This week’s guest blog is a lovely, summer recipe for Strawberry Mousse Cake from Pixie Hall Cakes.
When I was asked to write a baking blog for this website, I will admit that I got a bit obsessed with picking recipes to share with you. I was thinking summer berries, autumnal apples, warming winter spices and bright spring flavours. It was exciting! I love to bake with seasonal ingredients as I think you get the best flavour that way.
As we’re having fairly decent summer weather at the moment, I immediately thought about the fantastic strawberries on sale just about everywhere. Strawberries are the quintessential berry for the British summertime, and we’re lucky to have some excellent local growers nearby in Norfolk. I also thought about summer being barbecue season. Us Brits will fire up the barbie as soon as the sun shines and invite friends and family for an al fresco supper.
When we’re entertaining, I’m usually put in charge of dessert. I’m all about the sweet cakes and sticky puddings whereas my partner is in charge of the barbecue. I’m a bit of a show off when it comes to this sort of thing, I like to bring something exciting to the table to round off the meal as I think that dessert needs to be something to remember!
The recipe I have chosen to share with you is one my mum has been making since before I was born. She’s an occasional baker, but she has several favourite recipes that she goes back to time and time again. When I asked her to send me this one, I opened up my emails to find an image of a handwritten, slightly smudged recipe that she copied down from a magazine sometime in the 1970s.
It’s a well loved recipe for a Strawberry Mousse Cake. It’s a beautiful looking dessert and is a bit of a show stopper. Perfect strawberry halves secured in a light strawberry mousse, a soft sponge cake keeping it all together and a topping of whipped cream (a strawberry’s best friend). Perfect for a barbecue, a supper or a light summer lunch. Keep it in the fridge until you serve it so that it doesn’t collapse in the heat.
This recipe uses gelatine so it’s not suitable for vegetarians. It also contains raw eggs so shouldn’t be given to the pregnant women, the elderly or to young children. It’s best to make the cake the day before you want to serve it, leave it to set overnight and then decorate the top just before serving.
Strawberry Mousse Cake
For the sponge:
100g self raising flour
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
For the mousse:
1tbsp powdered gelatine or 6 leaves
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
250ml pureed strawberries
1tsp lemon juice
150ml double cream
2 egg whites
150ml double cream
1. Preheat your oven to 190C. Grease a 23cm round springform tin and place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer) place all of the sponge ingredients and beat, at medium speed, until combined and smooth (about 2 minutes).
3. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Wash and thoroughly dry the tin and then line it completely with cling film. It may be a bit tricky to get the film to stick so you can always grease the pan a little to help the film stay in place.
5. Put the gelatine and water into a cup, put the cup in a bowl of hot water and stir until it dissolves. Take out and allow to cool.
6. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until pale and thick. The whisk should leave a trail in the mixture when lifted. Stir in the strawberry puree, lemon juice and gelatine mixture. Whip the cream until lightly stiff and fold into the mixture.
7. Whip your egg whites in a clean bowl with a clean whisk (really important!) until quite stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the strawberry mixture being careful to not lose any air.
8. To assemble the cake: Slice your sponge cake in half to create two discs. Put one half in the base of the prepared tin. Slice about 250g of the larger strawberries in half from top to bottom and arrange, cut side out, around the edge of the tin. Pour in the strawberry mousse mixture and top this with the other half of the sponge. Chill overnight until set.
9. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place onto a serving plate. Whip the cream until stiff and pipe or spread on the top of the cake. Arrange the rest of your strawberries on top and present to your hungry guests!
Linds Hall runs Pixie Hall Cakes in Fakenham and can be found selling her delicious baking at Fakenham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Saturday of each month.
Photographs by Keith Osborn Photography