Strawberries in a Basket
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 Hazelnut Bush (Left) and Cherry Tree (Centre), Illustration from the "Book of Simple Medicines"
Hazelnut Bush (Left) and Cherry Tree (Centre), Illustration from the "Book of Simple Medicines"
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Testard, Robinet
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White Chocolate Hazelnut Fraisier
Chocolatier February/March 1994

Crispy hazelnut crust:
2 1/2 cups oven-toasted rice cereal,
such as Rice Krispies

3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

White chocolate hazelnut filling:
1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Assembly:
2 pints fresh strawberries, stemmed

White chocolate glaze:
4 ounces white chocolate. coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Garnish:
Whipped cream

Note: To roast hazelnuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and
preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a
baking sheet and roast for 8 to 12 minutes, until golden beneath their
skins. Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and cool completely. Transfer
the nuts to a sieve and rub them to remove the loose skins.

Make the hazelnut crust:
1. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the rice
cereal and the toasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor
fitted with the metal chopping blade. Process the mixture for 25
to 30 seconds, until finely ground. Transfer cereal/nut mixture
to a medium bowl.
2. Place coarsely chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over
hot, not simmering, water. Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth.
(See **How to Melt Chocolate**) Using a rubber spatula, scrape
the melted chocolate into the cereal mixture in the bowl. Stir the
mixture until combined; scrape it into the prepared pan. Place the
pan in the refrigerator.

Make the white chocolate hazelnut filling:
3. Place the hazelnut liqueur in a small, heatproof cup. Sprinkle the gel-
atin over the liqueur and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften
the gelatin. Place the cup with the softened gelatin in a small pan with
enough water to come halfway up the sides of the cup. Heat gelatin
mixture in hot, not simmering water. Stir the gelatin frequently for
3 to 5 minutes, or until the gelatin granules dissolve completely and
the mixture is clear. Remove the pan from the heat, leaving the cup
in the water to keep the gelatin mixture warm and ready to use.
4. Place the white chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Pour the hot milk over
the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the
chocolate. Add the warm gelatin mixture and vanilla; whisk until
smooth. Place the bowl over a large bowl of ice water and stir for
5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is cool.
5. In a chilled medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the
cream at medium speed until it begins to form soft mounds. Do not
overbeat or mousse will be grainy. Fold one-third of the whipped
cream into the white chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining
whipped cream. Set the mousse aside at room temperature.

Assemble the cake:
6. Remove the prepared springform pan from the refrigerator. Slice a strawberry in half lengthwise. Arrange the two halves next to each
other, stem-side-down with the cut side against the side of the pan.
Continue to cut strawberries and fill in the border of the pan, cutting
only as many strawberries as needed. Fill in the center of the pan
with whole strawberries, placing them stem-side-down and using as
many as needed. Reserve the remaining strawberries for garnish.
7. Carefully scrape the white chocolate mousse over the strawberries.
Using a small rubber spatula, smooth the top of the mousse so
that it is even. refrigerate the cake now for 4 hours, until mousse
is firm. (Do not refrigerate cake for longer than 6 hours, as the
strawberries will release water and cause the cake to collapse
when sliced.)

Make the white chocolate glaze:
8. Place coarsely chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over
hot, not simmering, water. Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth.
(Because of the sensitivity of milk solids to heat, white chocolate
should be stirred almost constantly
.) In a small saucepan, bring the
cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Stir the hot cream into the
melted chocolate until smooth.

Glaze and garnish the cake:
9. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Pour the white chocolate
glaze evenly over the top of the cake, covering it completely. Re-
turn the cake to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set the glaze.
10. To unmold the cake, carefully run a small, hot knife around the
edge of the pan. Undo the clasp on the springform pan and
remove the side of the pan. Garnish the top of the cake with
remaining strawberries, sliced, and rosettes of whipped cream.
 

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