Tickled Pink

These sweet treats will make any heart sing!

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Prep 20 mins | Cook 25 mins | Makes 12

1½ cups milk
2 tsps vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tbsps cornflour
10 g unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsps boiling water
Few drops pink food colouring
12 sponge finger biscuits, halved horizontally
¼ cup strawberry jam
250 g strawberries, sliced

Chopped pistachios, to serve

1.  In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium until just below boiling. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk essence, yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until pale and creamy. Gradually add hot milk in a thin, steady stream, whisking to combine. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk on low until custard boils and thickens. Stir in butter. Transfer custard to a heatproof bowl. Chill until cold.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small heatproof bowl, combine icing sugar and boiling water. Place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water (do not let base of bowl touch water). Stir until icing is smooth. Tint icing with pink food colouring. Remove from heat.

3.  Spread icing onto top halves of biscuits. Set aside. Transfer custard mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Spread bases of biscuits with jam and pipe over custard. Top with strawberries and biscuit tops. Serve with pistachios.
My Reading Room

Prep 20 mins | Cook 25 mins + Cooling | Makes 6

440 g packet butter cake mix Few drops pink food colouring
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps water

Pink pearl cachous, pink sugar crystals, to decorate

1.  Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Grease 6 holes of a mini (1-cup) bundt tray. Prepare cake mix following the packet instructions. Divide batter between three bowls.

2.  Tint each bowl of batter with food colouring to achieve different shades of pink. Spread the palest cake batter over bases of prepared holes. Top with the next shade of cake batter. Bake 25 mins or until a skewer inserted into centre of cakes comes out clean. Stand in tray 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

3.  Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, combine icing sugar, juice and water. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until icing is smooth. Remove from heat.

4.  Drizzle the icing over the cooled cakes. Decorate with cachous and sugar crystals, if desired.
My Reading Room

Prep 30 mins + 5 hours chilling | Makes 6

125 g punnet raspberries
2½ tbsps raspberry jelly crystals
½ cup boiling water, plus
2 tbsps extra
100 ml cold water
250 g strawberries, plus extra to serve
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tsps powdered gelatin
1 egg white

¾ cup thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

1.  Place 6 x 1¼-cup serving glasses on a tray. Divide raspberries between glasses. In a small heatproof bowl, combine jelly crystals and boiling water. Stir until crystals dissolve. Stir in the cold water. Pour jelly into prepared glasses. Chill 2 hours or until set.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse strawberries and icing sugar until smooth. In a small jug, combine gelatin and extra boiling water until gelatin dissolves, then stir into strawberry mixture. Set aside 5 mins.

3.  In a bowl using an electric mixer. Beat egg white until firm peaks.

4.  Fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture. In two batches, fold egg white into strawberry mixture over jelly in prepared glasses. Chill 3 hours or until set. Serve topped with extra strawberries.