For a fantastic strawberry dessert recipe, one needn't look further than this creation from Marcello Tully. This recipe includes a black pepper sponge cake and a tangy lemon curd. The perfect dish to announce the arrival of Summer.
When Brazilian-born chef Marcello Tully started his career at 14, he may not have anticipated working on the starkly beautiful island of Skye - but then he probably didn’t expect to be crafting some of the most exquisitely refined Scottish-influenced food on the planet, either.
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Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Start with the sponge by whisking the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until light and fluffy
135g of caster sugar
Leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before gently folding in the flour and pepper. Spread the mix onto a slightly dipped baking tray which has been lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, cool and then cut into 8cm rounds using a pastry cutter
135g of plain flour
2 pinches of black pepper
In a heatproof bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and butter over a pan of simmering water - make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water
200g of caster sugar
100g of butter
Stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a thick custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool
1 egg yolk
For the vanilla cream, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge to cool
240ml of double cream
40g of caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
To assemble the strawberries and cream, use a high ended 7cm pastry ring and place 1 of the 8cm sponge circles at the base
Arrange a few halved strawberries flush inside the ring with the cut-sides facing outwards - this should leave a small gap in the centre, fill this gap with the lemon curd
200g of strawberries, stems removed and halved, 10 reserved to top the sponge
Next, add the vanilla cream to fill any remaining gaps and cover the top of the strawberries. Place another sponge circle on top of the cream and press down firmly to hold the shape. Repeat this process for each ring and set aside
When almost ready to serve, combine the strawberry jam and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain to remove the seeds and keep warm
25g of strawberry jam
Remove the rings from the strawberries and cream and place 2 strawberries on top. Glaze with the jam, dust with icing sugar and serve