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Meringue Swan with Strawberry Sorbet and Coconut Crème Anglaise

45 minutes


4 People

I love the presentation of this dish and the flavorsand textures are great.

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Adjust Servings
The Meringue
200g white granulated sugar
100g egg white (about 4/5 eggs)
Cold water
The Crème Anglaise
500ml coconut milk
12 egg yolks
110g coconut cream
The Sorbet
1 kilo white red, ripe strawberries
sugar - this will depend on ripeness and variety of strawberries.
Cold water
Plus 8 strawberries as garnish
Mint leaves


The Meringue
Place sugar in a casserole, add enough water to moisten it.
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Separate the egg whites (you can use the yolks later in the recipe for the crème anglaise) and put the egg whites in the bowl for wh isking. This should be ready as you have to coordinate things perfectly
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Bring sugar/water mixture to the boil and wipe lemon around casserole, this should stop the sugar from crystallizing. Once it’s boiling for half a minute, start whisking the egg whites, as you need them peaking as the sugar hits soft ball temperature. This is about 121 C, easy to test as you take a small amount from pan and drop it in cold water, the sugar should be able to form into a soft ball.
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Pour the soft ball sugar onto the continuously whisking egg whites in a thin stream. Keep whisking.
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The meringue should be stiff and smooth.
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Spoon into a piping bag.
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Have some fun now, and pipe wings and long necks with the meringue on a non-stick plastic silpat sheet before transferring to the oven that is only the coolest setting, in other words just warm air.
Leave overnight, the meringue should be hard, yet still a Parian white colour.
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The Sorbet
De-stalk a kilo of strawberries, ensuring that there is no rogue fruit with rotting, mildew areas as they without doubt come back to haunt the sorbet’s flavor. Place in a casserole and add a few spoons full of water. Add some sugar. How much, very little as you can correct it later. All depends on the fruit.
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Heat on a low heat with a lid. Natural juice from the strawberries and condensation will moisten the fruit.
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Taste and decide whether you think it should be sweeter. If so, add a little more sugar, or syrup if you like. We always have some in the fridge for cocktails, its literally 1 liter of water and 1 kilo of sugar, boiled, cooled and stored in a bottle. There is such a thing as a saccharometer that measures the density of sugar in a liquid, but we prefer on 1. Not spending money on gadgets that we can do a better job than. 2. Trying not to damage the environment with yet more things that require probably tones of natural resources to create.
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Blend strawberries. I didn’t strain it as I rather like the seeds in the sorbet. Cool.
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Churn in the ice cream machine.
The Crème Anglaise Some notes on this wonderfully versatile sauce. The above recipe will make a basic thick sauce and you can flavor it with vanilla pods, ginger, mint, whatever. You can replace the milk with strong espresso to make a great coffee crème anglaise. The sugar can be replaced as in this recipe with coconut cream, or honey. The only thing to remember is the proportions. 500ml liquid will be thickened by 12-14 egg yolks (depends on size) and will be sweetened by 110 g of sugar, or something sweet. Experiment with your own flavors. Enjoy yourself in the kitchen. Then, when this isn’t enough, you can use the crème anglaise -flavored, sweetened with whatever- as a base for an ice cream, simply by keeping same ingredients and adding 250ml of double cream. Anyway, for the sauce for our swan.
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Heat coconut milk.
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Whisk yolks and coconut cream together.
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Pour milk onto yolk mixture. Mix and return to heat in same pan.
Get another bowl ready with a sieve on top. Keep cooking sauce and as it starts to thicken, as bubbles appear on the side of the pan, remove immediately and strain. This stops the cooking process.
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I took out 8 spoonsful of crème anglaise for the dessert and added double cream to the rest and used this as a tasty Coconut Ice Cream for another recipe.
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Spoon sauce on plates. Slice remaining garnishing strawberries as thin as possible and arrange as so.
A ball of the Sorbet on top of the sliced strawberries. Carefully press wings on either side and attach a neck. Garnish with mint leaves. Turn Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake up to maximum and serve.
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As I wrote during the recipe. Use the crème anglaise as a base for your ice creams. Always remember the proportions of 500 ml liquid will thicken with 12-14 egg yolks and should be sweetened with 100g of sugar/honey/coconut cream. For this quantity, add 250ml of double to transform into an ice cream.

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