Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Strawberry & pistachio mousse cake

Sometimes a girl just needs a girlie cake.  Something pink, light and fruity, ideally with a surprise in the center.  That is exactly what this strawberry and pistachio mousse cake is about.

This is another recipe from Hidemi Sugino's Le goût authentique retrouvé.  He calls this "Mariee".  I read somewhere that the ones he makes are so delicate that they have to be consumed at his shop and are not available for takeaway.  I'm not sure how true this is.  

I knew from my previous try at another one of his recipes that Hidemi Sugino tends to use very little gelatin in his mousses which is probably fine in colder and drier climates.  But with the mercury and humidity rising in Hong Kong, I was a little worried and used a little more gelatin than what was specified in the recipe.  The mousses still turned out tantalisingly soft.  The light green pistachio mousse centre is not visible until you cut into the cake, adding an element of sweet surprise.  The pistachio biscuit is unexpectedly moist and tasty - probably the best recipe for pistachio biscuit I've come across. 

Recipe below makes about 5 mini round cakes, adapted from Le goût authentique retrouvé by Hidemi Sugino (note: methodology below was inferred since I don't read Japanese, feel free to modify any step you deem appropriate)

Pistachio biscuit:
36g almond paste
15g pistachio paste
18g eggs
16g egg yolks
10g egg whites
For the french meringue:
- 32g egg whites
- 20g granulated sugar
18g corn starch
8g melted butter
Pistachio mousse:
80g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
8g pistachio paste
80g milk
1/10th vanilla bean
16g egg yolks
16g granulated sugar
1.2 piece gelatin sheet
Strawberry mousse:
170g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
170g strawberry pulp
97g italian meringue:
- 70g granulated sugar
- 18g water
- 35g egg whites 
3.6 pieces of gelatin sheets
34g eau de vie de framboise (raspberry brandy)
Sirop d'imbibage:
10g sirop
à 30°B
5g water

eau de vie de framboise
mirror gel

1. Pistachio biscuit:
Using an electric mixer, beat to combine almond & pistachio paste.  Add in eggs, egg yolks and egg whites gradually, whisking constantly until mixture is creamy and fluffy.  Fold in corn flour and melted butter.  For the french meringue, whisk egg whites and caster sugar together until stiff peaks form.  Fold french meringe into almond, pistachio & eggs mixture gradually in 3 batches.  Pour batter into baking sheet approximately 9 by 12 inch in size and bake in 230C preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool before cutting out 5 x 5cm rounds.  There will be excess left over so you could use a smaller baking sheet and reduce the proportion of ingredients accordingly.

2. Pistachio mousse:
Place gelatin in cold water to bloom.  Heat pistachio paste, milk & split vanilla bean together in a pan until boiling, remove vanilla bean.  Whisk egg yolks & sugar together then pour in hot milk mixture, continuing to whisk to temper the egg yolks.  Heat milk & egg mixture until 84C, then mix in softened gelatin.  Strain pistachio cream and leave to cool.  Whisk whipping cream until soft peaks and fold into pistachio cream.  Pour into 7 inch round cake ring lined at the bottom with cling wrap.  Leave in fridge until set.  Cut out 4cm round pieces.  There will be quite a bit of excess left over but I found working with smaller proportions problematic. 

3. Sirop d'imbibage:
Mix all ingredients together.

4. Strawberry mousse:
Place gelatin in cold water to bloom.  Heat strawberry pulp but do not boil.  Mix in bloomed gelatin and leave to cool.  Mix in raspberry brandy.  Whisk whipping cream until soft peaks, set aside.  Prepare italian meringue by heating water and sugar until it reaches 118C.  At 115C, whisk egg whites until its foamy.  While continuing to whisk, pour in sugar syrup and whisk till stiff peaks form and italian meringue is ready.  Fold in italian meringue then whipping cream into strawberry puree.  

5. Assembly:
Ensure cake rings are well covered at the base with cling wrap.  Pour strawberry mousse into cake rings filling about 1/2.  Carefully place and center 1 piece of pistachio mousse disk into each cake ring, pushing slightly into the strawberry mousse to anchor but not all the way down.  Fill with remaining strawberry mousse until just slightly short of top of cake ring.  Brush pistachio biscuit with sirop d'imbibage before placing on top of strawberry mousse.  Wrap top of cake rings with cling wrap and press down with bottom of a baking sheet to flatten surface.  Leave to set in refridgerator.  Once set, turn over such that the end with the pistachio biscuit is at the bottom.  Top with mirror gel before removing from cake ring.  Decorate as desired.


  1. Hello there. I found your blog via tastespotting and I'm glad that I did. I love your blog and especially your posts with mousse type cake/dessert. I can't wait to try out some of your recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. these are gorgeous, and strawberry and pistachio are such a great match!

    1. thanks for your kind comments!

  3. this looks amazing, very girly and pretty. though i wouldn't know its mariee until you mentioned it. don't recall mariee has a pistachio insert? thought it was peach or something. but anyhow, great job, hidemi's recipes are really good and yes, i would put more gelatin too if it were me, coz singapore's weather is not any better than HK lol.

    1. thanks for your kind comments evan! i'm such a fan of your work, especially your macarons! yep, mariee has a pistachio insert (page 81 of HS's book). i think the one with a rose peach insert is merveille, which i would love to try too someday, but its paired with loganberry mousse and i don't think i'll be finding any loganberries here in HK anytime soon... i guess i could replace it with blackberries... hehe

  4. I love the light green and pink colors together. Looks great for a girl's birthday party or tea party.

  5. This looks beautiful and delicious.... Absolutely need this for my girly sunday!

  6. hi there, i love your blog, but i was wondering how i would convert these into cups/spoons?

  7. Hullo,

    I would love to try out this recipe but I don't have gelatin sheets but powder. How to convert these gelatin sheets amount into powder?

    Thank you,

    1. Each sheet is .10oz (1/10 oz)of gelatin.

  8. This looks so pretty and yummy!


  9. This cake looks amazingI gave a try on the strawberry mousse and modified the pistachio mousse for my tartlets filling and it tasted heavenly. Thank you for sharing.. I love all of your desserts and can't wait to try so more.
    I hope you dont mind if i put a link to your website for my tarlets entry



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