There comes a string of seconds during the day when the still transparent air transforms into a fog of shimmering gold. The moments are fleeting, evanescent. If only you could twirl in circles on tiptoes with an opened glass jar held in a hand outstretched, fill it to the brim with the twinkling light and close it tight on the fifth turn. You would unscrew the lid at midnight so that you can view a sunset at an hour when the sky is supposed to be a shade of darkness so black the stars jump out like tiny white scars. Alas you can only hope for such magique, so you drink in the champagne glow as it dulls with every breath to something little more than a shadow – a reminder of what there once was, and what there could be again.
Strawberry White Chocolate Passionfruit Mousse Cakes
makes 8 individual cakes
For the crust:
100 grams chocolate biscuits
50 grams butter, melted and cooled
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
For the passionfruit white chocolate mousse:
1 1/2 gelatin leaves
150 grams white chocolate
100 grams passionfruit purée
200 ml heavy cream
For the passionfruit jelly:
1 gelatin leaf
66 grams passion fruit purée
10 grams sugar
For the strawberry topping:
about 25 medium sized strawberries
1/2 a gelatin leaf
33 ml water
5 grams sugar
Make the crust: Use clear acetate strips to form 8 rounds measuring 2 inches in diameter and place them on a silicone lined tray.
Finely crush the chocolate biscuits in a food processor. Stir in the melted butter, then the cream. Divide the mixture equally amongst the rounds and press down on the crumbs firmly. Refrigerate the crust while you make the mousse.
Make the mousse: Soak the gelatin leaves in a shallow bowl of cold water.
Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Bring passionfruit purée to a boil and remove from heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and stir into the warm passionfruit purée. Gradually whisk the passionfruit purée into the white chocolate. Set aside.
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold gently into the white chocolate mixture. Divide mousse equally amongst the 8 cakes. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
Make the jelly: Soak the gelatin leaf in shallow bowl of cold water.
Bring the passionfruit purée and sugar to a boil and remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from the gelatin and stir into the purée. Let cool until lukewarm.
Remove cakes from freezer and pour a thin layer of jelly over each cake.
Make the topping: Remove the leaves from the strawberries (you can save some for decoration later) and halve each strawberry lengthwise. Slice each half into thin slices. Arrange the strawberry slices in a concentric circle starting from the outside.
Soak the gelatin leaf in a shallow bowl of cold water.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil and remove from heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin leaf and stir into the sugar mixture. Let it cool slightly before carefully spooning it over the strawberries.
Refrigerate until the jelly topping has solidified.