Summer Berries Pavlova

I know we were spoilt last week with the beautiful weather, but I’m sure it will be back again- maybe. I hope so anyway, on the strength of it all we toddled out and got a new BBQ. Obviously we then had to try it which leads on to one thing- alfresco eating.

I always think that summer puddings should be easy to prepare, not to heavy and a perfect way to end those outdoor get togethers. Enter my meringue it’s soft and mallow centre combined with a crisp outer shell is perfect for pavlovas and Eton mess alike. The only negative is the lack of oven use for anything else whilst it’s cooking and cooling. I mean it’s not really a negative- you could just make more meringues.

This pavlova is flavoured using the fabulous Sugar and Crumbs strawberry milkshake flavoured icing sugar. (This isn’t an ad- I just really love these, and they are free from nuts, dairy and gluten). It’s also pink, due to the request from the tiny human, i could not refuse.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 50g icing sugar ( mine was flavoured)
  • 1tsp corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Gel food colouring if needed

Method

  • Heat your oven to 120°c
  • In your mixer use the balloon whisk and whist the whites until they start to form soft peaks.
  • Gradually add the caster sugar 1 spoon at a time whilst the mixer is on a medium speed. Do not over beat
  • Sift in the icing sugar and cornflour and fold into you egg whites gently.
  • Add the food colouring and vinegar for a final beat with the mixer. If it’s ready the mixture will not fall out of the upturned bowl.
  • You can pipe the meringue into rounds or make one large pavlova it’s up to you.

Now with the baking I find ovens are temperamental things. My new one is definitely hotter than my previous one. I put the meringue in at 120° and bake for about an hour ( it was longer in the old over) after this time turn the cooker off and leave the meringue to completely cool in the oven.

When cooled whip some cream and pile those berries high. Then enjoy your efforts sat outside ( dodging the bugs) at the BBQ.

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Gluten Free Chocolate “Mini Milks” 

Hello to you all, hope you are enjoying this fine sunny weather we are having. It’s Monday it’s the last week of term for most of the munchkins and I’m sure you’d like to know about a really easy treat?  I’m right aren’t I? 

Whilst it’s great that tesco have lunch a GF DF mini milk style lolly, it still hs the dreaded may contain nuts message, so still best avoid for us.  Anyway I that I’ll make my own, on mini me’ request we got some of these

 Kitchen Craft, Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 6“>

And set off to make these. You have to excuse the photos- the down side of this mould is that they look less umbrella like when out of its plastic case……

  

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs cacao or cocoa powder
  • Either 2 tbs of caster sugar or 1-2 tbs of maple syrup to sweeten. 

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a pan and heat, do not let it boil
  • Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes then pour into the moulds
  • When cold place in the freezer
  • After 30 minutes- 1 hr I give the mixture a stir to help stop crystals forming
  • Eat when completely frozen.  

The added benefit of these is that you could use a combination of coconut milk and cream for a dairy free version.  

See there you have it- not really cooking by any scale of the imagination but delicious none the less.  
*this post does contain an affiliate link. If you do click and buy the moulds it just means I get a few pennies. 

Breakfast parfait Gluten and Dairy free 

Parfait what’s not to like right? Whether it’s the frozen dessert or layered up in a pot I think it’s great. I’ve become a fan of mason jars or jam jars and they are great for providing a vessel to transport your breakfast. And what could be better than one of these pots of joy?? 

  So this weekend we went berry picking,  we have a few farms that have pick your own around where we live, I love the scrabbling around through the strawberry plants and raspberry canes searching for the little red jewels that are hidden beneath the leaves. Mini me ( being the slightly ferrel child she is) loves it to- and it’s all nut free so it makes for a great hours entertainment. I do confess I had to buy a drink ( I felt guilty as Lily-Rose actually consumed her body weight of raspberries as we went round) 

Anyway I digress a bit. I’ve all these fresh berries and it’s hot ( yippee) so parfait pots made for a great, healthy breakfast. Perfect for summer. 

   

Ingredients 

  • 1 banana mashed with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Yoghurt of your choice ( I used KoKo coconut dairy free ) 
  • Fruit of your choice 
  • Granola ( I used Delicious Alchemy Nutty Granola). Or my own recipe for a nut free version 

  

The method is easy, banana at the bottom, and then layer up however you fancy. Then dive in with a spoon and enjoy. 

Do you like parfait? What’s your favourite flavour combination? Let me know in the comments below. 

Infused Water- Strawberry, Basil and Cucumber 

We all know that drinking plenty of fluids are good for us, and I’m forever telling patients I see in my clinic that they should up their water intake. I thought it’s high time I practised what I preach if you will.

Now water on its own can be a bit dull, it’s better with ice, and even better with lemon- you see where I’m going here don’t you? I do like to start the day with boiling water and lemon ( but then coffee takes over) so how to make it tasty without adding squash or fizzy drinks? I present to you infused water.

IMG_1123

The concept is very simple, fill a jug or glass with water, then add your ingredients, leave to infuse for about 4 hours (or overnight) then hey presto water that’s, well more interesting and better for you than fizzy drinks.

This particular flavour combination has been inspired by summer, Wimbledon and pimms season. This honestly tastes like pimms but without the alcohol and lemonade. It’s very refreshing, and would be great for a warm sunny day ( if we every have any) to quench your thirst.

Ingredients for one glass

  • 4/5 Strawberries chopped
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 4 slices of cucumber. 

Method 

  • I can’t call this a method, you fill the glass up with water, put your ingredients in and pop in the fridge for about 4 hours
  • Enjoy your drink.

There you have it. Have fun and experiment with different flavour combinations- let me know your favourites in the comments below.

Grilled Salmon In A spiced Marinade  

Well fingers crossed that the last few days haven’t been our summer, and we can look forward to long, hazy days and BBQ season. Now I love a bbq and alfresco dinning, but get a bit bored of the usual sausage and burger offerings. This year I’ve decided to mix it up and try new things on the grilling front. 

I know salmon isn’t a new thing, far from it, but I’ve been experimenting with marinades and I think this is yummy, and not as calorific as some of the shop brought offerings, it also includes one of my new favourites -turmeric, which also give a great colour to the fish as well.  

  

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets I used a side and cut it into portions. 

For the marinade

  • 100mls natural yogurt ( or dairy free alternative) 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp gram masala 
  • Chilli eithe fresh or flakes if you desire. 

Method 

  •   Mix together all he marinade ingredients then in a large bowl, pour over the salmon pieces.
  • Gently stir to ensure the fish has a good covering.
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours. 
  • When it comes to cooking the fish, use the warmest part of your BBQ, learn from my mistake I put skin side down first, but flesh side down is better. 
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on flesh side, then gently turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the skin side. 
  • Turn every minute or so until the salmon is cooked through. 

 
 Serve with salad -delicious