Incredibly talented. Inspired. I’m still looking for the perfect way to describe Terri Mercieca, the founder of Fraise Sauvage. She is one of these incredible dessert, pastry and chocolate designers for whom a special word should be invented… Mostly, she is the sweetest person you have ever met – maybe it comes with the job!
For Harrods, she created 5 recipes, each served in verrines large enough for 2. Don’t stop at “they look gorgeous”- grab a spoon, dig in. Trust me: you have never tasted anything like these. Let’s talk about the Pecan chocolate mousse first. We’re talking Femmes de Virunga 55%, made from original beans for full flavour, gently folded in a crème anglaise. Sablé breton biscuit. Pralinella, an incredible chocolate paste made with pecan nuts, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and miso. And homemade chocolate twigs. My God – the decadence… Are you a rhubarb lover? Try the vanilla cheesecake with its gooey heart of wild strawberry sauce. If that weren’t enough, it’s topped with berry milk crumbs, poached rhubarb, jelly made with sparkling wine and edible flowers.
Then comes the cocktail inspired desserts. The Australian dream, an edible version of the pina colada: coconut panna cotta, pineapple (slightly pickled in rice wine vinegar, palm sugar and pineapple juice to add an edge), crumbled macaroon, passionfruit & coconut jelly and a white cream made with lime, coriander, condensed milk and double cream then whipped to reach a cloud like lightness. Each mouthful brings different ingredients together, meaning it always tastes fantastic but never quite the same. It gets you hooked….
Terri also reinvented the G&T. Imagine a bergamot posset, dotted with fever tree tonic jelly. A layer of mandarin and juniper cream. Pistachio and olive oil cake. And marshmallows made with tonic instead of water. Oh, the botanicals, the intensity! It’s meant to transport you immediately to a picnic in a backyard and it does. My favourite is the blood orange negroni bavarois. She took away the bitterness the cocktail can have, focusing on its flavours instead. Includes the bavarois but also negroni jelly, orange and almond cake, original beans Peruvian cocoa nibs. Now this I would travel hours for.
Forgot Valentine’s Day? Or simply want to add a special treat? Stop at Harrods and get all 5. Wow effect guaranteed. It’s also the perfect test: if they still want to share these desserts with you after the first spoonful, they really, really love you.