I once read or may be heard from somewhere that our life is just like an inn, where many people come and go; some stay in our memories, some just fades away and some leave behind a strong impression. Last year, on the way back from the hubby’s work, he met a person from Kerala who was on the same train and after talking for a while he said that he lived in the same estate as ours. When I was told about this, I was on cloud nine as it is quite difficult to find any Indian living so close by and that too from Kerala. We soon acquainted ourselves and came to know that they were going to be here only for a year. Myself and the friend had great time, we baked few things together, went for long walks on the beach on regular basis and the kids had fantastic time together. A year went away so fast and they have gone back leaving back some beautiful memories. Every time I drive past their flat, and don’t see their car any more, I just wish if she was still here. Jameela, I miss you and here is the cake you have been asking me for long.
Summer is almost over but just before it bids adieu, let me share this great recipe with you all. Strawberries are still available in plenty and this is a great way to use them up in a delicious way. This was made many a months ago for our 10th anniversary. I usually bake goodies using strawberries during our anniversary and for the husband’s birthday as he loves strawberries and a white sponge combination. I am not much of a berry person, so this cake didn’t go down well with me but I was told that it tasted great and our friends and the husband loved it. But berry lovers, give it a shot.
The recipe is quite simple, but I admit, it takes a bit of time. I made it along with my friend Jameela and we had great time making it. Prepare the sponge one or two days ahead so that you don’t tire yourself up making it all at once. The recipe is adapated from one of my cake books, but they have used a butter cake instead of the sponge one. To reduce the fat a bit, I chose sponge cake instead of the butter cake.
Strawberry Mousse Gateau
For the Gateau (Sponge cake layer):
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tablespoons vegetable oil/melted butter
For the Strawberry Mousse:
600 g strawberries
2 cups (~500mls) double cream
1 ½ Tbs gelatine
3 tbs water
½ cup sugar (Use less if you want it less sweet)
2 tbsp strawberry jam (optional)
1 tbsp orange rind
Few drops of vanilla essence
½ cup orange juice OR water plus 3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp gelatine
150 g dark chocolate
Few sprigs of mint
For the gateau:
1.Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line a very deep 9 inch loose bottom or spring form pan.
2. In a bowl whisk the eggs sugar on high speed for about 10 minutes until thick and pale and leaves a thick trail when the beaters are lifted. Add in the vanilla essence and beat again until incorporated.
3. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, being careful not to knock out any air. Then trickle in the melted butter and continue to fold until everything is well mixed. Note: Do not over mix the batter here as it will knock out air bubbles and result in a hard cake than a soft and fluffy sponge.
4. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the cake on the wire rack, peel the parchment paper and leave to cool completely.
For Mousse filling:
1.Dissolve gelatine in 3 tbsp of water in a small bowl placed in a saucepan of hot water. Add orange rind, mix and reserve.
2. In a blender or processor, puree strawberries with sugar. Add few drops of vanilla essence.
3. Whip cream using an electric whisk until it is thick and holds peak when the whisk is lifted.
4. Quickly stir gelatine mixture into the strawberry mixture, then fold in the cream.
1.Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally and place one half into the greased tin, with sides lined with cling film or baking paper.
2. Pour the mixture into the tin and place the second half of the cake on top.
4. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or until the mousse is set.
5. Once the mousse is completely set, release the cake from the cake tin.
Once the mousse cake is done, make the chocolate lace border.
For the chocolate lace:
1.Cut a baking paper to the size of the cake, measuring height and the circumference.
2. Break chocolate into small pieces and place them in a bowl. Place the bowl on a pan of simmering water, making sure that the water underneath doesn’t come in contact with the bowl on top. Choose a bigger bowl for chocolates, so that it sits on the pan of water. Stir until melted and glossy. Else, melt chocolate in microwave, stirring every few seconds until the chocolate is melted completely.
3. Make a cone with baking paper, pour the melted chocolate just until halfway up. Fold the top tight and snip the tip. Make patterns or designs of your choice or simply scribble on the baking paper with the melted chocolate and let it sit for a while until the chocolate start setting. The chocolate should be just set and soft enough to wrap around the cake. It should NOT be too set that it breaks or too soft that it stick to your hand once you touch it, but soft enough that it bends without breaking when lifted.
4. Slowly, grab the baking paper, wrap it around the cake, pressing it very gently on the cake and then slowly peel the baking paper off leaving the chocolate lace on the cake.
Once the chocolate lace is done, slice the strawberries into two and arrange it on top of the cake. Brush it generously with the warm glaze and leave it in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the glaze:
1.Mix gelatine in orange juice or water mixed with sugar in a small bowl. Place the bowl in a pan of simmering water and stir once in a while until the gelatine dissolves. Once it is warm, using a pastry brush brush on the strawberries arranged on top. Serve chilled.