Chocolate, strawberries and cream

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 190 ml pouring cream
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) milk
  • 60 gm caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  •  
  • Strawberry jelly
  • 100 gm white sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 250 gm strawberries (about 1 punnet), hulled, quartered, plus extra, quartered, for serving
  • titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  •  
  • Chocolate mousse
  • 250 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125 gm caster sugar
  • 600 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks
  •  
  • Chocolate tuiles
  • 60 gm softened butter
  • 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggwhites
  • 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour
  • 50 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved
01   Bring cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds and stir to dissolve sugar. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve. Strain into a 10cm-square cake tin lined with baking paper (allow edges to overhang by 5cm) and refrigerate until firm (6-8 hours).
02   For strawberry jelly, combine sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add strawberries and simmer until tender (10-12 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to strawberry liquid, stir to dissolve and set aside to cool to room temperature. Carefully pour jelly over vanilla mixture and refrigerate until set (8-10 hours). Just before serving, carefully lift out onto a board, then trim and cut into 2.5cm squares.
03   Meanwhile, for chocolate mousse, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring pouring cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, add to chocolate, stand for 5 minutes, stir until smooth, then cool slightly (10 minutes). Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl over simmering water until thick and pale (6-7 minutes), cool slightly (10 minutes), then fold through chocolate mixture. Fold in thickened cream, pour into a 1-litre container and refrigerate until firm (8-10 hours).
04   For chocolate tuiles, preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale (3-4 minutes). Gradually add eggwhite, flour and cocoa alternately until incorporated. Place a template with a 6cm x 10cm window (see note) on an oven tray lined with baking paper, thinly spread a little tuile mixture over template, carefully lift template and repeat with remaining mixture. Bake tuiles, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until browned (6-7 minutes). Cool on trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
05   Place a chocolate tuile on each plate, add a quenelle of chocolate mousse, divide strawberry and cream squares among plates, scatter with fresh strawberries and serve.
Note Templates are available from select kitchenware shops. Alternatively, you can cut out your own stencil from a piece of plastic.

This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

CAPE LODGE, WA

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

CLAIRE DELMAR

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