Macerated Kentish strawberries, crème fraîche mousse & basil, by Gary Rhodes

05 August 2010
Macerated Kentish strawberries, crème fraîche mousse & basil, by Gary Rhodes

This recipe comes courtesy of British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, Rhodes W1, the Cumberland hotel, London W1.

(Serves four

Macerated strawberries
• 12 English Mara des Bois strawberries
• 50ml strawberry liquor
Crème fraîche mousse • 2 gelatine leaves
• 350g good-quality crème fraîche
• 25g sugar
Strawberry sorbet • 400g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
• 125g water
• 100g caster sugar
• 25g glucose syrup
• Squeeze of lemon juice
Strawberry gel • 500g strawberries, hulled and halved
• 25g caster sugar
• 2g agar agar
Strawberry and basil foam • 300g strawberry purée
• 50g caster sugar
• 100ml water
• 100g chopped strawberry trimmings
• 6 basil leaves
• 2 gelatine leaves
Garnish • Broken shortbread pieces
• Micro basil leaves


For the macerated strawberries

Cut the strawberries in half and place in a sous-vide bag with the strawberry liquor.

Place in a sous-vide machine to compress and break down the texture. Leave the strawberries for two hours in the fridge to macerate. When they are ready, they will turn translucent.

For the crème fraîche mousse

Soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes until soft and pliable. In a saucepan, gently warm 50g of crème fraîche with the sugar, then add the soaked gelatine and mix until dissolved. Pour into a liquidiser with the remaining crème fraîche and blend on a low speed. Pour the mixture into a terrine mould, lined with clingfilm, and refrigerate for two hours. When set, cut into portions for plating.

For the strawberry sorbet

Blend strawberries in a liquidiser until smooth. Pass through a sieve. In a pan, gently warm the water, sugar and glucose until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk the sugar water into the strawberry purée, add the lemon juice, place in an ice-cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the strawberry gel

Place the strawberries in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and sprinkle with the sugar. Clingfilm the bowl tightly then cook the strawberries until they break down completely and the juice is released. Pass the mixture through a muslin cloth. The collected juice should be deep red but clear like a consommé. Pour into a saucepan and add the agar agar. Bring to a boil and pour into a small bowl. Allow to set in the fridge. Once set to a firm jelly, blend in a liquidiser until smooth and keep in a plastic bottle till required.

For the strawberry foam

Place the purée, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Put the trimmings and basil leaves in a bowl and pour the mixture on top. Infuse for an hour before passing through a sieve. Gently warm mixture, add soaked gelatine and dissolve. Place the mixture in a foam siphon and leave in the fridge.

To serve

Place a portion of the crème fraîche mousse on a serving plate, top with broken shortbread pieces. Place four halves of the compressed strawberries on the plate, with some dots of strawberry gel. Add a scroll of the sorbet, a few micro basil leaves and finish with the infused foam.

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