Coconut, Strawberry, White Chocolate and Rhubarb Mousse Cake

Sometimes the most unusual things inspire me to create a dessert. I have been obsessed with white lately, white on white with lots of texture. Textiles, paper, cheesecloth, birdcages, anything. I have really been getting inspired by Country Living magazine, which is an unusual choice for me because I am the antithesis of country, or at least what I thought country was. Anthropologie is another great source of inspiration. I have been shopping for clothes there for years but since I started photographing my food, I have become obsessed with their house wares and their displays. I walked in the store last week and saw a white and pink flower quilt that immediately inspired me to make this dessert.

I envisioned a mousse cake with layers of white and pink mousse. Little girl tea party colors, distressed antique white coffee table, bruised up silver tray… I don’t know if I have been able to transmit that feeling in my photos. I find very difficult to translate what is in my head onto a photograph but that’s ok.. Once I take it, it’s up to you to create your own fantasy.

This cake has five different layers and flavors and although it might seem difficult, it really isn’t because all mousse layers start with the same pate a bombe recipe and then flavored separately. Coconut dacquoise with strawberry, white chocolate and rhubarb mousse layers and covered with a thin layer of rhubarb jelly.

Coconut Dacquoise

Makes half sheetpan
135 grams powdered sugar, sifted
225 grams unsweetened coconut (fine)
215 grams egg whites
55 grams sugar

Whip the egg whites until almost fully whipped. Slowly add the sugar and whip to a stiff meringue. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the sifted powdered sugar and the coconut in two batches while gently folding. The meringue will deflate a little. Don’t worry, it’s normal.

Pour the batter onto a half sheetpan lined with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly with an offset spatula. Bake at 375 until lightly golden brown. Let it cool.

When ready to assemble the cake, place a square cake ring on top of the dacquoise and press down so it cuts into it. This is where we will build the mousse cake.

Pate a Bombe

8 oz sugar
2 oz corn syrup
4 oz water
3 oz egg yolks

Cook the sugar, corn syrup and water to 240 degrees Farenheit. In the meantime, whip the yolks until they turn fluffy and pale. Add the cooked sugar to the yolks and continue beating until light, thick and the bowl has cooled.

Strawberry Mousse

2 oz pate a bombe
1 1/2 sheet of gelatin
3 oz fresh strawberry puree (I left the seeds in)
1 cup heavy cream, soft peak

Mix the pate a bombe with the strawberry puree. Soften the gelatin in ice water and then gently melt it in the microwave (maybe 5 seconds). Mix into the pate a bombe and whisk until it is well incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mousse in the square cake pan that we have lined with the coconut dacquoise. Spread over the dacquoise evely. Place the sheetpan in the freezer so the mouuse hardens and we can add another layer.

White Chocolate Mousse

4 oz pate a bombe
3 sheets of gelatin
6 oz white chocolate, melted
2 cups heavy cream, soft peak

Repeat the same process as above. Make sure the white chocolate is pretty warm when adding it to the pate a bombe. If the bombe is cold, the chocolate will harden quickly and it will be lumpy. Pour over the strawberry mousse and spread evenly. Freeze.

Rhubarb Mousse

2 oz pate a bombe
1 1/2 sheet of gelatin
3 oz poached rhubarb puree
1 cup heavy cream, soft peak

Same procedure as above. Pour over the white chocolate mousse and spread evenly. Freeze.

I topped the mousse with a super thin layer of rhubarb jelly, coconut and grated dried raspberries.

Fluffy… and light are the words that describe this cake best… love Spring.

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64 Responses to “Coconut, Strawberry, White Chocolate and Rhubarb Mousse Cake”

  1. C.L. says:

    oooooooooooo….I don’t know what else to say! That one leaves me speechless! I need to find sheet gelatin now!


  2. Mobula says:

    Sin palabras!!!! Es que me quedo sin palabras… y ahora donde encuentro yo el ruibarbo ese de los c…..

    Genial como siempre, Aran!!!



  3. nadia says:

    This sounds and looks absolutely delicious! the photographs are wonderful I love the one with the straw/coco/butter.rubarb. PS. I am coming over for a slice!!!! Good morning.

  4. M says:

    This cake is so so beautiful! And I love the tastes combination- mouthwatering!

    And yes, it have a very springy and girly look.
    I also love the way you arrages the cake by colours.
    I want to try some… :(

  5. Anonymous says:

    Que puedo decir, otra vez me he quedado pasmada, tardo más en traducir yo las recetas que tu a hacer otra maravilla. Felicidades!!
    Anna -Girona-

  6. Ginny says:

    I love Anthropologie! They have such beautiful original dishes! I love this cake! The layers are beautiful and the flavor combination sounds very interesting!

  7. Tartelette says:

    We were both on the same wave length….I just hit “publish” on a rhubarb post. The cake is scrumptious!

  8. Dana says:

    Sooo…we have rhubarb…strawberry…coconut…white chocolate…and mousse. You’ve just named 5 of my favorite things. It *must* be good!!

  9. This is so delicate and beautiful- I love that you’re able to turn visual inspiration into a pastry. That’s an enviable quality.

    While I love to bake, I never get too experimental. Maybe i’ll try more in the future! I am trying to bake less, but i’m at home in California right now and it’s hard not to feed my family (especially when I don’t have to pay for the ingredients!)

    Maybe it’s unrealistic to think I can cold turkey the baking…I’ve tried to branch more into savory, but it’s not nearly as fun.

  10. BB says:

    Amazing! This is two or so levels above my skill set, but a boy can dream…

  11. Oh my gosh…you out do yourself every time! This looks sooooo delicious and adorable! I have to admit that I am in love with Anthropologie too…my bank account doesn’t like me for it, but I just can’t deny myself there!

  12. Astrid says:

    It’s always a delight to see a new post on your blog. You are very artistic and creative. I can see the aesthetic you were after, and find your cake beautiful, even though coconut is a deal-breaker for me. Mais “les goûts et les couleurs…,” as we say…

  13. Irene says:

    How lovely! I’m very jealous of whoever got to eat this beautiful cake… not tomention that it must taste absolutely amazing. What a great combination of flavors and colors!

  14. nicisme says:

    These look amazing, you go to so much trouble and are very creative! Love reading your blog.

  15. Peabody says:

    Anthropologie has some of the best stuff.
    You make a super beautiful mousse cake…very Spring like.

  16. Aran this is amazingly beautiful!!! Exactly what I would want in a girly, pretty, pink cake!!! Will 150% be making this, think for my sistes birthday as she’s a very pink person!

  17. Amanda says:

    I fell in love with this Country Living issue too. The current issue is one of my favorites. I loved the section on cupcakes because of their decorations.

  18. Lori says:

    it looks delicious, simply delicious. I love rhubarb. Waiting for my plant to produce. a little early here in the North East. i must try your cake.

  19. Charmaine says:

    Making one single pate a bombe and dividing it up to 3 different flavours is so efficient. I love it!

  20. corine says:

    oooo, what a blog, what a blog! I’ll be coming back for the pictures… and will stay for the food. Don’t be freaked if your statistics go up tomorrow: I’m going to devote an hour or two to virtually devour each and every page.

  21. annacecile says:

    I was just in Anthropologie yesterday, and I agree that they have wonderful home furnishings and in-store displays. You need not doubt your ability to adequately convey concepts in your photography…actually I think you have a great talent for that, in addition to your obvious skills as a pâtissiere. Thank you for sharing!

  22. WOW! This looks delightful! Brilliant combo of flavors and they present very nicely!

  23. Cakespy says:

    I hope you know that I bookmark your entries as painting reference for when I feel like breaking out the acrylic and doing more “painterly” works. This confection not only sounds delicious but is incredibly beautiful. xoxo times 20!

  24. Pixie says:

    I could almost taste this melting in my mouth- gorgeous!

  25. C.L. says:

    I have gelatin sheets coming to day from L’Epicure. along with liek 1000 other things. That place is like crack!!!!! Thanks..and I will now be forced to make this recipe…aw shucks :)


  26. Eileen says:

    It’s spectacular, Aran! I love what inspires you. I will often leave magazines laying around the house, open to the pages I fine interesting and inspirational.

    Eileen (passions to pastry)@

  27. beyond the pale – it’s just stunning. i love the gradations of color.

  28. Kelly-Jane says:

    Oh my! That is one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen on a blog, really well done, and it sounds delicious too :)

  29. Gloria says:

    Beautiful and looks delicious!!! Dan ganas de probarlo ya!!! xGloria

  30. Mrs.French says:

    Ok, honestly so happy you popped in on my little blog, because now I have found yours! I am being totally serious here, my mouth is watering! I will definitely be a regular!

  31. Truly lovely! The textures and flavors sound very enticing as well. Nice work.

    I on the other hand have been inspired by a big fat nothing this week – I swear, making coffee has even been tough for me.

  32. PheMom says:

    All the rhubarb being posted about out there has me convinced that I have to try it. This looks crazy good!

  33. Aran says:

    Thank you, thank you all of you readers for taking the time to comment. It really means a lot to me. And I apologize if I can’t always comment back right away. I try to answer the questions first. But I love to receive all your encouraging words. They mean a lot to me. Thank you!

  34. RecipeGirl says:

    I am entirely impressed with the beauty of this dessert, but how in the world did you manage such a clean cut?? Great!

  35. cakebrain says:

    I love the colours and the layers. The mousse cake looks divine!

  36. This is a girlie treat from heaven!

  37. Candace says:

    Fabulous! That looks so delish…

  38. Inne says:

    that cake looks delicious Aran – and very country/cottagey! I’m so jealous you’ve got Anthropologie. We don’t have it here, so I can only drool over their website…

  39. Alfie says:

    Absolutely beautiful – the pretty layers and the photos look stunning

  40. What an incredible flavor and color combo! Delicious idea!

  41. I love your creative process. I see pastry ideas everywhere, too! It makes it so much fun and nothing is better than having a ping of inspiration just walking and looking and seeing in all kinds of places. And I’m coming to realize that taking photos is such a long and mysterious learning process, which makes it so compelling.

    This is an inspired composition, each part a lovely idea on its own. But the whole is quite perfect. And once again your photos just sing. Thank you for being such a leading light.

  42. soooo nice! any ideas on acceptable vegetarian substitutions for sheet gelatin?

  43. Evelin says:

    Absolutely stunning! The flavours are a perfect combination. Oh I want to get my hands on some frsh strawberries now!:)

  44. eva says:

    Aran! Hija, que preciosodad. Es que salta a la vista…eres un genio!

  45. Cassandra says:

    This looks so dreamy. Really wonderful.

  46. Anonymous says:

    just wondering what size square cake tin you used. you mentioned the dacquoise makes 1/2 sheetpan but not sure on the gateau. thanks

  47. Aran says:

    My frame is 11″x11″x2″

  48. Anonymous says:

    thanks so much for quick reply. i’m thinking of making this for a wedding function and help is much appreciated! can you tell me…the dried raspberry that you used, did you make it yourself? how is it done? are you able to suggest another effective garnish for the gateau? again many thanks

  49. Aran says:

    the raspberries are dehydrated in a dehydrator. you could use pink macarons shells, strawberry halves or if you are up for it, something more elaborate like a white chocolate garnish or sugar garnish. but i think pink macarons shells would be adorable.

  50. preethi says:

    I am definitely making this for a party I have on Friday. A quick question on the pate a bombe: How do I keep the pate a bombe warm while i’m freezing the previous layers…is it okay to warm the mixture over and over agin, once made.

  51. Aran says:

    Preethi- You can slightly warm the pate de bombe or it can be at room temperature also. Thanks!

  52. udit says:

    thanks for sharing the recipe .. I really like the look of the cake you make, it seems it is also nice … each layer is also trelihat blend perfectly …

  53. Anis says:

    Hi Aran
    I would like to make this recipe but I am not familiar with the cups sytem can you please tell me the equivalent in gram of a cup of heavy cream and also I am not sure to be able to find rhubarb do you have any suggestion for a substitute ? thanks a lot

  54. Anis says:

    Sorry forgot to ask in my previous comment the Weight of your sheet of gelatin in gram many thanks

  55. Ais- gelatin 2 grams. 1 cup of liquid is 250 ml. rhubarb is so particular and works so well with strawberry… it’s a bit sour so something along those lines.

  56. Anis says:

    Thank you so much Aran for the quick answer !

  57. Anis says:

    Hi I am in the process of making this entremet I was so happy When I scored some rhubarb stalks this morning I am close to the end I Still have to make the rhubarb mousse but I have a last question after glazing with the rhubarb do I have to freeze it again ? Chill it or keep it at room temperature? Thank you

  58. Anis- you can put it in the freezer to set for a few minutes or refrigerate it.

  59. Anis says:

    Aran my friends really enjoyed the entremet! this morning we threw a surprise Baby shower for 2 close friends and the cake was part of the a la Amy Atlas dessert table and it was a hit! Their sweet words really made my day in French in the text : ‘ce gateau est vraiment trop bon il est si délicat et léger a la fois un vrai bonheur!’ thank you for your generosity!

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