strawberry cream mousse pie using pate à bombe egg yolk recipe

Guest Recipe: Strawberries and Cream Mousse Pie

How often have you felt harried or harrassed?  My guest this week is a full-time busybee: a part-time work-from-home, full-time wife, mother, obsessive foodie and, although “tends to be a worry-wart”, she still manages to have an adorable sense of humour while producing that harried magic in her kitchen.  I’m sure many of us can easily relate to Marsha; that’s what draws us to Marsha’s addictive blog, The Harried Cook. Would you believe The Harried Cook has only been going since March?  It’s with great pride to introduce Marsha Thompson as my guest on Mad About Macarons, as part of the egg yolk recipe series.

When Marsha emailed me with her recipe and photos, she certainly dropped a bombshell.  You’ll see what I mean.  Just look at that pie and read on.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and macaronivores: let me hand you over to Marsha.

Marsha, The Harried Cook

When Jill asked me if I would do a guest post for her, I literally jumped out of my chair. Not only was it my first ever guest post invitation, it was from THE Jill Colonna! How cool, right?

I took my own sweet time getting my post out to her. This was because every time I made something, I felt it wasn’t good enough for Jill’s blog! She’s got such a beautiful space here! Jill is also the funniest blogger I know! If you’ve interacted with her, you will know what I mean. She really cracks me up! Pun intended.

Speaking of which – the whole idea of cooking with egg yolks really egg-cites me! (You dared me to say that, remember Jill?) I have a lot of egg yolks left over quite regularly. Not because I have been brave enough to make macarons like Jill and so many of you wonderful bakers out there. I wish! Nothing that glamorous! It’s just that my husband loves his egg white omelettes -hence the spare yolks.

Now, on to the recipe. Pâte à bombe is a base made using sugar and egg yolks. I first read about it in a borrowed copy of Gordon Ramsey’s Passion for Flavor, and I noted it down in a little notebook. I made a few modifications from the original recipe, and I find it works for me. Using pâte à bombe gives the mousse fabulous texture!

This makes about 2 cups of pâte à bombe. You need only about half for this recipe, but I like to make double & save the rest for later. You can refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze it up to 2 months! This base can be used to make excellent chocolate mousse, French buttercream and parfaits too! It is a great thing to have in your freezer!

First I would like to share with you how I made the pâte à bombe, and then how I used it to make this mousse pie. I do hope you will bear with me, because the recipe is quite long!

Pâte à bombe

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp liquid glucose/corn syrup
1/3 cup water
4 egg yolks

Mix the sugar, glucose and water in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook them together until the syrup reaches 250 degrees (soft ball stage).

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until creamy and fluffy. When the syrup has reached 250 degrees, start pouring the sugar into the egg yolks, all the while beating at low speed.  Make sure you pour on the side of the bowl and let it run into the yolks, to make sure you don’t end up with sugar strands.

After all the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer back on high, and continue beating until the mixture has cooled down, and is thick, light and creamy. Stop beating and lick the beaters. Yes, it is that delicious!

Set aside and try not to eat all the pâte à bombe with a spoon. Refrigerate in a dry jar if not using immediately.

Strawberries & Cream Mousse Pie

This pie is not difficult to make, but has a few stages and a LOT of waiting in between. In fact, if you use a store bought crust & have the pâte à bombe in your fridge or freezer, this could be called a no-bake, no-cook pie!

Biscuit crust

2 cups of digestive biscuit crumbs, crushed fine in a food processor
¾ tsp cinnamon powder
8 tbsp melted butter

Mix all these ingredients together well, and press into a 9-inch pie dish, covering the base and the sides.

Bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

Strawberry Mousse

170g (6 oz) hulled strawberries
4 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
1 ½ cup heavy cream
115g (4 oz) pâte à bombe
(approximately a generous ½ cup)

Puree the strawberries, and strain if desired. I didn’t. Mix in the pâte à bombe.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to soften. Melt it by heating it very briefly, and add it to the strawberry puree. Don’t let the gelatin get too hot, it will affect its setting ability.

Whip the cream till the soft peak stage, and fold the whipped cream into the strawberry puree.

Pour into the pie crust and allow it to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

I made a smaller portion of the white chocolate mousse, because I wanted the strawberry mousse to be the star of the show. Also, white chocolate is pretty sweet and I hate overly sweet desserts! The strawberry mousse, being sweetened only by the pâte à bombe, is only mildly sweet. The sweetness from white chocolate mousse balances that out really well!

White Chocolate “Whipped Cream” Mousse

85g (3 oz) white chocolate
2 tsp gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz pâte à bombe (approximately a generous 1/4 cup)

Prepare the gelatin like you did for the strawberry mousse.

Melt the white chocolate in over a double boiler. Stir in the pâte à bombe while the chocolate is still very hot.

Stir in the gelatin & set aside to cool.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. First, fold a third of the cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate till semi-set, about 2-3 hours. Then, whip it lightly and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe the ‘whipped cream’ over your strawberry mouse in whatever pattern you like. Allow to chill for a few hours before slicing. Garnish with fresh strawberries & serve chilled.

This pie is light & creamy, not too sweet and an absolutely perfect dessert for warm weather!

I hope all of you enjoyed this recipe from my tiny little kitchen. I am so sorry I was not able to get a better picture of a slice of the pie. Between taking pictures of the pie and walking to the kitchen to get a knife to slice it, there was a small accident involving me, the pie, a whining toddler and a nosy dog. 🙁 The crust and the strawberry mousse layer took most of the damage, but we salvaged most of it, and it tasted delightful!

It was light and tasty to eat on a hot summer’s day.

Thank you once again, Jill for asking me to write this post, and thanks to all you wonderful people for taking the time to read this!

Didn’t I tell you that she dropped a bombe-shell with this one?  See, she’s got me started, too. Poor thing, dropping it after all that work – at least we can still get to have a slice with that last photo. Thank you so much for sharing this glamorous crème de la crème of mousses with us, Marsha – and also for the lovely comments.

I don’t know about you, but after making that gorgeous pâte à bombe, I’m not sure there would be any left in our house to even make the strawberries and cream mousse pie! It’s great that you can make it in advance and use it for the pie later, or for more mousses, buttercreams etc.-  plus it uses up the egg yolks.

Don’t forget to check out Marsha’s blog, The Harried Cook.  This week she has been making the most delicious homemade boursin cheese, a fruity tropical smoothie, and check out her latest Lime & Pepper Cookies.  Yes, that’s right: lime and pepper.  Amazing!  I also hear she’s doing a giveaway of Mad About Macarons… so head on over and say hello from me.

31 replies
  1. ping
    ping says:

    What a great post! I so needed this recipe for pate a bombe. Had so many yolks leftover after many attempts at macarons. Another lovely blog to follow! Yay!

  2. myrna
    myrna says:

    Hi Jill! Congrats Marsha on your first guest post! You did great and I can just jump right into your strawberry and white chocolate cream mousse pie!!!!! YUM! BTW Jill I absolutely love, love, love macarons. Congrats on your new book=)

  3. Chef Dennis
    Chef Dennis says:

    what a perfect summertime treat with all the lovely strawberries in the market now! Thanks to Jill and Marsha for a wonderful guest post!!
    Have a great weekend ladies!

  4. The Harried Cook
    The Harried Cook says:

    Wow. I am so overwhelmed. Thank you all for your kind words 🙂 I love Jill’s blog (and Jill, obviously) and I loved guest posting for here 🙂 Thank you, Jill, for having me! I really appreciate you giving this ‘newbie’ a shot! Hugs…

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I am so proud to show you off your talent, Marsha. Thank you so much for such a gorgeous recipe, wonderful photos and for being such a lovely friend, too. Great going on the Giveaway, too! J xo

  5. elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds
    [email protected] says:

    Hi Jill, and Marsha-Congratulations to Marsha for her first, and wondeful guest post with an amazing strawberry mousse pie. So tempting, and delicious, perfect for the summer…and all year:DDD

    Also tweeted about your beautiful book, Jill!

  6. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    With three small kids, I ALWAYS feel harried or harassed! I love The Harried Cook’s blog and I love this recipe. Thanks for showcasing Marsha’s talents.

  7. Adora's Box
    Adora's Box says:

    This recipe has the word wow all over it. What looks like whipped cream actually has white chocolate and eggyolks! I love strawberries. It just tastes so great.

  8. Roxana GreenGirl
    Roxana GreenGirl says:

    Congratulation on your first guest post Marsha.
    You’re right, Jill is the Queen of Macarons. I’ve been reading her blog for quite a while and I think I’m now ready to make some macarons. Don’t hold your breath tho :))
    The tart sounds very delicious, so sorry to hear about the accident. I usually take my photos when Tiffay is sleeping otherwise I have sticky fingers in my photos :))

  9. Biren @ Roti n Rice
    Biren @ Roti n Rice says:

    Marsha, nice to meet you. That is one lovely pie and it sounds so light and delicious! You are so right about Jill. She cracks me up too. 🙂

    Jill, thanks for introducing us to another wonderful blogger. Will hop over to her blog now. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Nami @ Just One Cookbook
    Nami @ Just One Cookbook says:

    I’m so excited to see Marsha here! Wonderful job Marsha! Thank god the accident didn’t happen before you took the main picture. Phew! The pie Looks beautiful and delicious! Jill, I’m so glad you invited Marsha for this series. I love her website and yes, hard to believe she “just” started!!! Great job ladies!

  11. Brandie
    Brandie says:

    At first, I thought this might be too difficult to make but I think I can actually make this. And now I have learned a new french term, pate a bombe. This was a great post and I learned so much – thank you!!

  12. Parsley Sage
    Parsley Sage says:

    Fabulous guest post from Marsha. The pie looks stunning. And I think the little mishap with the toddler and the nosy puppy gives the pie character. Besides, a little drop doesn’t change the taste one bit and that’s all I really care about 🙂 Well done!

  13. Manu
    Manu says:

    Oh Jill!!! I am sooo glad to see Marsha here! Isn’t she an amazing cook?? I LOVE her site and this pie sounds incredibly delicious! Thanks for yet another great guest post Jill and brava Marsha!!! 🙂

  14. Liz
    Liz says:

    Oh, my. Marsha, this recipe is calling to me. I will be making it soon…I just can’t resist!!!

    Jill, thanks again for sharing one of my favorite bloggers on your blog. Marsha hit a home run 🙂 xo


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