Monday 27 July 2009

Strawberry Mousse Dessert & off on Holiday

I’m off on holiday to Chicago tomorrow!! I’m SO excited as I’ve never been to America before and can’t wait to eat my way around all the bakeries and cupcake shops. I won’t be posting for about two weeks but wanted to leave you with a lovely summery strawberry dessert in the hope that by the time I get back the weather might have improved as it’s currently pouring with rain.

This was the dessert I made with some of the remaining glut of strawberries I had leftover from the Pick-Your-Own trip I mentioned a few posts back. I wanted something that would really show off the freshness of the strawberries and concocted this dessert. The strawberries are used three times, once in the mousse, again as a fresh fruit central layer and finally as strawberry jam – of which I used my own homemade jam.

I decided to make individual desserts by layering the components in metal ring moulds and glasses, but you could easily just use one big glass dish if you wanted. The dessert comprised of a whisked fatless sponge base which was spread with a little homemade strawberry jam, followed by a ring of fresh strawberries, topped with an incredibly light and airy strawberry mousse and finished with a little extra jam to give it a nice vibrant shine. All the components were soft and light and each mouthful was bursting with the very essence of ripe strawberries.

Strawberry Mousse Dessert
Strawberry Mousse
350g strawberries
3 egg whites
150ml double cream
120g caster sugar

Whisked Sponge
4 eggs
125g caster sugar
125g plain flour
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla

250g fresh strawberries
8 tbsp strawberry jam

Start by making the spongePreheat the oven to 190C and line a 20cm x 30cm swiss roll tin with baking paper.
Whisk the eggs, vanilla, water and sugar together until pale and tripled in volume. This should take about 4 minutes and a ‘ribbon’ of batter should remain visible for a few seconds if streaked across the surface.
Sift over the flour and use a large metal spoon to carefully fold it through the batter, until no flour streaks remain. Don’t over mix as you want to preserve as many air bubbles as possible.
Pour the batter into the lined tray and level out the surface.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden and springy to the touch. Lay another piece of greaseproof paper on a cooling wire and dust the top with icing sugar. Invert the sponge onto the dusted paper and carefully peel off the bottom paper. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool before using.

To make the mousse Destalk the strawberries and blitz them in a food processor until smooth. Press the puree though a sieve to remove most of the seeds and set aside.
Place the egg whites in a clean bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until light, airy and soft peaks are forming. While continuing to whisk, add the sugar a little at a time until the mixture forms a thick and glossy meringue. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until cooled.
In a large bowl, whip the double cream to stiff peak stage before whisking in the strawberry puree. Add a quarter of the meringue to the strawberry cream and fold together to slacken the mix before gently folding in the rest of the meringue to create a soft strawberry mousse.

To assemble the dessert
Wrap the bases of 8 deep ring moulds with cling film or have 8 tumbler glasses to hand. Cut out circles of sponge and place in the base of the moulds or glasses.
Heat the strawberry jam until soft and spread a teaspoonful over the tops of the sponges.
Destalk the remaining strawberries and cut in half. Place a ring of cut strawberries around the edge of the moulds or glasses, with the cut side facing out. Place another strawberry in the centre if space allows.
Spoon the strawberry mousse over the layer of strawberries until completely covered. Shake and tap the moulds/glasses gently to ensure the mousse spreads down between the strawberries. (Divide any leftover mousse between small ramekins or glasses).
Carefully spread the remaining strawberry jam over the top of the mousse. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to firm up before serving.
When ready to serve, remove the bottom layer of cling film from the ring moulds and place on a serving plate. Run a hot knife around the very top of the mousse and gently remove the ring. Serve with extra strawberries on the side. Any desserts made in glasses can be eaten straight from the glass.
Note: Do not attempt to place any strawberries on top of the turned out strawberry mousses, as the weight will cause the mousse to collapse.
Serves 8


Simones Kitchen said...

Have fun in Chicago!! And love the dessert by the way...:)

Caroline said...

Have a great holiday, I'm really envious of you!!!

Love the strawberry mousses and I particularly love the last picture where the jam is sliding off the top of the mousse!

Anh said...

Have a great holiday. The dessert looks really delicious.

Johanna GGG said...

these look gorgeous and fresh - enjoy your holiday - hope you find some great food

The Caked Crusader said...

Yum and double yum!
Hope you have a great holiday and I look forward to the cupcake report on your return!

petite nyonya said...

love this mousse dessert! have great fun in Chicago!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Have a great holiday in Chicago!! Love your dessert :0p

Elle said...

Have a wonderful time in Chicago! It is a true foodie town :)
Thanks for the lovely summer strawberry dessert...looks lucious!

KJ said...

You must be having a wonderful time! Love the mousses. I can almost taste the strawberries from here!

geanabeana said...

wow that looks SOOOOOO good

Abitofafoodie said...

These a beautiful! Really pretty and I bet they tasted delicious with those gorgeously fresh berries.
Hope you are enjoying Chicago.

Sam said...

Have a good time in Chicago!

I love the mousses, they look really summery.

Nic said...

Love this summer dessert!
I was going to wish you a happy holiday but I see a post that says you're back!!