Strawberries and cream

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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.

First published in 2015




Pepper sponge

Lemon curd

Vanilla cream

  • 240ml of double cream
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


  • 16 strawberries, halved
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 25g of strawberry jam, combined with 10ml water


  • 7cm pastry ring 4
  • Piping bags


Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. To make the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until light and fluffy
  • 135g of caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
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 eight 7cm circles using the pastry rings (the sponge will form the bases and tops of the desserts
To make the lemon curd, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water
Stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture resembles a thick custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool
For the vanilla cream, whisk together 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 desserts, place four deep-sided 7cm pastry rings on a lined tray. Press a sponge circle into the base of each one
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
Pipe a layer of the vanilla cream over the top of the curd and strawberries. Place another sponge circle on top of the cream and press down gently but 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 any seeds and keep warm
  • 25g of strawberry jam
Remove the rings from the desserts, place on plates and dust with icing sugar. Glaze some strawberry halves with the jam, position on the desserts and serve
  • icing sugar for dusting
First published in 2015

When Brazilian-born chef Marcello Tully started his career at fourteen, 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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