Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Whole TorteThis Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte is a showy  torte that is actually easy to accomplish. It’s like the best chocolate covered strawberry you ever ate!  A simple French cake, the Reine de Saba was a favorite base for many of our cakes at the bakery.  Reine de Saba is a delectable French cake that we used as a base for several of our cakes.  It is chocolatey, moist and holds up as a base better than any other chocolate cake we make.  We would keep these in the freezer and use them as needed.

To get cake layers to come out flat without humping in the middle, spray the middle only of your pan.  Place parchment on top and spray the middle only.  We used this at the bakery and it worked really well.  If you spray the sides, or otherwise prepare them, the sides of the cake will rise faster than the middle in the oven. It will then slide down the greased sides of the pan causing the humpy center.  By not spraying the sides, the cake will cling to the sides unable to slide down, much like an angel food cake.  The center can then catch up with the sides for a flat layer.

We used an unusual method at the bakery of getting the eggs and the chocolate into the batter.  The eggs don’t want to easily  incorporate into the butter/sugar mixture.  By adding one egg, which may not fully incorporate,  then the chocolate, then the other egg, it will come together without curdling which is the problem we had originally when we added all the eggs at once.  Also, do not let the chocolate become cold, it should be lukewarm but not hot.

The mousse uses two chocolates, white and semisweet that mellow it out.  Bittersweet chocolate can be used if desired but I am in the semisweet camp.

When it comes to the strawberries, try to find ones that are mainly the same size.  I know this can be a pain as they pack them by weight and not size.  If they are the assorted version, simply cut more of the top off the big ones when removing the stems to achieve strawberries of the same size.  

A couple of tips for instant success.  If you over whip your cream (like I did) just add a little more cream and mix on low.  If it is too liquid, raise the speed on the mixer and whip until it is correct.  If it is still over-mixed, add a bit more cream to get the right consistency.  A  young lady who worked for me discovered this when she over-whipped 12 quarts of cream.  Knowing I was not going to be excited about this turn of events, she figured out what to do.  This was our go to at the bakery when we over-whipped the cream.  The other tip regards the egg whites.  For maximum height have them at room temperature, whip them until the whisk of the mixer leaves a trail in them and then add the sugar and continue beating.  It is better to under-whip than over-whip both the cream and the egg whites if you are uncertain.  Over-whipping will make it difficult to fold everything together smoothly and you will knock out a lot of the air built up in the whipping.

Although this Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte looks difficult, do give it a whirl as it is just a matter of steps, all of which are easy.

Reine de Saba Base
Reine ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate (4 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, softened (114 grams, 4 ounces or 1 stick)
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams or 1 2/3 ounce)
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour (35 grams or 1 1/4 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Spray the center of a 9 inch round pan. Pan Prep 1 Line with parchment circle Pan Prep 2and spray center only.  Pan Prep 3Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt chocolate over a double boiler or at half power in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes. Set aside but keep it luke warm, but not hot.Reine de Saba melted chocolate

Cream the butter and sugar on low.  Reine de Saba butter and sugar in mixing bowl

Add one egg, beat well on low and then the chocolate.  Beat to incorporate chocolate completely.  Add remaining egg and lastly flour mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool; release, remove parchment and turn right side up.Reine baked

Finished batter weighs 395 grams or approximately 13 3/4 ounces.  The baked layer is 3/4 inch high.

Notes:  For a 10″ round or square pan, use 1 1/2 recipes for a 9×13 inch pan double the recipe.  Watch the baking time as you don’t want to over-bake these or they will be dry.

Assembly
9×3 cheesecake pan or a 9×3 springform pan
Reine de Saba layer, cooled
2 quarts strawberries, the same size as much as possible
Chocolate Mousse, below
Chocolate Glaze, below

Release the Reine de Saba layer by using a small, flexible, metal spatula.  Keeping the spatula pressed against the side of the pan, go around the whole pan.  Reine, releasingPlace a round over the top of the cake pan, turn it upside down and release the layer.  Reine, with parchmentRemove the parchment, Reine, parchment offplace the bottom of the pan on the layer Reine, with pan bottomand turn it right side up.  Place it in the pan.Reine, halfway in pan

Reine, in panCut the stem ends of the strawberries flat.  Cut as many strawberries in half vertically as needed to go around the inside edge of the pan.

Strawberries all aroundFill in the entire pan with whole strawberries. Strawberries filled inIf  they are too tall, simply cut more off when stemming them so the strawberries are about the same size.

Make the Chocolate Mousse below and pour it over the strawberries.  Mousse being pouredRap the pan on the work surface several times while filling to seat the mousse between the strawberries and eliminate any air pockets.  When you rap the pan, holes around the side may appear, simply fill them in Mousse  with  air pocketsand level the top. Mousse  being spread

Mousse  completely spread

Place in the refrigerator to set up.

Chocolate  MousseMousse ingred 6 tablespoons butter (90 grams or 3 ounces)
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (340 grams)
3 ounces white chocolate (85 grams)
5 egg whites, room temperature (150 grams or 5 1/4 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar (75 grams or 2 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup 40% or heavy cream, whipped to medium peaks

Combine the butter and both chocolates in a large bowl.  Mousse, chocolates and butterPlace them over a double boiler with simmering water below or microwave them at half power.  I used the microwave and it took 3 minutes at half power.  Mousse, chocolates and butter meltedYou can see by the photo it didn’t look melted.  But when whisked it became smooth.  If not add a bit more time at half power and whisk again.  Set aside but keep it at lukewarm temperature.Mousse, chocolates whisked smooth

Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl Mousse, egg whites in mixing bowland beat on high until the whisk leaves a trail in the whites. Mousse, whites before sugar is addedGradually add the sugar.  Mousse, sugar added to egg whitesBeat to medium peaks.Mousse, beaten egg whites

Stir 1/4 into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Mousse,1/4 added to chocolate

Mousse, egg whites stirred into chocolatePlace the remainder of the beaten whites Mousse, remainder of egg whites on chocolateand the whipped cream on top. Mousse, cream on top of whitesFold in by placing a rubber spatula in the middle of the bowl, touching the bottom.  Mousse, folding 1Scoop the mixture to the edge of the bowl nearest you and turn it over. Mousse, Folding 2Turn the bowl slightly and continue this motionMousse, folding 3 until everything is one uniform color.  This technique keeps much more air in the mixtures than if you stirred everything together.Mousse, folded

Yield:  Approximately 890 grams or 2 pounds

Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze ingredients2/3 cup 40% or heavy cream
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (140 grams)

Place the cream in a small pan.  Heat until very hot and steamy but do not boil.  Chocolate Glaze, hot creamSubmerge the chocolate under the hot cream. Glaze, chocolate in

Glaze, chocolate submerged under creamLet is sit for a few minutes.  Whisk smooth.  Do not whisk to vigorously or you will get a lot of air bubbles in the finished glaze.Glaze, whisked smooth

Pour over the top of the set up mousse.  Pick the pan up and rotate it so it covers the entire top.Glaze poured on mousse

Glaze-tilting 1

Glaze, rotating

GlazedChill until set up.

To release the tart a hair blower and large can are needed.

Releasing tools

To remove the torte (this is one of the reasons I prefer a cheesecake pan over a springform mold), heat the edge briefly with a hair blower set on high.Releasing with dryer

Do not over heat or you will melt the mousse.  Place the pan on a fat can about double the height of the side of the pan.  Grasp the side of the pan and slowly move it downward until it clears the bottom of the pan.  Releasing-sliding down 1

Releasing-sliding down 2

Releasing-sliding down 3

Releasing-sliding down 4

Release the bottom of the torte by sliding a metal spatula under the layer.  Transferring Tart 1Using two pancake turners, placed between the bottom of the cake and the bottom of the pan on opposite sides of the torte, Transferring Tart 2pick up the torte and transfer it to a serving dish or cardboard round.Transferring Tart 3

Chocolate Glaze Yield:  1 cup

Yield:  1 – 9″ Torte, 12 to 16 servings.Finished Slice

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4 thoughts on “Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte

  1. Apricot

    Oh Helen, Just what have we done here…the recipes have ounces and metric (I am in Yorkshire in UK)..and the step by step is wonderful..(ace photos…)
    I am Coeliac and diabetic…and can only look and dream…just cant go down to the kitchen …and make one of these.
    I read the European tarts book…often… and sit and drool…

    There is one thing..for all other readers out there…buy the book…treat yourself…you are in for a seriously good time…

    With love and best wishes….

    Janet & Smokie the kitty

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Janet: So excited to hear from you. I write the recipes with metrics because I know that Europeans, especially those in the UK use them. Besides I work in grams because it is sooooooo much easier than ounces. I learned this when I was a consultant to Cuisinarts, the food processor company.

      May I use your kind words about European Tarts in my book section?

      You are the very best and I will keep you in mind as I write.

      All best to you and Smokie,

      Hele

  2. Vicki Bensinger

    Wow that’s beautiful Helen. I can’t wait to try that. I need to pick up one of those pans. I have plenty of springform pans but not this one. Great tutorial.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Vicki: Thanks for the comment. Once you get a cheesecake pan, you will never go back. We couldn’t have baked without these at the shop. Kitchen Conservatory has them. Stayed tuned. There is so much more coming.

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