Strawberry Arctic Roll
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    Serves 8
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Some things in life are simple. This recipe is a trip down memory lane for myself and others and it evokes a real feeling of nostalgia. Creating recipes and dishes to serve at the British Larder is something we take seriously and I try to put as much thought into it as possible and to consider our ethos and what we stand for. Cooking for us here at the British Larder is also all about food that tastes fantastic, makes us smile and stimulates conversation (and often some great memories too), not only for the staff but also for the customers.

This recipe is dedicated to two of our regular customers – Gloria and Dennis Lee. When I first served this arctic roll for Gloria, the look of sheer joy on her face is imprinted on my mind. I shall never forget that moment because this recipe obviously brought back many happy memories to Gloria – she didn’t have to say anything, the joyful look on her face said it all!

I love strawberries and everything about them – their colour, fragrance and flavour. When I close my eyes and smell a sun-ripened strawberry, it brings back memories of my childhood and visits to the PYO farm with my family. My dad especially used to love eating strawberries with a sprinkling of sugar and lots of sweetened whipped cream.

This recipe is a perfect way to use flavourful British strawberries and the added beauty of this fantastic retro dessert is that everything can be made in advance – up to 3 days in advance, if you like – making it a perfect dessert for either casual dining or for a special occasion.

You will need to start this recipe at least one day before you want to serve it.

Ingredients & Method

For the strawberry ice cream

  • 250ml fresh strawberry purée (see Cook’s Note)
  • 150ml double cream
  • 75ml milk
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 150g fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

For the strawberry jam

  • 125g fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 125g jam sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

For the sponge

  • 3 eggs
  • 50g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 40g plain flour, sifted twice
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon

To serve and decorate

  • 8 small thimbles filled with double cream hulled fresh strawberries

First, make the strawberry ice cream. Place the strawberry purée, cream, milk and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until well mixed. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn until frozen (following the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model). Alternatively, pour the chilled mixture into a shallow, freezer proof container, cover with a lid and freeze until firm, whisking the mixture 3 or 4 times during freezing (every hour or so) to break down the ice crystals and ensure an even-textured result.

If you have made the ice cream by hand, remove it from the freezer about 10 minutes or so before using in this next stage to allow it to soften a little (you won’t need to do this if you have made the ice cream using an ice-cream maker, as it will be soft enough already). Lay 4 pieces of cling film on a clean, cold work surface. Spoon a quarter of the ice cream on to each piece of cling film in a straight line, then arrange a row of strawberry quarters on top of each portion of ice cream. Roll up each portion of ice cream in the cling film, enclosing the strawberries inside each roll of ice cream, to make 4 sausage shapes or logs, each about 10cm long and 4cm in diameter. Place the ice cream logs in the freezer overnight to set.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry jam. Place the strawberries in a heavy-based saucepan, sprinkle over the sugar and then the lemon juice and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Cook the strawberry mixture over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10–12 minutes or until the jam reaches a temperature of 105°C (setting point), stirring every now and then to prevent it from catching. If you don’t have a jam thermometer, check to see if setting point has been reached by spooning a little of the jam on to a chilled small plate. Push a finger across the jam; if the surface wrinkles and it is beginning to set, it has reached setting point. If not, boil it for a further 5 minutes or so and test again. Pour the jam into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely. Once cool, cover and refrigerate.

The following day, prepare the sponge and finish the arctic rolls. For the sponge, preheat the oven the 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and line a large baking tray (about 36 x 28cm) with non-stick baking paper. Put the eggs and 50g caster sugar in a bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer, whisk together until pale, thick and doubled in volume – this will take 8–10 minutes. Gently fold in the flour and lemon zest until well incorporated.

Using a palette knife, spread half of the sponge mixture over the whole sheet of prepared baking paper to about 5mm thickness. Bake in the oven for 5–6 minutes or until pale golden and evenly risen. Meanwhile, sprinkle a second sheet of non-stick baking paper with caster sugar. Remove the baked sponge from the oven and invert it on to the sheet of sugar-dusted baking paper. Roll up the sponge from a short side (rolling the paper up inside) like a Swiss roll, then place, seam-side down, on a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining sponge mixture and fresh non-stick baking paper to make a total of 2 rolls of sugar-dusted cooked sponge cake.

To assemble the arctic rolls, unroll the sponge cakes and discard the paper. Cut each sponge in half widthways. For each arctic roll, spread some of the strawberry jam (reserving a little for serving) on the pale (non sugar-dusted) side of a piece of sponge, unwrap a strawberry ice cream log (discard the cling film) and place the log along one edge of the sponge, then roll the sponge up tightly, enclosing the ice cream log in the sponge. Trim and neaten the sponge where the two edges meet. Wrap the arctic roll in fresh cling film and return to the freezer for about 4 hours or until set. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of sponge cake, strawberry jam and ice cream logs to make 4 arctic rolls.

To serve, slice each arctic roll in half widthways using a warm, sharp knife to cut through the frozen ice cream logs. Spread (or swipe) some of the reserved strawberry jam on each serving plate, arrange a piece of arctic roll on top and serve each portion with a small thimble of cream and some strawberries alongside to decorate.

Cook’s Note

Make your own strawberry purée by blending 500g over-ripe hulled strawberries in a blender until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and measure the 250ml required for this recipe. If you have any leftover strawberry purée, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days. Serve the purée as a sauce or coulis to accompany other desserts such as chilled cheesecake or mixed fresh berries, or serve it for breakfast with natural yogurt, fruit or muesli and toasted flaked almonds.

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