Balsamic vinegar and strawberries pair exceptionally well together, so explore this flavour pairing with this delicious and unusual recipe that features balsamic sponge and strawberry mousse.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 free range eggs, separated, plus two extra egg whites
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds removed
160g castor sugar
40ml balsamic reduction
100g cake flour, sifted 3 times
200g strawberries
2 sheets gelatine, softened
85ml cream
4 lemon verbena leaves and balsamic syrup, to garnish
4 x 2cm diameter moulds acetate to line each mould

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Line a baking sheet with baking paper and grease well.
  • Whip the egg yolks and vanilla seeds with 33g of the castor sugar until pale and thick.
  • In a separate bowl prepare a meringue by whisking two of the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then slowly adding 67g castor sugar while whisking.
  • Fold the balsamic reduction into the egg yolk mixture followed by the meringue.
  • Lastly, gently fold in the sifted cake flower in 3 batches, taking care not to knock out too much air.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until well risen and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • Purée the strawberries in a blender, then strain to remove all the pips. Bring to a slow simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine sheets. Stir until dissolved.
  • In another medium sized bowl prepare a stiff meringue by whisking the egg whites then adding the remaining castor sugar in batches while whisking.
  • Using a spatula, fold the strawberry purée into the meringue. Whip the cream to medium soft peaks and fold into the meringue and strawberry mixture. Mould in 2cm diameter moulds lined with acetate and refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours.
  • Using a ring cutter with the same diameter as the mousse moulds, cut circles of the balsamic sponge. Un-mould the strawberry mousse on to the cut sponge disks and garnish with a lemon verbena leaf and a drop of balsamic syrup.

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