A light and fluffy strawberry mousse topped with winter fruit, all held in place with Madeleines, this indulgent dessert is perfect for dinner parties or a quiet night in. Using buttery Madeleines instead of the usual sponge fingers gives this dessert a traditional French twist and is guaranteed to impress your friends and family.
For the syrup
In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
Liquidise the strawberries in a food processor to make a coulis. Pass the coulis trough a fine sieve to collect all the seeds.
When the sugar syrup is cool, mix with the coulis and put to one side.
For the mousse
Heat the strawberries in a small saucepan with 50g of golden caster sugar to create a puree.
Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a separate bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 50g of golden caster sugar.
Pour the hot strawberry puree on to the yolk and sugar mixture and whisk continuously.
Put the strawberry puree, yolk and sugar mixture back in to a saucepan and heat while continually mixing until the puree thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Drain the gelatine and add it to the hot strawberry puree. Put it to one side to cool.
Use an electric hand whisk to whip the cream to soft peaks, adding the vanilla bean paste half-way through.
When the strawberry puree is cold, fold in the whipped cream in two stages to create a smooth and creamy mousse.
To build the cake
Line a 22cm in diameter springform tin with baking paper.
Cut the Bonne Maman Madeleines in half length ways and line the tin with the curved sides against the wall of the tin. Fill the bottom of the tin with more Madeleines halves – cut them to fit if need be.
Using a pastry brush, paint the Madeleines with the syrup made at the very beginning.
Cover the Madeleines with half of the mousse.
Lay another layer of Madeleines, paint with syrup and add the rest of the mousse. Make sure you leave a small gap between the final layer of mousse and the top of the Madeleines.
Place the cake in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
When set, gently remove the tin and put on a serving plate or cake stand. Decorate with mixed winter fruits and enjoy!