When a traditional English dessert gets a cheffy remix by Nik St Peter, Executive Chef at the Highcliff Grill, the result is a contemporary classic you need to indulge in…
“I have lived in Bournemouth for most of my life,” says Nik. “Having grown up on the coast, it is a dream to be able to cook with the some of the country’s finest ingredients from both the land and sea. Dorset has an abundance of fresh, local produce right on its doorstep that I have grown up knowing and loving.
My earliest memories are of apple crumble made from the ‘fallers’ in my Grandmother’s garden near Mudeford Harbour, and of visiting the butcher’s shop with my Grandfather to select breakfast sausages made from pork in Sopley and the Sunday roast meats from around the New Forest. My favourite memory, though, is picking strawberries from the Pick Your Own in Bransgore.
I have always loved our local food suppliers, or ‘food heroes’ as we refer to them at the Highcliff Grill. Within the kitchens, you will often find us tucked away carefully crafting new recipes for our guests. We take classic English dishes and add a twist to bring an unexpected flavour or dimension to your dining experience – which is exactly what I have done with this traditional family favourite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!”
1⁄2 punnet of fresh English strawberries
100g caster sugar
20g powdered gelatine (or 1 leaf)
100ml fresh double cream
25g caster sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
25g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
25g butter (unsalted is best)
1 whole egg
1⁄4 tsp vanilla essence
1⁄4 punnet fresh strawberries
1 tsp caster sugar
100g x butter, softened
85g x icing sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large free range eggs, whites only, lightly beaten
100g plain flour
For the jelly, boil the strawberries and sugar with water and vanilla until softened. Soak the gelatin in cold water until soft then drain and add to the strawberry mix. If using powdered gelatin, add to the warm strawberry mix until dissolved fully. Whisk together until the gelatin dissolves, pass through a fine strainer and into a small metal tray lined with Clingfilm. Set in the fridge. Whisk the cream, vanilla and sugar together and leave to set in the fridge.
For the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy. Boil the cream with the vanilla in and then add to the egg mix. Add back into the cream pan and whisk quickly over a low heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat to cool.
For the sponge, lightly beat the sugar and butter together until they start to turn white, add your egg and vanilla to this mix and beat gently, finally sift in the flour using a small sieve to remove any lumps. Place in a baking tin and bake at 180°C until golden and firm (approx. 12-14 mins). Remove and allow to cool naturally.
For the biscuits, place your lightly beaten eggs in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla. Whisk gently until combined. Add the flour and fold it in softly. Add the butter to the flour mix and spread thinly on parchment with a palate knife. Bake at 155°C until golden.
Once all items have cooled, cut a few of the last 1⁄4 of a punnet of strawberries and place along the plate. Using a piping bag, make peaks of custard on the plate amongst the strawberries. Dice the jelly and scatter along the line of custard peaks. Break the sponge into bite-size pieces and place on top of jelly and custard peaks.
Add some peaks of whipped cream with a piping bag. Break the biscuit into shards and place along the plate to add height.
Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel, 105 St. Michael’s Road, West Cliff, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5DU