White cheese, black sesame and strawberry mousse cake.

Serves 4 Desserts and puddings



  • 1/4tsp powdered gelatine
  • 30ml single cream
  • 200g fromage blanc (fresh white cheese), drained to the consistency of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 40g sugar
  • 90g double cream, at room temperature
  • 1-11/2tbsp organic black sesame paste

For the strawberries

  • 250g ripe strawberries
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp muscatel vinegar or good-quality sherry vinegar


For the strawberries, wash and de-stem the fruit, cut in half if large, and place in a stainless- steel bowl. Toss with the sugar, cover tightly, and set over a simmering pan of water for 1 hour to cook gently – you don’t want them to go to mush. Remove from the heat, uncover and cool.

Gently take the strawberries out and strain, reserving the liquid in the fridge. Lay the strawberries out on a drying rack and put the oven on to its lowest setting. Dehydrate the strawberries in the oven for 3-4 hours, rotating and flipping them every hour or so, dipping back in the syrup before continuing to dry, until they are gummy but not crisp or dry.

In a small pan, bloom the powdered gelatine with the cold cream for a minute, then gently warm over a low heat to melt and set aside to cool slightly.

Using a hand mixer, whip the fromage blanc in a bowl for a minute or two until light and fluffy, then beat in the sugar and salt to taste. Loosen the double cream and whisk into the cheese to fully incorporate.

Line a small, flat tray with baking paper and set two 9cm diameter, 3cm deep cake ring moulds or cookie cutters on top. Lightly grease and line each mould with baking paper around the circumference.

Once the cream mix is at room temperature, fold it through the cheese, mix until smooth, then put in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up slightly.

Put enough mousse into the base of each mould to just cover it, so it is approx. 1cm high. This prevents the sesame paste running when the mould comes off. Lightly fold the sesame into the rest of the mousse, and put a small amount in each mould.

Lay five to six strawberries, depending on size, over the mousse and lightly press in. Gently cover with the rest of the mousse to fill. Cover and put in the fridge for 6—8 hours or until set.

When ready to serve, take the reserved strawberry liquid and season with the vinegar to taste – it should be enough to balance the sweetness without tasting sharp. Use a small knife to gently release the cakes on to a serving plate with the strawberry juice pooled around them. Halve the mousses to serve.

Recipes and photographs taken from there's always room for cheese by Colin Wood, photography by Rob Palmer
Recipes and photographs taken from there's always room for cheese by Colin Wood, photography by Rob Palmer


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