This is the ideal summer dessert. Refreshing, light and easy to make. You can prepare these beautiful dessert jars in advance and set then in your fridge overnight. The perfect picnic item to impress your friends and family.

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White chocolate and mascarpone mousse served with strawberries and coulis – recipe by Michel Roux Jr

Ingredients:

To prepare the financier:

  • 130g of icing sugar
  • 70g egg whites
  • 70g butter
  • 45g almond powder
  • 45g flour

To prepare the mousse:

  • 100ml whipped cream
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 80g white chocolate

To prepare the coulis:

  • 300g strawberries
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

70g rinsed and chopped strawberries

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees

  1. To prepare the financier: Place the butter in a saucepan, and cook over a medium heat, whisking continuously until nutty brown. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Then incorporate the egg whites whisking energetically.  Lastly, carefully pour the hot browned butter over the mix. Once the paste is smooth either place in a pipping bag, or directly spoon into your appropriate mould and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. To prepare the mousse: Roughly chop the white chocolate and melt over a bain-marie.
    In the meantime, whisk the mascarpone together with the icing sugar in a separate bowl until creamy. Then, gently incorporate the whipped cream with a spatula. Once the chocolate has completely melted and cooled down to room temperature pour over the cream mixture and fold in.
  3. To prepare the coulis: Rinse the basil leaves under cold water. In a blender, blitz all ingredients until completely smooth and pass through a fine sieve. I did not sweeten the coulis but if you have a sweet tooth you can always add a tablespoon of icing sugar.
  4. Dress the financier in the base of the glass and dollop a generous amount of chocolate mousse on top. Then scatter a tablespoon of chopped strawberries on top and delicately pour the coulis all over.

The wines

For a traditional and reasonably priced wine, I suggest a Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise from Domaine de Durban. This sweet and refreshing wine from the Rhône region is the perfect match to sublime this fun and delicious dessert.

On a more seasonal note, why not combine a wild strawberry liqueur, perhaps a Tosolini Fragola, with a delicious Prosecco? With all the exuberance of a Champagne and at less than half the price, the San Leo Prosecco Brut from Veneto is the perfect bubbly to jazz up any picnic.

For a more mature wine pairing, I recommend a 1994 Coteaux du Layon, Moulin Touchais. This sweet wine from the Loire region has the most intriguing personality that lives up to this glorious dessert.

Domaine de Durban, Muscat Beaumes- de-Venise 2009 – A beautiful, medium bodied dessert wine with an elegant aroma of white flowers.  Wonderful to drink in the sunshine, it is seasonally exotic on the nose with hints of pineapple and mandarin. RRP: £12 from Palmers Wine Store

San Leo Prosecco, Brut, Veneto NV – A much loved Prosecco, and great value for money, the San Leo is a real go-to drink for any celebration or party.  It drinks so beautifully when poured on top of fruity purees, and with summer rolling in, I’ve suggested a wild strawberry liqueur to match the strawberries and coulis in this lovely, creamy dessert.  A real delight and a welcome addition to any picnic. RRP: £6 from Waitrose

Coteaux du Layon, Moulin Touchais, Loire 1994 – This is an incredibly special dessert wine, deep amber in colour and full of sweet and concentrated dessert flavours. Toffee, roasted nuts and raisins all linger on the nose and palate.  These forest-like flavours are so lovely to drink alongside this picnic favourite. RRP: Fine + Rare £15.00