This recipe is based on one in Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends and Family which is one of my favourite cookery books. It is really easy to make and is fantastic on crusty bread or as an ingredient in cakes and puddings. If you don’t have access to Rose Geraniums, you can add a little rosewater to the jam to add a floral accent.
I grow strawberries in my garden but they are not yet ready for picking. Therefore, as it is half-term this week, I took two of my adolescent children with me to Primrose Vale Pick-Your-Own farm which is about a half hour drive from where I live. My two gaming-addicted companions were somewhat reluctant at the prospect of this outing but actually enjoyed it a lot (and picked more strawberries than they ate!). It is a good spot for a family outing, with a playground for younger children, an excellent farm shop and a cafe serving drinks and snacks and wonderful, locally-produced Winstones ice-cream.
About Rose Geraniums
There are a number of scented varieties of Rose Geranium (which are actually technically pelargoniums) and all have leaves that smell of rose – I think they actually smell a bit like Turkish Delight! I have two varieties – Angels Perfume and Attar of Roses – which I bought from Herbal Haven which is a specialist herb nursery.
Rose Geranium leaves can be used in lots of puddings and desserts to add a subtle rose flavour. I think this is a better way than using rose-petals as you only need a few leaves whereas you need loads of petals (and, really, who wants to destroy their roses?).
Heavy pan and a large sterilised jam jar (There are various ways of sterilising jars. I think the easiest is to wash in soapy water and then put in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes)
A beautiful summer jam, perfect to make when strawberries are in season in June or July, which has the added twist of a hint of rose.
500 g fresh strawberries
500 g jam sugar (caster sugar with added pectin)
Juice of 1 lemon
4 Rose Geranium leaves (or a teaspoon of rosewater)
Wash the strawberries and hull them (remove the green leafy bit).
Put the strawberries into your pan together with the lemon juice and the Rose Geranium leaves. If you do not have access to a Rose Geranium plant, you can add a teaspoon of rosewater if you want your jam to have a floral accent. Otherwise you can make it without either – it will still taste really good!
Heat for around 5 minutes until the strawberries have become soft and released their juice.
Add the jam sugar and bring to the boil. Then allow to continue boiling for 10 minutes until the setting point is reached. (You can judge the setting point by putting a saucer in your freezer before making the jam. Spoon some of the jam onto the cold saucer and leave to cool. If the surface of the jam crinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready. If not, continue boiling and try again after a few more minutes).
Remove from the heat and then pour into a sterilised jam jar.
You can sterilise your jam jar by washing it in soapy water and then putting it in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes.
Keywords: strawberry jam, strawberry and rose jam, rose geranium jam
Strawberries and Rose Geranium leaves – ready for jam!