I’m drawn to really posh people. Like some kind of social anthropologist, I study them and make mental notes of their nuances and foibles. I’ve even been out with some posh boys in my time. To really experience the posh thing first hand. It always ended in disaster. A Holly and a Piers does not a match in heaven maketh.
I once worked with a really posh girl. She was so posh she played tennis at The Hurlingham Club and ate cottage cheese laced with pineapple for lunch without a trace of irony. She also had the best stomach of any woman I have ever seen. I know this as she often showed people. This part isn’t fundamental to the story, I just wanted to paint as full a picture as possible.
Once she even came into work once with a story of staying up until 2am at a dinner party playing a game where the winner was the one who balanced the most CDs on their nipples. I loved this story. If I suggested something like this at a dinner party I’d be asked to leave, if my posh ex-colleague suggested it everyone would think her fun. Such it the lottery of birth.
This was the thing I most admired about Posh Girl. Her appetite for fun. One Friday she was even more exhausted than usual from her super-busy social life and told me she was about to decline an invitation to a party when her Mother (for she lived at home) instructed her she simply must go. She went on to paint a picture of the most alien variety of Mother I had ever heard of. Her Mother was of the belief that one should always say yes in life.
I am now a Mum and every day I try to channel a little of Posh Girl’s Mother. This pudding is what I think she might make at one of her supper parties.
Serves 8ish or 4 pigs
Inspired by this recipe
– 120g Two Chicks egg whites
– 200g caster sugar
– 150mls double cream
– half a pack of strawberry jelly made up to packet instructions and left to set, then scrambled up with a fork
– 10 strawberries, washed and chopped into 1cm-ish pieces
– a little icing sugar
Right, this is easy. Honest it is. It just looks hard.
Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C and then line a swiss roll tin (23cm x 30cm) with non stick greaseproof paper. I use Sainsbury’s white stuff and stick to the sides of the tin with a little butter to make sure it doesn’t sag into the meringue whilst it’s baking. Then whip the egg whites up with a whisk/hand held mixer/stand mixer with whisk attachment until stiff looking. Then add the sugar in 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition until the mixture looks thick, stiff and glossy. Spoon into the tin, smooth over until level and bake for 15 minutes until you get a crisp shell on the top. Then leave to cool.
Once cool take another piece of greaseproof paper the same size at the one you lined the tin with. Dust the top of your meringue with some icing sugar, place the other piece of greaseproof paper on the top, place a chopping board on top of that and holding the edges firm with both hands, flip the tin upside down and place on a worktop so that the new piece of paper is underneath the meringue that’s still in the tin. Then give the tray a little wiggle until the meringue drops out onto the new paper, complete with old baked on greaseproof paper stuck to it still.
Gingerly peel the baked on paper off the meringue. My meringue tore a little but no matter, cream hides a multitude of sins. If you are concerned the meringue is undercooked, (this could happen if you have used a smaller tin and so the meringue thickness was greater than it should be) you can place the meringue back in the oven at this point, undercooked side up, on top of the greaseproof paper. Just for 5 minutes mind. To bake the top.
Whip the double cream with a whisk/handheld mixer until thick but not completely solid, then spread over the meringue evenly, leaving a half centimetre gap at the sides. Then sprinkle the jelly and strawberries evenly over the roulade, though not sprinkling them at the very edges of the meringue. Then you are ready to roll.
Take one of the short sides of the meringue and roll the edge over tightly… then continue to roll firmly until you reach the end. Some people prefer to use fingers, some use the greaseproof paper. You’ll work out what kind of roller you are. Pop on a serving plate and dust with a little more icing sugar. Serve with ice-cream if you can bear it.