Looking for something simple and light with minimal preparation? then look no further than Mr Jamie Oliver’s strawberries and vanilla cream – (original recipe here).
4 handfuls wild strawberries
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 splash sherry vinegar
1 pot crème fraîche
a few small fresh mint leaves
zest of 1 orange
Pick out the nicest strawberries and set aside. Put the rest in a bowl and add the sugar, half the vanilla seeds and the vinegar. Squash together with the back of a fork and leave to macerate for 10–15 minutes.
Stir the rest of the vanilla seeds into the crème fraîche. To serve, spoon a little vanilla cream in the centre of each bowl, make a well in the middle and spoon in some mushed strawberries. Halve some of the reserved strawberries and sprinkle the lot over the vanilla cream. Scatter over the mint leaves (and orange zest if using) then serve.
I love not only the subtle taste the vanilla gives the crème fraîche but also the beautiful speckling of black that runs through the cream. So simple yet so elegant.
For those in Johannesburg – seems every 4th week or so I feel the need to venture forth and find myself some sweet treat. So as per previous excursions I ended up at Fresh Earth in Emmerentia, and this time I bought a gluten-free Lamington.
Now this is something that I have never actually eaten, or even tried a nibble of in the dark while no-one was looking. So time for some research… a Lamington is an Australian dessert with sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce (or icing depending on where you read) and then in desiccated coconut.
Being a fan of both chocolate and coconut I decided to try the unknown. Very nice, satisfies the sweet tooth and as with everything I have tried at Fresh Earth a great tasting gluten-free cake – nothing worse than a gluten-free cake or bread that tastes like dried cardboard! Visit the Fresh Earth website here.
Whilst on the topic of nibbly things, someone recently gave me some Schar gluten-free “Maria” biscuits (thank you Morne) which are basically Marie biscuits, and I wondered why an Italian company was producing a South African biscuit. Seems I rather erroneously believed that a Marie biscuit was a South African invention. Imagine my horror (and embarrassment, yes maybe I blushed a little) to find out that the Marie Biscuit was created in London in 1874. I grew up in the UK and have no recollection of a Marie Biscuit – not that I would have been eating them of course, but I am well aware of chocolate digestives , Bakewell Tarts and Jaffa Cakes and I was not eating those either!
I did ask someone at work to try one and then do a comparison with a local Marie biscuit and apparently it is rather close – they taste just like the real thing. So if it’s time for tea and you are looking for a biscuit to dunk, now you know what to eat! Schar products are imported by Master Health Products – visit their website for a full list of stockists.