I usually have dinner party emergency supplies at the back of my pantry for moments like this. You can find brandy snap baskets, individual meringue shells, etc, in the supermarket and they last forever in the pantry waiting for moments like these.
Find wonderful fresh, seasonal fruit. Because I have young children, I always have fruit, and right now strawberries are gorgeous and cheap.
From my pantry:
From my fridge:
thick cream (the better the cream, the nicer the results. King Island would be much nicer than the Bulla I used).
A little cheating way to make stewed strawberries - chop into pieces, add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of butter, cover and microwave 45 seconds. If you want to add some alcohol, this works really well too.
Combine the cream with a few drops of vanilla essence and a teaspoon (or two) or sugar. To take it to the next level, you can use half cream, half mascarpone.
You need to compile the ingredients now. You should do this just before serving, as the brandy snap will be less snappy if they are sitting for too long. To fill the brandy snap tubes, I grab a sandwich bag and snip off the end. Fill the bag with the cream mixture and squeeze it out the hole and into the tube.
Put two filled tubes on each plate, a combination of stewed and fresh strawberries, and a blob of cream. You can always sprinkle with a little vanilla icing sugar to finish it off like a mastercher.
I hope your guests like it as much as mine do.
Rachel Wernicke is a 39-year-old married mother of two girls. After working as a paralegal in Brisbane for 14 years, she left life in the big city to focus on her family. Once the kids were both in school, it was time to get back to work. In a four-person house with five computers, two iPads, two iPhones, two iPod Touches and half a dozen cameras, there seemed only one direction to go. Rachel decided to learn more about the world of blogging and and indulge her passions for style and life on the Redcliffe Peninsula. In October 2011, she started RedcliffeStyle.com as a place to write about and photograph the things she enjoyed. Redcliffe Style is a light-hearted blog about lifestyle, fashion, beauty and food. The facebook page is here.