This is a really pretty centrepiece, perfect to serve as a dessert for a summer party or special meal.
Genoise sponge base
- 2 medium eggs
- 50 g caster sugar
- 15 g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 50 g plain flour, sifted
- 135 g packet strawberry jelly
- 3 tsp (15 ml) water
- 200 g strawberries
- 2 170 g cans evaporated milk
- 250 g strawberries, hulled and cut in half top-to-toe (or sliced into 3 if large)
- 50 g dark chocolate (or milk, if you prefer), chopped (see Note)
- 5 strawberries
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Setting time: at least 2 hours.
1.First make the sponge. Heat your oven to 180°C/gas 4. Butter and base-line a 23cm springform tin.
2. Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Use an electric whisk to whisk them together until thick, pale and moussey and doubled in volume. The mixture should hold a trail when you lift the beaters. Take off the heat.
3. Fold the melted butter gently into the egg mousse then gently fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15–20 minutes until cooked and lightly golden. Leave to cool completely, then remove the sponge from the tin and peel off the parchment paper.
4. Line the sides of the same tin with baking parchment, first snipping a line of little ‘feet’ along the base of the paper so it will fit snugly against the base. Put the sponge base back into the tin. To make the mousse, break up the jelly and put in a pan with the water. Melt gently over a low heat until smooth. Take off the heat and set aside. Purée the 200g strawberries in a blender until smooth and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.
5. Using an electric whisk or a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the evaporated milk for at least 5 minutes until it is thick, bubbly and doubled in volume. Gently fold in the liquid jelly, then fold in the strawberry purée.
6. Arrange the strawberry slices around the edge of the lined tin, cut side against the tin. Scatter any extra strawberries over the sponge.
7. Pour the strawberry mousse into the tin, levelling the top. It doesn’t matter if the mousse doesn’t quite cover the strawberries. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
8. To decorate (see Note), melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dip a few strawberries in the melted chocolate and leave to set.
9. Pour the remaining chocolate into a paper piping bag. Snip the end off the piping bag and drizzle lines of chocolate over the top of the mousse. Place the chocolate dipped strawberries in the centre and serve.
• In Paul Holly wood’s Pies and Puds, Paul decorates his cake with strawberries and flowers made by a guest, cake maker and decorator Peggy Porchen, as shown above.