Over the next few weeks we’ll be presenting a series of exclusive recipes from South West Chef of The Year past contestants. The South West Chef of The Year is the competition to get yourself in to if you reckon you have what it takes to go up against some of the best in the region. Entries close 31st July.
We asked Sue Stoneman, winner of the 2016 South West Home Cook of the year, to give us a recipe to kick us off. A perfect sweet dish for a summer’s day!
This recipe reminds me of my Mum who taught me how to cook and inspired me to follow my passion in cooking and it was also the start of the cooking adventure that has brought me to where I am now.
My Mum always made a wonderful pavlova, it was always crunchy on the outside and had that lovely marshmallow chewy middle. I made a meringue roulade for my first cookery competition a few years ago, using mango and passion fruit, making a passion fruit curd for the filling as well. Making a roulade is quick as you don’t need to cook it for an hour in a very low oven like you would for a normal pavlova. This only takes 20 minutes to cook. Everyone who has eaten my roulade says it’s the best they’ve ever tasted! I then started making the roulade with seasonal fruits – strawberries go very well and are of course in season and taste delicious. It’s quite quick and easy to make and is a great dessert to serve up for alfresco dining. It looks fantastic, it is lovely and light and tastes of summer. There is “always room for roulade!”
3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream
Icing sugar for dusting
- Quantities above are for a standard swiss roll baking sheet
- Oven on at 140C.
- Line baking sheet with baking parchment/silicone sheet.
- In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until doubled in size. Slowly whisk in sugar until thick and shiny. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk again. Spoon into the prepared tin and spread out with pallet knife.
- Bake for 20 minutes. You are looking for a soft, marshmallowy meringue with a light, thin and crispy top. (While this is in the oven, get on with the filling).
- Wash and cut the strawberries. Leave some whole for decoration. Whip the cream.
- When the meringue is baked, remove from oven, place over a sheet of damp greaseproof paper. (Tear off a sheet larger than the baking tin, put it under the cold tap and wring it out). This helps to keep the meringue soft and cracks the top which gives a lovely texture and helps the icing sugar to stick to it later on. Leave for a few minutes.
- Remove the damp greaseproof paper and carefully turn the tin (with the baked meringue still in it) upside down onto some parchment paper dusted with icing sugar. Carefully peel off the paper you used to line the tin. This is the surface you are going to put the cream on – the marshmallowy side – spread over the whisked double cream, followed by the cut strawberries. Then use the paper to help carefully roll up the roulade. (start rolling at the short side and make sure the join is on the underside). Don’t worry if it cracks, this gives it the homemade look.
- Carefully transfer onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and decorate with the leftover strawberries.
- Serve with a strawberry puree – put a punnet of cut up strawberries into a saucepan with a tablespoon of caster sugar and a drop of vanilla exact. Cook over a medium heat until the strawberries are soft (about 5 minutes). Cool a little and put into a blender or use a stick blender to puree. Pour into a jug. Serve this with the roulade and with extra cream if you like.
You can use any seasonal fruit.
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All photos are courtesy of Sue