Chopped toasted pistachios and halved strawberries, to decorate
6 large strawberries, diced
100g (2/3 cup) pistachio kernels
110 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
5 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
250g punnets ripe strawberries, hulled
2 tbs lemon juice
40g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
2 small egg whites
80g caster sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
2 titanium strength gelatine leaves
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 30cm x 20cm lamington tin with baking paper leaving a slight overhang on the two long sides.
2. Process pistachios to form fine crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and process to combine.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating between additions, until mixture is thick and glossy. Fold in cream of tartar and ground pistachios. Spread over base of prepared tin and smooth surface.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown and firm to touch. Turn off oven and allow to cool with door slightly ajar. Once cooled, gently lift dacquoise from tin and remove baking paper. Place dacquoise on a flat baking tray.
5. To make strawberry mousse, blend strawberries, icing sugar and lemon juice to form a puree (you will need 300ml – add extra strawberries if necessary).
6. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating between additions, until mixture is thick and glossy and sugar is fully dissolved.
7. In a separate bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form.
8. Place half the strawberry puree in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until hot.
9. Soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes or until soft. Squeeze out excess water and add to hot strawberry mixture. Stir until dissolved. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in remaining strawberry mixture. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Fold in egg white mixture. Fold in cream.
10. Lightly grease 6 x 7.5cm round, 6.5cm tall presentation rings. Press each ring firmly down into dacquoise to reach the bottom. Remove surrounding dacquoise.
11. Arrange diced strawberries over dacquoise bases in presentation rings. Divide mousse among rings then refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
12. To serve, run a sharp knife around the base of the presentation rings and along the top of the mousse to loosen. Gently slide or tap out cakes.
13. Decorate cakes with chopped pistachios and halved strawberries.
• You could also make these little mousse cakes in mini straight-sided cakes tins with removable bases or silicone moulds.
• If time allows, try garnishing these cakes with candied rose petals. Paint organic rose petals with egg white and dust with caster sugar. Allow to dry on a cooling rack.
• Make sure you use strawberries that are ripe and full of flavour.
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