I love watching Come Dine With Me, it is great seeing the mix of people and the dishes they come up with. When Russell Hobbs got in touch to say they were celebrating the release of their new Illumina range with a come dine with me blogger challenge I had to take part. The idea was that I would get together with three other bloggers, one of us would cook a starter, one a main course and one a dessert. I was paired (or should that be tripled) with the lovely Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews and the equally lovely Galina from Chez Maximka. I got the task of creating the dessert so all this week I have been watching to see what they create. It’s a shame we can’t sit down and meet up in real life as I am sure we would have a great time. I think we would be chatting for hours.
We started off on Monday with the starter, over on Madhouse Family Reviews Cheryl created some Briouates. These are not something I have tried before, they are a middle eastern filo pastry stuffed dish. We had two different varieties, ham and leek and cheese and pineapple and I must admit they looked delicious. On Wednesday Galina from Chez Mazima tackled the main course. She served up some gorgeous looking lamb shanks with dates and pomegranates, continuing the middle eastern theme. I love dates and the lamb shanks looked really tasty. It was the perfect combination of flavours. Now it is my turn and for dessert I am serving Strawberry Parfait with a crunchy topping. This will be followed by coffee.
In the programme Come Dine With Me half the fun is creating the meal. Luckily Russell Hobbs had kindly sent me their Illumina Hand Mixer to help me whip up my dessert. I was delighted to find that the Illumina hand mixer comes with dough hooks as well as the whisk attachment. The Illumina range glows a different colour depending which speed setting you are using which lets you see at a glance what you are doing. It is also really easy to use as my son demonstrated. He was fascinated by the turbo button which allows you to whisk large batches up quickly. I really liked the way the cable wrapped neatly round the mixer with a special grip so it can be stored easily.
The dessert is simple enough to make. First you make the strawberry base, which is strawberries chopped into pieces and heated with water and sugar until it softens. This is placed in the base of the dessert glass. My son then whipped up some cream with a touch of vanilla essence to make the second layer. The crunchy topping was a mixture of crunchy nut cornflakes and flaked almonds coated in melted butter and brown sugar. It looks really elegant and tastes gorgeous.
Disclosure: I was sent the Illumina hand mixer and some shopping vouchers in order to create a dessert recipe for the challenge.