Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Strawberry Cointreau Charlotte

This dessert, with a pretty pink bow, would make a lovely alternative for a summer birthday cake. Topped with fresh summer berries, it almost looks too good to eat. The orange flavoured mousse is a perfect match for the sweet summer berries.

Serves 8 preparation time 30 minutes, plus chilling and 20 minutes baking

115g/4oz caster sugar

115g/4oz butter

2 large eggs

115g/4oz self raising flour

1tbsp powdered gelatine

2 tbsp water

225g/8oz caster sugar

285ml sour cream

350ml double cream

200g/7oz cream cheese

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 small orange

3 tbsp Cointreau or other orange flavoured liquor

1 packet of Savoiardi/trifle finger biscuits

450g/16oz strawberries and summer berries to decorate

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/180/375F. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form tin. Using an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with the hand mixer after you add each egg. Sift in the flour and add the orange and lemon zest. Using the mixer on its lowest setting, gently incorporate the flour to the cake mixture. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until a knife comes out clean with no cake batter on when you insert it into the centre of the cake. Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of Cointreau and cover the cake with a clean damp tea towel. Leave the cake to cool completely. Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare the mousse filling. Quarter fill a small saucepan with water and heat gently. When the water is simmering, mix the gelatine and 2 tablespoons of cold water together in a mug and place the mug into the sauce pan to gently heat the gelatine. Stir the gelatine until it dissolves but do not overheat otherwise it will loose its setting quality. Using an electric whisk, mix together the caster sugar, sour cream, 250ml of the double cream, the cream cheese with the lemon and orange juice and the Cointreau to a smooth cream. Add the liquid gelatine to the cream mixture and whisk well with your hand mixer. Keeping the cake in the spring form tin, wrap the sides of the tin with cling film to prevent any spillages and pour over the mousse. Transfer to the fridge for 3 hours or over night to set. When the mousse has set and you are ready to serve, remove the mousse cake from the tin and whip the remaining 100ml of double cream to stiff peaks. Place the cake on a serving plate and attach the biscuits around the edge of the cake with the double cream. Secure in place with a ribbon bow. Top the cake with the fresh berries and serve.


Marie said...

I had that recipe earmarked as soon as I got my issue of the magazine! It looks fabulous!

Beth said...

Ditto, it looked fantastic!

Rita said...

Oh, I almost missed this .... will go and get it tomorrow!