Strawberries and cream Mont Blanc

I really wanted to make this Mont Blanc after seeing so many different kinds of them on my discover feed on Instagram. Traditionally, Mont Blanc is made with chestnuts, but I opted for a fresher, strawberry version instead, just to make it appropriate for the summer. So I went with a strawberry chiffon cake, a fresh strawberry with cream on top, strawberry mousse, chips, and what I am calling a strawberry delight. Strawberry delight is a take on Turkish delight, but swapping out the rose with strawberry, just to give it a naturally pink color. I find it has a similar texture to either pate de fruit or mochi, and it looks really cute on top of the Mont Blanc as well!

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For the strawberry chips:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
8 fresh, unripe strawberries

Bring sugar, water, and salt to a simmer on a pot until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the syrup warm. Shave the berries on your second thinnest setting on a mandolin. Place the shaved strawberries into the syrup and allow that to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Spread just the shavings on a lightly oiled parchment-lined sheet pan, reserving the syrup for your strawberry delight. Bake the shaved strawberries at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes between two parchment-lined sheet pans, then continue baking without the top sheet pan or parchment sheet for another 1 1/2 hours at 185 degrees F. Cool the chips and transfer to an airtight container.

For the strawberry delight:
Reserved strawberry syrup
3 tablespoons strawberry puree
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch with more for cutting
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in a pot and whisk together on medium high heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is almost translucent. Pour into silicone bar molds. Freeze the mixture for 2 hours. Cut the bars into thirds to form cubes, and dust with cornstarch to finish.

For the strawberry chiffon:
3 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons canola oil with more for lining
3 tablespoons strawberry puree
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Whip egg whites with half of your sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Whip the egg yolk with remaining sugar, oil, and puree until the egg yolks are stiff in texture as well. Sift your flour into the egg yolks, then fold into that your egg whites. Lightly line 4 metal crumpet molds with oil. Place on a parchment lined baking tray. Fill the molds with your batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool for another 3 minutes, oven turned off and door left ajar, before transferring the cakes to a cooling rack to continue cooling down.

For the chantilly cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip everything together to stiff peaks. Refrigerate.

For the strawberry mousse:
1/2 cup strawberry puree
2 teaspoons gelatin powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a pinch of salt
1/2 of your chantilly cream

In a bowl, mix the gelatin and lemon juice. In a pot, melt down your gelatin into the strawberry puree and salt. Once everything is melted, pour into a bowl and cool down to room temperature. Fold the chantilly cream into the cooled down puree. Transfer into a piping bag.

To assemble:
Fresh strawberries

Place a small strawberry onto the cake. Pipe cream around the strawberry, then pipe your mousse around the cream. Place strawberry chips on the sides of the mousse and a cube of strawberry delight on top to finish.

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