Best Berry Bake-off

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Sep 28, 2010 1:56 PM
Barry C. Parsons' Blueberry Mousse Cake. Can you make it look this good? Submit your photo of this recipe on

Reader Barry C. Parsons of St. John's, Newfoundland submitted this scrumptious-sounding recipe for Downhome's Best Berry Contest. For all you avid bakers out there, it's time to roll up your sleeves for a good challenge! We challenge you to create this culinary masterpiece - and make it look as good as Barry's. Post a photo of your Blueberry Mousse Cake by clicking here.

Blueberry Mousse Cake

Victoria Sponge
2 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon and vanilla flavorings
Sift together:
1/3 cup flour + 1/2 tsp baking powder

Sorbet Syrup
7 oz sugar
5 1/2 fl oz water
1 tbsp liquid glucose (or corn syrup)

Blueberry Purée
2 pints blueberries
4 fl oz sorbet syrup (see above)
1/2 oz powdered milk
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, or 2 tsp vanilla extract

Italian Meringue
5 oz sugar
5 tsp water
3 egg whites

Blueberry Mousse
3 medium egg yolks
2 oz sugar
Blueberry purée (see above)
Italian meringue (see above)
2 envelopes + 1 1/2 tsp gelatin powder soaked in 1/3 cup cold water
7 fl oz blueberry wine
16 fl oz whipping cream, lightly whipped until ribbons form

1 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/4 cup cold water
2 fl oz sorbet syrup (see above)
5 tbsp blueberry juice (reserved from preparing the purée)


Victoria Sponge
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually until eggs are stiff. Set aside. Beat egg yolks until thickened. Fold into batter (egg whites and sugar) along with flavourings. Slowly and gradually fold in flour and baking powder. Pour into greased, parchment-lined 10-inch round cake pan and bake for 15 min. at 350° or until centre springs back when touched. This will be a very thin cake base.

Sorbet Syrup
Place sugar, water and glucose in pan and bring to boil; stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil for 2-3 min.

Blueberry Purée
Place berries in small saucepan with the sorbet syrup and bring to boil. After berries come to boil, reserve 5 tbsp blueberry juice for the glaze. Simmer to reduce blueberries by about 1/4. Remove from heat and cool. Purée in blender. Add powdered milk and vanilla to purée.

Italian Meringue:
Place the sugar and water into a pan and slowly bring to boil. Place egg whites in a bowl and whisk until firm peaks form when whisk is removed. When sugar reaches 121°C/250°F on thermometer, remove pan from heat. Immediately resume whisking egg whites. With the beater at its lowest speed, pour in melted sugar, in a steady stream, making sure it is clear of the beaters. Continue beating for about 5 min., until meringue is lukewarm.

Blueberry Mousse:
Place egg yolks and sugar in bowl and whisk until mixture forms a ribbon when whisk is removed. While it is still hot pour half the blueberry purée onto egg mixture, whisking continuously, then pour mixture into a microwavable bowl along with the rest of the puree. Heat mixture gently at low power for 1-2 min, stopping occasionally to stir with spatula, until custard is slightly thickened, enough to coat spatula. Do not allow it to boil. Add the gelatin and allow mixture to cool to the point that it will not burn your finger, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming.

For the base, place Victorian sponge on a flat serving plate. (You can brush the base with blueberry wine if you like.) Place a 9-inch (3-inch deep) flan ring (or springform pan without the base) onto the sponge and cut out a circle to form the base.

When custard (blueberry mousse) is lukewarm, gently fold in Italian meringue. Stir in blueberry wine and fold in whipped cream. You must now assemble the dessert immediately, before the gelatin causes the mixture to set.

Fill flan ring with blueberry mousse mixture, leaving a small gap at the top, and carefully smooth over the surface with a palette knife. Place in a very cold fridge for several hours.

Soak gelatin powder in cold water for 15 min. Place 6 oz of the Sorbet Syrup and the remaining 5 tbsp blueberry juice (from blueberry purée) into a pan and heat gently, then remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Leave to cool to at least lukewarm and pour the glaze over the top of the mousse. Place into the fridge to chill before serving.

To serve, remove tart ring by heating the outside of the ring with a wet hot towel, then slide the ring upwards, rotating it slightly.

Garnish with fresh berries and serve. This recipe also works well with raspberries or bakeapples but make sure to sieve out the seeds from the berries after they are boiled.

H.A. Nesbitt

Barry has hundreds of great Newfoundland and other recipes on his "Rock Recipes" website. They all have great photos too.