Strawberry, rose and pistachio dacquoise Serves 6
50g almonds 50g pistachios, plus a handful chopped to decorate 6 free-range egg whites 300g caster sugar 500ml double cream Quarter of a teaspoon
rosewater 80g icing sugar, plus extra
to dust 250g chopped strawberries Rose petals Fresh mint
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚f/gas mark 3. Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper and draw three 8in circles onto it, then turn the paper over so you’ll be piping onto the clean side later.
Gently roast the almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet for about 8–10 minutes, then remove them and turn the oven down to 150˚C/300˚f/gas mark 2. Pulse the nuts in a processor until coarsely ground and set aside.
Using either a stand mixer or a handheld electric beater, start to whisk the egg whites on a slow speed, increasing it as they become more frothy. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time while whisking, until the mixture is stiff and glossy—this will take about 10 minutes.
Next, fold the nuts through the whites with a plastic spatula and transfer the mixture to a piping bag (a freezer bag with the corner snipped off will also work). Starting at the centre, pipe a spiral to fill each of the circles on the greaseproof paper. Bake for an hour, then turn the oven off and open the door, allowing the meringues to cool completely before removing.
Whip the cream together with the rosewater and icing sugar, then gently fold in 200g of the strawberries.
To assemble the dacquoise, layer the meringues with the whipped cream and strawberries, finishing with cream on top. Decorate with the remaining strawberries, chopped pistachios, rose petals and mint leaves, then sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.
Strawberries are very easy to grow, even in pots. After a lazy alfresco lunch, you can just serve them whole, fresh from the plant