To me Wimbledon means…

Strawberry season!!!!!! English strawberries are not the gianormous monsters from California, but instead they are small, sweet and juicy. I do not know if I have ever had better strawberries in my life than the ones that are ripe in early July in the UK. So I take advantage of this and buy at least two containers a week during the season.

There is a joke in my house, that “Dad does not DO pudding”. Somehow I cannot see that is a good idea to eat a huge calorific monster after a good meal. The odd bit of confectionary now again mid morning or in the afternoon is agreeable, but having a sweet after every meal to me seems wrong. And anyway I would rather spend my calories on a drink with dinner than a sweet after.

When my daughter came to stay the other day I decided to do pudding and it made her go yuuuummmm big time so she insisted that I make it for my son also.

The day before I took a container of fresh English strawberries and cut them into quarters in a bowel. I then covered them liberally, and I mean liberally, with about 5 tablespoons of sugar.

Strawberries and sugar

OK they do not need the sweetness as they are superb just now. But the sugar extracts a syrup that is just to die for. Cover with a plate and put them into the fridge over night. Next year I may try the freeze, thaw cycle mentioned in the Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking which would extract the juice without adding any artificial sweetener.

I bought some Madeira cake for the base and some fresh whipping cream for the topping. I am not sure if you remember but I bought a Hot & Cold Whipper for Cream, Sauces, Froths and Mousses to make crazy scrambled eggs on toast. Well this device is really supposed to produce whipped cream. Now when my daughter did the cream the first time she did not pull the leaver all the way so it leaked most of the nitrous oxide cartridge out before getting to the cream. So when my son was in charge I said pull the trigger and give each bowl a squirt but make sure you do it with feeling…. Have you ever said something that rings in your ears that you know you’re going to regret after you said it? Then there is that pause where you want to just suck the words back into your mouth and pretend you never said it. Well two days later I am still cleaning whipped cream off of bits of my kitchen. I think I saw the funny side, after looking at my speckled shirt when my son turned around in horror with cream on his face with one of those “but you told me to” kind of looks. Well here it is plated (smashed) up.

Plated Heaven

My son finished his pudding by the time I took this picture of the finished product, and I think from the other room I heard yuuuummm. This is a bit of heaven in a bowl.

I will never ever, ever have UHT cream in a can in my house again as fresh whipped cream made with one of these machines is 1000 times better. Madeira cake is soooo much better than Bisquick short cakes for the base. And I will let you know about a healthier way of extracting the juice from strawberries, but it will be next year as the season has ended.

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