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La Belle Cuisine
Strawberry-White Chocolate Torte
by Nancy Silverton, 1986, Harper & Row
“Although I usually find white chocolate terribly sweet, combining
chocolate mousse with sliced strawberries and chocolate-
a fresh-tasting, beautifully balanced dessert.
The border of cut
around the bottom of the white mousse
makes the torte a
look-alike for the
classic French bagatelle, but the
tastes are not at
Use an 8-inch springform pan or entremet ring.
If your electric mixer
bowl is stainless steel, you’ll save using two
cooking the egg
yolks in the mixer bowl.”
8-inch cake, serving 8-10
7 ounces white
1 1/2 cups heavy cream in all
5 egg yolks
5 tablespoons lemon juice (1-2 lemons), in all
Zest of 1-2 lemons, grated or finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar syrup *
Torte, baked in three 8-inch layers
2 1/2 pints fresh strawberries
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated gelatin
1/2 cup Bitter Chocolate Glaze or
White Chocolate Glaze (recipes follow)
make sugar syrup: Whisk together 3 cups water and 2 1/4 cups granulated
sugar in a large saucepan to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and
boil until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is clear, about 30
Cool. Keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator.
the White Chocolate Mousse
into 2-inch pieces. In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate over barely
simmering water. (Watch carefully – white chocolate burns more
dark chocolate. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.) Turn off
heat and let stand over warm water until ready to use.
whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream
until it thickens enough not to spatter. Increase speed to
beat until thick and mousselike. Remove from mixer.
Whisk a few times by
hand until soft peaks form. Refrigerate.
Place the egg
yolks, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and lemon zest in a
bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar syrup to boiling.
constantly with a wire whisk, pour the boiling syrup in a steady
stream over the
yolks. Place the bowl over gently simmering water and
continue whisking until
the mixture is thick and forms a ribbon when the
whisk is lifted, about 15
minutes. Rotate bowl as necessary to prevent
the egg from cooking
the sides, The mixture will approximately
triple in volume and be
hot to the
heat and beat in an electric mixer on medium-high speed
until the mixture
has doubled in volume and the underside of the bowl
Beat in the
warm melted chocolate and combine well. (Chocolate must
be warm to
incorporate smoothly into the egg yolk mixture.) Measure
out 2 cups of
whipped cream. Whisk 1 cup of the whipped cream into
the chocolate mixture
to lighten texture, then fold in one more cup.
(Refrigerate remaining cream.)
Refrigerate mousse at least 3 hours.
Note: The mousse
can be made up to
seven days in advance of
assembling the torte.
serrated knife, trim one of the cake layers to 6 inches in diameter
other two to 7 inches in diameter. If the layers are thicker than
or uneven, trim horizontally. Trim carefully; the cake is fragile
easily. Center the 6-inch cake layer on the bottom of an 8-inch springform
pan or entremets ring. Put the sides on the springform pan.
strawberries and cut in half lengthwise. Pick out a number of
are more or less equal in size. If necessary, trim the bottoms
so they are
Place a border
of strawberries, stem end down, and the cut side touching
the insides of the
pan. The strawberries should fit snugly between the cake layer and the sides
of the pan.
in the bottom of a large heatproof bowl and pour on remaining
lemon juice. If all the gelatin granules do not absorb the juice,
there are any lumps of gelatin, dribble on a bit more juice or water.
briefly over gently simmering water until the gelatin dissolves. Turn
heat and keep warm.
cream from refrigerator and whisk a few times to re-
mousse into the gelatin until combined. Whisk one third of the remaining
whipped cream into the mousse to lighten the texture, then fold
in the rest.
Set bowl over ice water and fold continuously until the mixture
enough to form soft peaks when a bit is lifted with the spatula.
Fill a pastry
bag (No. 4 plain tip) half-full of mousse. Pipe blobs of mousse between the
strawberries in the pan, completely filling the spaces between them. Pipe a
border of mousse to fill in the space between the cake layer
strawberries. Then, starting in the center, pipe an even spiral over
cake layer and out to the sides of the pan.
Place half the
remaining strawberries, cut side down, on the mousse,
keeping them about 1/2
inch away from the edge of the pan so that they
won’t show when the torte is
unmolded. Place a cake layer on top, press
down lightly to even out the
mousse, and pipe on a border and then a
of mousse as directed above.
Arrange the remaining strawberries
on the mousse, cut side down and 1/2 inch
away from the edge of the
Top with the
last cake layer and press down lightly. It should be
or even with
the top of the pan. If it is too high, press down
a bit more, or,
necessary, make it thinner by trimming it horizontally
with a serrated
knife. Spread the surface with a thin layer of mousse,
even with the top
the pan. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
In a heatproof
bowl, warm the chocolate glaze over barely simmering
water until it is just
warm enough to be pourable, but not hot. Hold the
on the palm of
your hand over a baking sheet. Pour or ladle
the warm glaze
over the cake,
tilting the pan to distribute the glaze in
a thin, even layer
only. Pour off excess. Refrigerate until
set, 15-30 minutes.
placing hot towels briefly around the pan and then releasing
Refrigerate until set.
Strawberry Sauce. Store the finished torte no longer than
hours. The cut
strawberries will lose their color if stored longer.
Makes 2 cups
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons Cognac (or an alcohol of your choice)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
(optional, if your chocolate is not
into 2-inch pieces. In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate with butter and corn
syrup over barely simmering water. (The water should not touch the bottom of
the bowl or the chocolate will burn.) Turn off heat
let mixture stand
over warm water until ready to use.
In a small saucepan whisk together the cream, brandy, and cocoa powder.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until the cocoa
powder is dissolved. Scrape into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to
combine. Use the sauce while it is still warm.
Chocolate glaze will keep for months stored in the refrigerator. To reuse,
reheat glaze in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water.
to glaze the tops of two 8-inch round cakes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
chocolate into 2-inch pieces. In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate
barely simmering water. (The water should not touch the bottom of
or the chocolate will burn.) Turn off the heat and let stand until
In a saucepan, scald the cream. Stir into melted chocolate, along with
the corn syrup and lemon juice, until mixture is blended and smooth.
spoonful of the glaze is lifted, it should fall in a steady stream.
a little cream, if necessary.
Reheat over simmering water to use. If the glaze is too hot, it will be
and will be translucent rather than opaque on top of a cake.
Keep refrigerated up to one month.
Featured Archive Recipes:
Strawberry Mousse Cake
White Chocolate Hazelnut Fraisier
White Chocolate Tartlets with Strawberry Coulis
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