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.
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!
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.
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.