FINALLY! It’s summer in London and I’m loving it. Plus it’s the World Cup and I’m of course supporting both Sweden and England. And soon Wimbledon starts too.
London summers are always busy, probably because we try to embrace every outdoor eating and drinking opportunity we can find this time of year! And that’s exactly what I embraced the past week.
On Tuesday it was lovely and sunny in the evening, so a friend and I had pre-dinner prosecco and snacks on the roof terrace. So lovely and something I hope to enjoy many more evenings this summer. As it was a work night and I hadn’t have much time to prep, I for once used shortcuts. Something I’m usually reluctant to do, but it was actually really nice to avoid the last minute scramble I usually have to endure to get a dinner going. Instead I turned to the supermarket for nibbles so all I did was take it out of it’s packaging, which meant I only had an easy main course and some whipping to do. Amazing!
The main course was a proper Spaghetti Carbonara (will post the recipe soon) served with a simple green salad, and for pudding I made Eton Mess with store-bought meringues.
On Thursday two colleagues invited me along to a work event so it was networking, champagnes and canapés all evening (part of it outside!).
On Friday I met up with Gaby and Rowena for an al fresco dinner at Ham Yard Hotel. So lovely. Eventually it got cold but then we moved inside to a comfortable table with a sofa.
Saturday and Sunday were more relaxed; I could catch up on chores and sleep. Had time for face masks (very important), sunbathing on the roof terrace, watching the football and a nice long walk at dusk. Oh, and a trip to the cinema. I feel thoroughly recharged and ready for the next few busy weeks until I go home to Sweden at the end of July.
The Swedish equivalent to Eton mess is marängsuisse; a pudding consisting of ice cream, meringues, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. You can also add berries, nuts, bananas or anything else you want. I like to serve the ingredients separately so people can assemble their own.
Last time I made this I tried a new type of meringue that my food blogger friend Charlotta had posted on her blog a while ago; a lovely gooey meringue that completely melts in your mouth. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. So good!
The meringue is super easy to make and you don’t even need to keep an eye on the oven as you turn it off as soon as the meringue goes in. You simply forget about it and leave it in there to cook on the residual heat during the day or over night. It couldn’t be simpler.
Hiram’s forgotten meringue, serves 6-8
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
280 g caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 225C. Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Mix the baking powder with the sugar and fold into the whipped egg whites. Pour the meringue into a buttered springform and spoon a bit of the mixture from the middle towards the sides. Place in the hot oven, turn it off and leave for a day or over night until it has set.
Chocolate sauce, serves 6
40 g caster sugar
20 g cocoa
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp double cream
Mix sugar, cocoa and water in a non-stick sauce pan. Bring to the boil while stirring. Add the cream and let it thicken for a few minutes, while stirring. Serve warm.
The summer has paused (once again) here in London and I sincerely hope my two weeks in Sweden in August will make up for the lack of summer I’ve experienced so far. *crossing fingers*
Luckily, one can help summer along a little by cooking the most summery of recipes. If it tastes like summer IT IS summer, right?!
Noodles with fried squid, lime and mint tastes very fresh and reminds me of balmy nights. What better summer smell is there than the one of charcoal and meat juices?! This marinaded pork fillet with lemon and herbs is utterly delicious! And the easiest (and best) of summer puds is of course the humble mess. For a late lazy lunch with friends (and rosé!) this halloumi salad is easy to whip up.
Happy (make your own) summer!
In Britain Eton Mess is a real classic and I thought it would be fun to introduce it to some of my Swedish friends. Strawberry season was over in August though so I used raspberries from my parents’ garden and passion fruit to flavour my mess. Homemade chewy meringues further added the va-va-voom. This went down such a treat among my Swedish friends that I was surprised. I thought the amount of whipped cream would put them off!
Raspberry and passionfruit mess, serves 4-5
300 ml whipping or double cream
100 ml raspberries
melissa or apple mint (regular mint will of course do too) to decorate
Whip the cream. Break up the meringues and add them to the cream. Add the passionfruit pulp and the raspberries, mix carefully. Divide between four bowls. Decorate with melissa or mint and serve.