Vintage desserts are pretty great. Bright pink food colouring, lots of gelatin, hundreds and thousands, moulds, pipped whipped cream. Amazing. At the moment, there are a lot of desserts that are supposedly retro, but don’t deliver, at least not in taste. This is adapted from a 1960s cookbook, and meets the criteria in both looks and flavour. It is pink, jellied, and is topped by hundreds-and-thousands. Furthermore, though, it tastes like something from another time. Which isn’t to say that it’s not nice, because it is. But it clearly isn’t a twenty-first century dessert. It isn’t sweet, and the creamy evaporated milk is unmistakably retro. And let’s put it this way: I was very surprised that the supermarket even stocked canned strawberries. Aren’t they pretty!


Oh-So-Vintage Strawberry Moulded Dessert (serves 4)


90g caster sugar

3 egg whites

1/4 t vanilla essence

16g gelatin

500g can strawberries

190g evaporated milk

Red food colouring



Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add the sugar. Place in four piles, higher at the edge than the centre, on a well greased tray. Bake in a cook oven until cooked. Leave to cook completely. Meanwhile, heat the strawberries and juice, and dissolve gelatin in the mixture. Cool this, and whip the evaporated milk until stiff and increased in size. Mi in the strawberry mixture, then add a few drops of food colouring, until you have reached a vivid pink. Chill in the fridge until set. 


Assemble by placing the meringues onto individual small plates/shallow ramekins. Pile the strawberry mixture into the centre of each, and sprinkle with hundreds-and-thousands. 


Adapted from Women’s Own Cookbook (1964).