Saturday afternoon, the rain won’t stop and to be honest it’s all getting a bit tedious. I mean in April most of England was served a Hosepipe Ban meaning we couldn’t water the garden (oh dear, what a shame), wash our cars (that’s what car washes are for) or do anything else using water outside (oh no, how will I fill my 100m heated swimming pull with integrated jacuzzi?).
That very next day it started raining. And, three months later, it hasn’t stopped. So guess what the water companies did last week. Yes they lifted the hosepipe ban. Oh sweet irony. Who needs hosepipes? We’re flooding people, we need sandbags! Gardens around here look like tropical rainforests. God this country is so stupid sometimes.
What’s this got to do with Strawberry Layer Dessert? Nothing. But I was bored stuck in the house and snuffling round the fridge found some pastry, strawberries and cream and so, refering to the BBC Good Food website decided to devise a creation.
First off unroll a sheet of puff pastry onto some parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment:
Then place a baking sheet on top and bake in the oven at 180 centigrade for about 20 mins:
The pastry is cooked but hasn’t risen, making it crisp like a biscuit. Now sprinkle icing sugar over the surface and place under the grill to caramelise:
This is the tricky bit – you need to watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t start burning. Naturally I wasn’t careful enough and it caught a bit:
Doesn’t matter – you can scrape off the burnt bits and have another go with some more icing sugar. Now cut the pastry into squares whilst still warm:
Leave the squares to cool and prepare the cream. Add a few drops of vanilla essence to a pot of double cream with about 100 grammes of caster sugar:
Whisk until it holds its shape but not too thick.
Chop up a punnet of strawberries and you’re ready to put the creation together. There are two ways to do this. First in a kind of random pile and the second in a more orderly layer creation. For the random approach put a big dollop of cream on a plate and top with strawberries:
Now stick some of the pastry slices into it, add some more cream and strawberries and finish off with a drizzle of coulis (raspberry was the choice here)
Looks okay, but as the Mrs found, a bit messy to eat:
So I had another go, creating a more orderly, layered version:
It wasn’t any easier to eat but looks a lot neater!