Straw­berry mousse cake

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Pink striped bis­cuit sponge en­cir­cled with slices of fresh straw­ber­ries filled with a straw­berry sabayon mousse and topped with a Pimms gelee including straw­ber­ries, fresh mint leaves and cu­cum­ber.

Equip­ment

10cm deep ac­etate strip

18cm di­am­e­ter round deep sided loose bot­tomed tin

Sponge

3 large eggs

1 tsp le­mon juice

Pinch of salt

60g caster sugar

60g plain flour

20g ic­ing sugar

A dab of Su­garflair Dusky Pink paste food colour­ing

Sabayon

3 large egg yolks

40g caster sugar

90ml dessert wine (I use Pacherenec du Vic-Bilh from Ad­nams)

1 ta­ble­spoon le­mon juice

Mousse

600g ripe, tasty straw­ber­ries for puree, leaves re­moved and roughly chopped

2 ta­ble­spoons le­mon juice

100ml straw­berry cor­dial

1 quan­tity of sabayon

8 sheets plat­inum fine leaf gela­tine

300ml dou­ble cream

200g large, firm, well-shaped straw­ber­ries to slice for the sides

Pimms gelee

50ml straw­berry cor­dial

250ml can of ready-mixed Pimms and lemon­ade

4 sheets plat­inum fine gela­tine

1 mini cu­cum­ber or ap­prox­i­mately

4cm length of reg­u­lar cu­cum­ber

100g fresh straw­ber­ries Ap­prox­i­mately

20 small fresh mint leaves

Sponges

1 Pre-heat the oven to 190C (fan). Draw a 16cm di­am­e­ter cir­cle on a sheet of bak­ing parch­ment, and draw a strip that is 10cm deep and 30cm wide. Turn the pa­per over on the tray, so the draw­ing doesn’t come off on the sponges.

2 Whisk the egg whites with a tea­spoon of le­mon juice and a pinch of salt un­til they are stiff but not dry. A ta­ble­spoon at a time, sprin­kle in caster sugar while the mixer is still run­ning un­til it is all in­cor­po­rated. In an­other bowl beat the egg yolks un­til thick and paler.

3 With the mixer run­ning slowly, add the beaten egg yolks to the meringue and mix un­til evenly coloured. Sieve in plain flour, then fold into the mix­ture with a sil­i­cone spat­ula.

4 Fill a very large pip­ing bag fit­ted with a 1cm plain noz­zle with two-thirds of the sponge mix. Care­fully colour the re­main­ing third of the mix­ture pink try­ing not to knock out the air and fill a sec­ond pip­ing bag also fit­ted with a 1cm noz­zle.

5 Pipe the white sponge mix over the drawn cir­cle on the bak­ing parch­ment. Start from the mid­dle and pipe in a con­tin­u­ous spi­ral to the line. Dust the cir­cle with ic­ing sugar us­ing a tea strainer.

6 Pipe al­ter­nate stripes of pink and white sponge mix along the full length of the strip drawn on the bak­ing parch­ment. Dust the strip with ic­ing sugar us­ing a tea strainer.

7 Re-dust the sponge cir­cles and strips with a sec­ond layer of ic­ing sugar.

8 Put in oven for ap­prox­i­mately six min­utes un­til cooked and very lightly coloured. Re­move from oven and leave for 15–20 min­utes be­fore care­fully re­mov­ing sponge from bak­ing parch­ment with pal­let knife and trans­fer­ring to cool­ing rack.

Sabayon

9 Bring 5cm of wa­ter to sim­mer­ing point in large saucepan.

10 In large heat-proof bowl put egg yolks, caster sugar, dessert wine and le­mon juice. Whisk with elec­tric hand whisk for one minute un­til light and foamy.

11 Stand bowl over saucepan of barely sim­mer­ing wa­ter and con­tinue to whisk for eight min­utes. It should be vo­lu­mi­nous and the egg yolks cooked through.

12 Re­move bowl from heat and con­tinue to whisk un­til the sabayon is cold.

13 Pour the sabayon into large jug, cover with cling­film and re­frig­er­ate un­til re­quired.

Straw­berry mousse

14 Soak gela­tine sheets in a dish of cold wa­ter for five min­utes.

15 Add le­mon juice to straw­ber­ries and puree with blender or food pro­ces­sor, then push them through a fine metal sieve. Add straw­berry cor­dial and stir thor­oughly.

16 Put about 100ml of puree in a small, clean saucepan and warm gen­tly. Turn off heat and add the sheets of gela­tine; stir un­til they have dis­solved. Add this mix to the straw­berry puree, stir thor­oughly and put to one side un­til at room tem­per­a­ture. 17 Lightly beat the dou­ble cream un­til soft and thick, but do not over whip. In large bowl care­fully fold cream and straw­berry puree into sabayon.

As­sem­ble the mousse

18 Cut straw­ber­ries for the gar­nish into quar­ters, slice them and lay on a plate lined with cling­film in the freezer.

19 Line sides of 18cm di­am­e­ter deep-sided, loose-bot­tomed tin with 10cm high ac­etate strip.

20 Slightly trim to tidy top and bot­tom edges of sponge strip, then cut it in half along its length. Use these two strips to line the side of the tin, cut­ting to length. You may need to peel off the crust with a sharp knife to re­veal the stripes. Inset the cir­cle of sponge into base of the lined tin.

21 Take large firm straw­ber­ries, cut off tops so they are all same height (ap­prox 6cm) and slice along their length. Ar­range the slices pointy end up on top of the sponge strip.

22 Pour straw­berry mousse from the jug into the sponge-lined tin, to the top of the straw­ber­ries. Put in the fridge and chill un­til the top feels set.

Top­ping with gelee

23 Soak gela­tine in dish of cold wa­ter for five min­utes.

24 Put straw­berry cor­dial in small saucepan, squeeze ex­cess wa­ter out of sheets of gela­tine and add these to the cor­dial. Warm and stir gen­tly un­til thor­oughly dis­solved.

25 Add can of ready-mixed Pimms and lemon­ade and stir gen­tly un­til froth has dis­si­pated. Put jug in fridge while you pre­pare the cu­cum­ber and mint - the gelee needs to have thick­ened slightly be­fore pour­ing over mousse.

26 Cut cu­cum­ber into very thin tri­an­gles.

27 En­sure that any of the straw­ber­ries that are pro­trud­ing above the sur­face of the mousse are tight against the ac­etate, oth­er­wise the jelly may seep down be­hind them. Top the straw­berry mousse with a sin­gle layer of straw­berry pieces straight from freezer, the pieces of cu­cum­ber and the mint leaves, and then pour over the Pimms gelee. Re­turn mousse to fridge.

28 Chill mousse cake for about four hours un­til it has set, then re­move it frome tin by push­ing up the loose bot­tom and peel off the ac­etate. Smile and serve!

To sim­plify this recipe, omit colour­ing the sponge and just use one pip­ing bag. Or omit the sponge com­pletely and pour the mousse into glasses and top with the gelee.

Step 11, whisk the sabayon un­til it is vo­lu­min­ious and the egg yolks are cooked.

Step 21, ar­range the straw­ber­ries on top of the sponge slices.

Step 6, pipe al­ter­nate pink and white sponge fin­gers along the parch­ment.

Step 5, pipe the sponge mix­ture into a cir­cle on parch­ment.

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