Tuscan ‘mess’

Serves 4

You don’t need to make a proper mousse for this, because the mixture more or less turns itself into a mousse naturally.

The chestnut purée comes in cans. If you can’t find puréed chestnut then blend some of the canned or vacuum-packed ones coarsely in a blender with a tablespoon of caster sugar dissolved in a tablespoon of water. Use ready-made meringues if you don’t fancy making your own. Any honey will do, but chestnut honey suits this recipe very well.

  • 200ml double cream
  • 2tbsp clear honey
  • 3tbsp chestnut purée (this comes in cans from good supermarkets)
  • 2tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 100g meringue, roughly broken up
  • 250g ripe strawberries
  • 1tbsp sugar (optional if the strawberries are not so sweet)
  1. Whisk the honey and chestnut purée together in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water for a few minutes until it becomes more liquid.
  2. As soon as you’ve done that whisk the cream until almost fully whipped then carefully fold in the honey mixture with the whisk and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Meanwhile put the strawberries into a food processor with the caster sugar, if you are using it, and coarsely blend them so you are left with some big chunks of strawberry.
  4. To serve, fold the meringue and pine nuts into the cream mixture, spoon the strawberry sauce into pasta or dessert bowls and spoon the cream mixture with a large serving spoon on top.


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