Otherwise known as the cockney critic or Mr Happy Days, Jerry Mullan’s culinary journey has been as diverse as the countries he’s lived and cooked in, whether it was running Charity events at St Paul’s Cathedral or Hog roasts at Hampton Court, he’s always smiling. Currently, Head Chef of an award-winning West London gastropub, his influences and passion are irresistible whether on a plate or being read.
Prosecco & Strawberry Jelly, with Basil and Vanilla Whipped Cream (Serves 2)
- 1/2 cup Whipping Cream
- 1 tbsp. Caster Sugar
- 1 dash Vanilla Essence – maybe put a teaspoon, everyone’s dash is different? Or to their own taste?
- 1 Fresh Basil Leaf
- 125ml Prosecco
- 6 Fresh Strawberries
- 1 cube of Strawberry Jelly
Strawberries and cream
Like a salad bar, if it’s not fresh don’t bother. As basic an idea, it is, we like to have a little bit more for our money these days. Personally, I’ve always found that with this amazing tradition, there’s always a bottle of Prosecco hiding somewhere in the background, happy days ladies! So, I thought, if the Americans can merge peanut butter with jelly, I thought why not, I’ll do a Chuck Norris and kill one bird with two stones and bring these two British favourites together. So far, (touch wood) I’ve found it’s always a winner of a recipe, you can taste the prosecco, and the basil gives freshness to it all. A real light dessert, easy to make, and if you are making it in advance, you can make the jelly a day or two before, and just prepare the whipped cream prior to serving so happy days all around.
For the Jelly, cut the cube of jelly into as many little pieces as you can. I find using a knife a bit dodgy as I quite like my fingers, so like to use scissors. Place all your mini-Jelly cubes into a cup and boil the kettle. Pour the boiling water over the cubes up to a 1/4 of the cup. Now the cubes need to dissolve so give it a good stir, with anything but your finger, safety first everyone. While the jelly is dissolving, we need to get the Prosecco slightly warm, so put in another cup and pop over to chef mike (microwave) great effort mike, and ping for 30 seconds, or depending on your microwave Watts. You want it lukewarm so if you need to add another ten seconds. Add to the jelly and pour into your glasses.
Cut four of the strawberries into quarters, and place them into the jelly (you can slice them beforehand and place them on the edge of the glass before you pour the jelly). Trust me, it will look stunning at the end!
Place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least three hours or until the jelly solidifies.
Onto the whipped cream, place the cream, sugar, vanilla and basil into a mixing bowl. Make sure it’s big enough for the cream to move about, otherwise it will be one clean up job and half, trust me. I learnt that the hard way in my younger days.
With all that in you have two ways to do this, either whip by hand or do it with the electronic whisk.
Top Tip – You can use double cream with this recipe. Always be careful but especially double cream as it can be over whipped very quickly
Once whipped and you have firm peaks of this beautiful smelling whipped cream, place into a piping bag (if you don’t have one don’t worry, check out my article on top piping bag tricks) and pipe on top of your jelly, then place it back into the fridge. You want it to rest for at least a couple of hours, so the cream firms up, it will also allow for that amazing basil to fuse together, just slightly to give you that amazing hint of freshness.
To garnish, I put a basil leaf or micro basil if you can find it, and two halves of a strawberry on the side. There we go, Hey Prosecco!! The classic tradition, with a cockney twist, Wimbledon here I come!!
Piping bag trick – use a cereal bag