Strawberry-Lime Chiffon, Basil, and Fromage Blanc Sorbet

Adapted by
April 2013
Yield: 20 servings


For the Strawberry Filling
790 grams strawberries, hulled and sliced
200 grams lemon segments
zest of 1 lemon
90 grams granulated sugar
15 grams silver gelatin sheets
For the Strawberry Meringue
1 kilogram strawberry puree
22 grams egg white powder
372 grams egg whites
11 grams silver gelatin sheets
74 grams granulated sugar
For the Fromage Blanc Sorbet
400 grams cold water
370 grams granulated sugar
3 grams ice cream stabilizer
240 grams low-fat yogurt
400 grams sour cream
500 grams fromage blanc
35 grams lime juice
50 grams lemon juice
For the Lime Chiffon
250 grams all-purpose flour
290 grams granulated sugar
12 grams baking powder
2 grams coarse salt
150 grams egg yolks
25 grams grapeseed oil
zest of 2 limes
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
150 grams egg whites
115 grams cold water
For the Strawberry Mousse
30 grams silver gelatin sheets
640 grams heavy cream
1065 grams strawberry puree
130 grams egg yolks
85 grams granulated sugar
For the Strawberry Consommé
500 grams strawberries, halved
30 grams granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
For the Strawberry Gelée Ribbon
10 grams silver gelatin sheets
777 grams strawberry consommé
194 grams Sherry vinegar
5 grams agar agar
For the Basil Gel
1 liter basil purée
40 grams granulated sugar
6 grams agar agar
To Assemble and Serve
1 pint strawberries, hulled
Sherry vinegar
granulated sugar
1/2 cup micro basil


For the Strawberry Filling:
In a large bowl, toss strawberries with the lemon segments, zest, and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, in a large saucepan on low heat, cook the mixture, stirring often until the strawberries start to break down, about 1½ hours. Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes; then squeeze out excess water. Add gelatin to the strawberries, stir to dissolve and scoop into 1½-inch demisphere silicone insert forms. Use a spatula to flatten the tops and freeze until solid.

For the Strawberry Meringue:
In a small saucepan, reduce the purée by half and weigh out 500 grams. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white powder into the egg whites, and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Soak the gelatin in ice water for 10 minutes; then squeeze out excess water. In a small saucepan, bring the purée and sugar to a boil, remove from the heat, and stir in gelatin to dissolve. Cool to 35°C. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip egg whites on high speed until very stiff. Slowly pour in strawberry-gelatin mixture and whip for 5 minutes. Using a number 4 round piping tip, pipe round dots onto a parchment paper lined tray, and place into a dehydrator and dry at the lowest setting 12 to 24 hours, until dry.

For the Fromage Blanc Sorbet:
In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar, and stabilizer to a boil, whisking occasionally. Set aside to cool and then add the yogurt, sour cream, fromage blanc, lime juice, and lemon juice. Blend with an immersion blender and refrigerate overnight. Spin in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Lime Chiffon:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift flour, 230 grams sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together yolks, grapeseed oil, zest, water, and vanilla seeds until smooth. Whisk wet ingredients into flour mixture until well combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the whites until soft peaks. With mixer on low speed gradually add the remaining 60 grams sugar and beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Stir one third of the whipped whites into the batter to lighten and gently fold remaining whites until no streaks remain. Set a 14-inch x 22-inch pastry frame on a sheet tray lined with silicone baking mat, pour in the batter, and evenly spread the surface to reach the sides of the frame. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool at room temperature and transfer to the freezer. Once frozen, flip the cake over onto a cutting board, remove the silicone baking mat, and cut into 60-millimeter discs.

For the Strawberry Mousse:
Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes; then squeeze out excess water. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip cream to medium peaks, then reserve in the refrigerator. In a medium saucepan, bring the strawberry purée to a boil. In a small bowl, whip the yolks and sugar until smooth. Pour one-third of the hot purée into the yolks mixture, whisk constantly, and then return contents to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until the mixture reaches 85°C. Remove from heat, stir in the gelatin until dissolved, and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it drops to 35°C. Fold in the whipped cream in three additions, until no streaks remain but the mixture is still fluffy. Transfer to piping bags. Set 75-millimeter ring molds on a baking sheet lined with acetate paper. Fill each ring mold halfway with mousse. Place a frozen strawberry filling dome in the center of each mold, flat side facing up, and top with a piece of the Lime Chiffon. Press down lightly on the cake so that the mousse pushes up to the top of the ring, then use a spatula to smooth the surface of the mold flat. Freeze molds until solid.

For the Strawberry Consommé:
Place berries in a medium bowl and toss with sugar to coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, place over a double boiler, and cook on low heat for 1 to 2 hours to release the juices. Cool and strain through cheesecloth. Do not press the strawberries while straining.

For the Strawberry Gelée Ribbon:
Soak gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes; then squeeze out excess water. In a small saucepan, combine consommé, Sherry vinegar, and agar agar. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Stir in the gelatin to dissolve. Divide the gelée in half and pour onto two half sheet trays lined with oiled acetate sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, and cut into 2-centimeter strips.

For the Basil Gel:
In a small saucepan, bring the basil purée, sugar, and agar agar to a boil. Pour into a bowl set over another bowl of ice water; stir to chill quickly. Once purée begins to thicken into a gel consistency, transfer to a blender and purée until smooth and homogenous.

To Assemble and Serve:
Remove Strawberry-Lime Chiffon from molds and place on an acetate-lined sheet tray. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until defrosted. In a medium bowl, toss together strawberries and Sherry vinegar. Season with sugar. For each serving, plate a strip of Strawberry Gelée Ribbon off-center to the right of a small bowl. Using an offset spatula, place the Strawberry-Lime Chiffon in the center. Garnish the plate with fresh strawberries, Strawberry Meringues, Basil Gel, and micro basil. Top with a quenelle of Fromage Blanc Sorbet.