Winter fruits and Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte cake

Recipe by Eric Lanlard

A light and fluffy strawberry mousse topped with delicious winter fruit, all held beautifully in place with Bonne Maman Madeleines, this indulgent dessert is perfect for dinner parties or a quiet night in. Using buttery Bonne Maman Madeleines instead of the usual sponge fingers gives this dessert a traditional French twist and is guaranteed to impress your friends and family.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes

Set time: 3 hours


For the Bonne Maman Madeleine syrup:

  • 100ml water
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g strawberries

Everything else:

  • 20 Bonne Maman Madeleines
  • 250g of mixed winter fruits

For the mousse:

  • 300g strawberries
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 5 gelatine leaves

For the Bonne Maman Madeleine syrup:

  • In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
  • Wash 100g of strawberries, remove the stems and liquidise in a food processor to make a coulis.
  • Pass the coulis trough a fine sieve to collect all the seeds.
  • When the sugar syrup is cool, mix with the coulis and put to one side.

For the mousse:

  • Wash 300g strawberries and remove the stems.
  • Heat the strawberries in a small saucepan with 50g of golden caster sugar to create a puree.
  • Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a separate bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks with the remaining 50g of golden caster sugar.
  • Pour the hot strawberry puree on to the yolk and sugar mixture and whisk continuously.
  • Put the strawberry puree, yolk and sugar mixture back in to a saucepan and heat whilst continually mixing until the puree thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Drain the gelatine and add it to the hot strawberry puree. Put it to one side to cool.
  • Use an electric hand whisk to whip 300ml of cream in to soft peaks, adding the vanilla bean paste half way through.
  • When the strawberry puree is cold, fold in the whipped cream in two stages to create a smooth and creamy mousse.

To build then Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte cake:

  • Line a 22cm in diameter springform tin with baking paper.
  • Cut the Bonne Maman Madeleines in half length ways and line the tin with the curved sides against the wall of the tin.
  • Fill the bottom of the tin with the other Bonne Maman Madeleines halves – cut them to fit if need be.
  • Using a pastry brush, paint the Bonne Maman Madeleines with the syrup made at the very beginning.
  • Using a ladle cover the Bonne Maman Madeleines with the mousse.
  • Repeat the process – add Bonne Maman Madeleines, paint with syrup and add mousse. Make sure you leave a small gap between the final layer of mousse and the top of the Bonne Maman Madeleines.
  • Place the cake in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
  • When set, gently remove the tin and put on a serving plate or cake stand.
  • Decorate with mixed winter fruits and enjoy!