I’ve been in denial for a while, but now we’re six weeks in, I have to bite the bullet – Christmas is around the corner.

For cooks, a successful Christmas starts and ends with having decent staples in the cupboard. There are a few items I always have – good chutneys (easy to pop on top of a cracker with cheese), a packet of corn chips (I can always whip up a dip), and something to make a boring dessert look pretty.

Kiwi company Fresh As is a range of freeze-dried fruit that’s brilliant to keep handy (just found out it’s now being sold in Aus too – shot, Fresh As team!). I particularly like these buzzy little zingers with meringue dishes like pavlova – or this most English of dishes, Eton Mess. While it’s delicious when made on purpose, this is also a handy one to keep up your sleeve if you manage to mess up your meringues – simply break them up and pretend this is what you meant all along!

Ingredients

Strawberry Meringue

  • 100g egg whites (room temperature)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 10g strawberry powder (Fresh As)

Cream Chantilly

  • 200ml cream
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Fresh fruit, and Fresh As As freeze dried fruit of your choice to garnish.

Method

Preheat oven to 90°.

To make the meringue, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Add sugar gradually until just combined, add strawberry powder and whisk until thick and glossy.

Line an oven tray with greaseproof paper and spread meringue evenly over to about 1cm thickness. Cook in oven for 90-120 minutes or until meringue is crisp. When cooled, break into smaller pieces.

To make the cream chantilly, whisk cream, icing sugar and vanilla paste until soft peaks form. In a large mixing bowl, add cream, fresh and freeze dried berries and fold together. Garnish with edible flowers if desired and serve.