7 Rounds of Strawberries and Cream – Quarter-finals

Welcome to the Wimbledon quarter finals (sort of), and to quarter finals in my Wimbledon food challenge. I hope you’ve been having a wonderful day. I’ve spent it channel hopping between the Wimbledon YouTube Channel, and the BBC. Currently Andy Murray is fighting to come back from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco. Reassuringly the match took place in 2013, and we all know what happened at Wimbledon in 2013!

When you get deep into the second week of a slam the matches start getting tight, complicated, and full of spectacular highlights. My quarter final recipe is inspired by the the pieces that make up a good match. I hope you enjoy!

Quarter Finals – Strawberry Jelly and Cream Cones

Ingredients

For the macerated strawberries –

150g-200g of Strawberries (it depends how many people you are feeding)

20ml (roughly one tablespoon) of lemon, more if using more strawberries

A sprinkle of sugar

For the jelly –

350g of strawberries

350ml of water

30g of caster sugar

1 sachet of Vege-Gel (vegan setting agent from Dr Oetker)

For the dried strawberries –

2-3 strawberries (more if serving lots of people)

For the Chantilly Cream –

Double Cream

Icing Sugar

Vanilla Essence

How much you use of these ingredients depends how many people do you are serving, and how sweet/strong you like your Chantilly cream.

For the Waffle Cones –

2 Egg Whites

115g of Soft Brown Sugar

50ml of Full-fat Milk

2.5ml (half a teaspoon) of Vanilla Essence

Pinch of salt

100g Plain Flour (you can easily use GF Plain Flour if you want!)

30g of melted butter

(That’s a hell of an ingredients list!)

This is a recipe that needs a full day at home. Things need to be made in advance, however much of it doesn’t actually require your full attention for long.

Start with the Jelly

Hull (cut off the green tops) and quarter the strawberries

Place the strawberries, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a low heat and leave to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Check occasionally to ensure they aren’t burning. If you have the heart turned down enough, they should be totally fine.

Remove from the heat and strain the mixture though a fine mesh placed inside a sieve (the type of muslin used in jam making is ideal). Leave the strawberries for 30 mins, occasionally using a spoon to press down and release more juice.

Remove the strawberry mush and rinse the mesh/cloth out. Then strain the juice a second time to remove any pulp that got through. This is ensure clarity in your jelly.

You should have somewhere around 500ml of juice.

Place the juice into a clean pan and stir the vege-gel until it is dissolved. I used about half the packet but could have used more as my jelly wasn’t as firmly set as would have liked. Better a soft set than rubber though!

Place the pan over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and boil for 2-3 mins. Strain the liquid through the mesh cloth again. If still cloudy looking strain one more time. It will be worth the effort for the clarity of your jelly later.

Pour your jelly into the mould, I used a silicone ice cube tray.

Place in the fridge to set. This will take most of the day no matter what the packet of vege-gel says about it taking an hour!

To make the macerated strawberries –

Hull and quarter the strawberries, place into a bowl

All the lemon juice and sugar to taste

Cover the bowl and place into the fridge alongside your jelly.

To make the dried strawberries

Preheat the oven to 100C (fan assisted)

Take the green tops of two or three (more if making them for lots of people, I was only serving two!) strawberries.

Slice as thinly as you can and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Do not let them overlap

Place in the over for an hour.

After the first hour take the tray out and carefully turn the strawberries over. Go slow as they are delicate at this stage.

Return to the oven for a second hour.

Remove and turn over one more time, before returning to the oven for another 30 mins.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Set aside for later.

To make the Chantilly Cream –

Add however much double cream you need for the number you are serving, I did around 100ml.

Using a handheld electric whisk, whisk the cream until it starts to thicken.

Add the icing sugar to taste (I did about half a tablespoon), and whisk a little more.

Before you’ve reached the thickness needed, your vanilla essence. I used about two capfuls.

Whisk again until as thick as you like it.

To make the Waffle Cones –

Place the egg whites, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.

Melt the butter.

Add the butter and plain flour to your mixture. Whisk again until fully combined and completely smooth.

Place in the fridge for 30 mins, then remove and whisk again.

Heat a frying pan (the best non-stick one you have, if you use a particular pan for making crepe or pancakes, I would advise using this one!)

Pour about 1 and a half tablespoons of the batter onto the hot pan, then using the back of a spoon spread the batter into a thin, even circle. Start in the middle and gently but quickly work outwards.

Cook over a medium heat until you can turn it over without it breaking. You will get a feel for this as you go but a good tip is when you can see it browning through the thinner bits you should be able to turn it over.

Cook on the other side or a minute or two, checking occasionally to make sure it isn’t burning.

When ready remove from the heat and shape. This is the tricky bit as you have to do this with speed while the cone is still hot or it will break. I have some gorgeous, vintage ice cream cone moulds my best friend got me which certainly makes it easier, but they can be done by hand. You can also shape them into bowls by simply draping them over a glass coated in a little oil if the cone feels too complicated.

To make the cone shape, quickly and carefully roll them from the bottom around your mould, or free form. Use a tissue to protect your fingers as you go. If going freeform, Pull out the shape at the top to make it a wider cone. Focus on rolling the bottom of the cone first and that makes it easier to shape the rest of the cone. Take care not to roll it tight, you want an opening at top to fill!

Place them seal down on a clean tea towel and hold gently until they feel set.

You can either make them all or make as many as you need and place the batter back into the fridge for another day.

I made all of mine and put them into a Tupperware box the minute they had cooled to help keep them as crisp as possible. Don’t worry if they go a bit soft however, they are still scrumptious!

When ready to serve, dice some fresh strawberries. If you can be bothered it is also worth cutting your macerated strawberries into smaller pieces.

Place a cone into a mug/glass/egg cup to help it stand up. Start with some whipped cream, I piped mine in but you can use a tea spoon.

Then add some of the fresh and the macerated strawberries, followed by a few cubes of jelly and some dried strawberries.

Add more cream, them another layer of strawberries and jelly, followed by more cream and top with the final dried strawberries and some more jelly.

Serve with a napkin!

Everything about this treat screams Wimbledon to me, It is elegant, fun and delicious. The different textures and tastes of strawberry in this cone are incredible, and well worth the effort put into preparing them. I hope you enjoy!

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