The sights of these giant strawberries popping up everywhere in Berlin city reassure me that summer is really here! Well…ok, they are not exactly strawberries, but little huts where you can buy locally grown strawberries (I thought it was a cute idea!). It is a small structure made of metal or wood, measures approximately 2 meters by 1.5 meter and just over 2 meters in hight, which is painted ‘strawberry red’ overall, little yellow upside down rain drop shapes all over the hut and a painted green roof, look like a giant strawberry from afar. Tiny windows open up to the front and sides for business activities. Trays and trays of hand-picked strawberries from a local farm are piling up neatly inside the hut, in between these aromatic beauties, stands the merchant. Most of the times (yes, I mean it, you do meet some grumpy sellers once in a while!), you will be greeted with a friendly smile as cheerful as the vibrant red strawberries. Every time I see these beautiful, fresh berries, my mood will be consequently lifted! That’s one of the reasons why I love Berlin summer so much, my favorite time of the year!
Truth to be told, we have been eating so much strawberries and I am running out of idea as how to make the most out of them, but luckily, I found another dessert recipe I wrote a while ago for Kleinstyle blog, which I haven’t yet post here. A gorgeous meringue recipe – served with sliced strawberries and melted chocolate. Looking at the picture really makes me want to eat them now, it has a crunchy yet marshmallow-y texture, the sweetness of the meringue marries wonderfully with the citrus-y, slightly floral taste of the berries; and finally the solid, rich flavour of the bitter chocolate brings everything together perfectly, just brilliant!
Note: This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater’s raspberry meringue, but I would like to use strawberries instead since they are widely available! I suggest adding the berries and chocolate (or any other toppings you choose) just before you serve, so the left over meringues can be stored in an airtight container for another day.
(makes about 10)
- 6 Egg white (use the egg yolk to make mayonnaise)
- 250g Caster sugar
- A pinch of cinnamon
- 100g Bitter chocolate (70% Cacao)
- Sliced strawberries to serve
Preheat oven at 140 degree Celsius. Warm the caster sugar in a baking tray for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg white until it is firm and fluffy. Then fold in the warm sugar; beat again until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
On a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, drop large heaped tablespoons of meringue on the parchment, leaving enough space in between each one. Sprinkle cinnamon on the meringues. Bake them in the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour depending on your oven, or until they are crisp on the outside but ‘springy’ on the inside (lightly squeeze them to check). When they are done, cool them on a cooling rack and get on with making the chocolate sauce.
Break up the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, place it over a pot of simmering water until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.
Just before serving, gently crush the top of the meringues with a spoon to make room for the strawberries. Placed sliced berries on the meringues and drizzle the melted chocolate on top.