“Andrew is a TED Fellow for this year”, that’s nice, who is Ted? Andrew’s mother asks. Lucas chips in, “Tractor Ted, he’s got a cab on, he’s not a Kenyan tractor” The excitement of sharing this news soon dissipates in to confusion about who Ted is and why Andrew is visiting him in Canada in March. It is a fantastic opportunity and we are so excited that Andrew will be giving a TED Talk and meeting some really inspirational people. It is the 30th Anniversary of TED and many of the best speakers from the past 30 years will be attending. It is a chance to raise the profile of eye health in Africa and who knows what might come from what is described by the TED organisers as a “Spa for the mind”.
We potentially have a film crew from TED coming out next week to shoot a documentary on the eye project and we are planning on taking them to the site of the (hopefully) bakery at Maili Saba Camp on their final evening.
This is a really pretty centrepiece, perfect to serve as a dessert for a summer party or special meal. It looked fantastic when I served it up ready to be taken to the field, however by the time it had been on a three hour journey in a hot van it resembled a strawberry mousse soup. Andrew explained to the team that it didn’t look this a few hours ago, the response from one of the team was to question if it tasted any different? Probably not and before we know it the plate was empty…
Recipe – Strawberry Mousse Cake
- For the Génoise sponge base
- 2 eggs
- 50g caster sugar
- 15g unsalted butter melted, plus extra for greasing
- 50g sifted plain flour
- For the strawberry mousse
- 1 x 135g packet strawberry jelly
- 450g strawberries
- 340g evaporated milk
- To decorate
- 50g dark chocolate (or milk, if you prefer), chopped
- 5 strawberries
- First make the sponge. Heat your oven to 180ºC. Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in springform tin.
- Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Use an electric whisk to whisk them together until thick, pale and moussey and doubled in volume. The mixture should hold a trail when you lift the beaters out of the mixture. Take off the heat.
- Fold the melted butter gently into the egg mousse, then gently fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until cooked and lightly golden-brown. Leave to cool completely, then remove the sponge from the tin and peel off the parchment paper.
- Line the sides of the same tin with baking parchment, first snipping a line of little ‘feet’ along the base of the paper so it will fit snugly against the base. Put the sponge base back into the tin.
- To make the mousse, break up the jelly and put in a pan with a tablespoon of water. Melt gently over a low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. Purée 200g of the strawberries in a blender until smooth and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Hull the remaining strawberries and cut in half top-to-toe (or slice into three if large).
- Using an electric whisk, or a free-standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the evaporated milk for at least five minutes, or until it is thick, bubbly and doubled in volume. Gently fold in the liquid jelly, then fold in the strawberry purée.
- Arrange the strawberry slices around the edge of the lined tin, cut side against the tin. Scatter any extra strawberries over the sponge.
- Pour the strawberry mousse into the tin, levelling the top. It doesn’t matter if the mousse doesn’t quite cover the strawberries. Place in the fridge for at least two hours to set.
- To decorate, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dip a few strawberries in the melted chocolate and leave to set.
- Pour the remaining chocolate into a paper piping bag. Snip the end off the piping bag and drizzle lines of chocolate over the top of the mousse (alternatively use a piping bag with a fine plain nozzle attached). Place the chocolate dipped strawberries in the centre and serve.