3largeeggsUK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
600gstrawberries (fresh or frozen)
1tbspcaster sugar(superfine sugar)
300gdouble cream(heavy cream)
1 tspvanilla bean paste or extract
70gicing sugarpowdered/confectioners sugar
300gfresh strawberries approx weight (to line tin) of even size, hulled/de-stalked and cut in half vertically
Chocolate Ganache Decoration
40gdark chocolategood quality - chopped
40gdouble cream(heavy cream)
Prepare the non-stick baking tin, by base-lining with baking paper and lightly rubbing the inside with a little butter.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
In a bowl or container, weigh and thoroughly mix together the flour, cocoa, salt and xanthan gum (if required). Set aside.
In a small heat-proof bowl, melt the butter (in a microwave (covered), set to medium on 30 second bursts). Set aside.
Get ready a large heat-proof bowl and a large saucepan with an inch or two of water (over which the bowl sits snugly, but doesn't touch the water).
Bring the water to a very low simmer.
Weigh the sugar and crack the eggs into the large heat-proof bowl and whisk continually using an electric hand whisk (set over the barely simmering water) for 7 to 10 minutes.
Keep whisking until the mixture is pale, has almost tripled in volume and a lasting trail (of a few seconds) can be formed on the surface when the whisk is lifted.
Remove from the heat, before sifting the flour-cocoa mix across the surface and gently drizzling the melted butter around the edge of the bowl.
Quickly and gently fold the dry ingredients and butter into the mixture using light and high sweeps with a large spoon (in a circular folding motion), retaining as much air as possible. Fold until the mixture is even, but be careful not to over-mix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and very gently smooth the surface.
Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until well-risen. The top should just spring back when pressed and a cake skewer inserted will come out clean. Keep a close eye and check minute by minute at the end to be sure it isn't over-baked.
Leave the sponge to cool in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes, before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. To ensure moisture is retained, cover with a clean tea towel while cooling.
Wash and dry the baking tin as it will be needed again.
Strawberry Puree (for the mousse) - This may be done ahead of time
Hull the strawberries for the mousse (600g) and cut into quarters.
Place in a saucepan with the caster sugar and set on the hob over a low heat.
Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have started to release their juice.
Continue to heat and stir, crushing the strawberries against the side of the pan as they soften.
Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the simmering strawberries have reduced a little, then remove from the heat and cool completely.
Once cool, blend into a smooth puree using either a stick or stand blender. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
Base-line the clean baking tin with a fresh circle of baking parchment and line the inside of the tin with a strip of baking paper as well.
Place the chocolate genoise sponge base back into the tin.
Carefully place a ring of halved strawberries around the inside of the cake tin, sitting on top of the sponge base and facing cut side outwards.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cream for the mousse with 2 tablespoons of the icing sugar until it forms very soft peaks. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat the Mascarpone with the cold strawberry puree, vanilla and remaining icing sugar until well-blended and smooth.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the blended strawberry mixture.
Spoon the mousse onto the sponge base and spread into an even layer and so that it fills around the top of the strawberry-lined sides.
Place in the fridge to set (2 to 4 hours).
When fully set, carefully remove the mousse cake from the tin by releasing the clips and lifting off the outer rim, before carefully removing the baking paper surround. Transfer the cake to a serving plate ready for decorating.
Decorating with Ganache
Place the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan set over a low heat until JUST starting to form simmer bubbles at the edges. Do not let it come to the boil.
Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
Prod the chocolate to ensure it is below the surface of the cream and leave to stand for 2 to 3 minutes so that the chocolate starts to melt.
Gently stir the cream and chocolate until the chocolate has completely melted and the ganache is smooth, shiny and even.
Set aside at room temperature, gently stirring intermittently until the ganache is completely cool and has reached a good consistency for drizzling.
Decorate the top of the mousse cake with drizzles of ganache and finish with a couple of extra fresh strawberries.
Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.Gluten Free Alchemist Flour Blend A can be found on the GFA Flours & Flour BlendingPage. If using an alternative flour blend, the texture may be slightly different.