These Strawberry & Gin desserts have got us ready for summer!

Tom Perkins not does sales and marketing for our Southwestern Distillery, home of April Gin of the Month, Tarquin's Gin, he's also a dab hand in the kitchen, publishing his own recipes under the title of The Nomadic Kitchen.

Tom's Tarquin's Gin-marinaded Roast Lamb recipe that we featured recently was a massive hit, so we're pleased to say we've got another delicious creation from him - and this time, it's a dessert!

This gorgeous take on a French patisserie classic has got us in the mood for summer al fresco dining - all we need now is for the weather to catch up! 

Strawberry, Elderflower
& Gin Fraisiers

To make 4 individual desserts

For the strawberry jelly & coulis:

300g FRESH STRAWBERRIES
30g SUGAR
50ml TARQUIN’S ‘ROSEMARY & THYME’ GIN
4 tbsp ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL
1g GELATIN LEAF

For Serving:

2 FRESH STRAWBERRIES (quartered)
small handful BASIL LEAVES
FLAKED SEA SALT & BLACK PEPPER 

Additional:

4 FOOD RINGS (8cm diameter)
GREASE-PROOF PAPER 

For the shortcake biscuit base:

80g SHORTCAKE BISCUIT (finely crushed)
40g BUTTER (unsalted)

For the elderflower & vanilla mousse:

180ml MILK
2 EGG YOLKS
20g SUGAR
15g CORNFLOUR
6 tbsp ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL
1 VANILLA POD (de-seeded)
2g GELATIN LEAF
200ml DOUBLE CREAM

 

To make the base

Place the crushed shortcake biscuit into a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and then add to the biscuit. Stir until evenly incorporated.  

Line a tray with greaseproof paper, place on the food rings then add the biscuit mix to each ring – it wants to be roughly 1cm deep. Place in the freezer to set.

To make the mousse

Start by soaking the gelatin leaf in cold water. Place the milk into a small sauce-pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then take off the heat.

Get a heat-resistant mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour, elderflower cordial and vanilla seeds. Whisk together until you make a smooth paste. Place the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, add the milk and whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of custard.

Remove the bowl from the heat, drain the gelatin from the cold water and add to the mousse mixture. Stir for another 30 seconds until it’s all incorporated, then allow the mixture to cool fully.   

Place the double cream into another mixing bowl and whisk until you have soft peaks. Carefully fold the cream into the mousse mixture and incorporate fully. 

Take the frozen biscuit bases from the freezer. Take 50g of the strawberries and slice them into ½ cm disks. Carefully arrange these strawberry disks around the inside of the food rings, on top of the biscuit bases. Then spoon in the creamed mousse, level it out, leaving a 3mm space at the top of the ring. Place back in the freezer to chill.

To make the jelly and coulis

Soak the remaining gelatin leaf in cold water. Place the remaining 250g of strawberries into a saucepan, over a low heat, then add the gin, elderflower cordial and sugar. Stir continuously until the strawberries have softened and released their juices.

While hot, blitz into a smooth puree. Remove half of the puree and place to one side to cool, this will be the coulis. With the remaining puree, add the gelatin leaf, stir well and then allow the jelly to cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour the jelly on top of the mousse in the food rings, then transfer to the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.   

Once set, you have to be gentle in removing the food rings. Clasp your hands around the rings to warm them slightly, then pull up slowly. Careful not to be too forceful – this might require some patience.

To serve

Place each dessert into individual bowls. Divide up the two quartered strawberries evenly on top of the jelly. Add some basil leaves, crack over some black pepper and a tiny pinch of flaked sea salt, then spoon the coulis evenly around the base of each dessert.

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