The Pink Dessert

The final dish of my meatless menu for the 2011 ZEITmagazin cooking competition is a variation of strawberry. I usually make the cake using rhubarb instead of strawberry and yoghurt for the mousse, but unfortunately the rhubarb season was already over when the competition was held. Because Goji-berries are about the same size as raisins, I used them similarly by soaking them in rum and adding them afterwards to the sponge cake base. Already in the cake alone there are three variations of strawberry present: diced and orange liquer marinated strawberry pieces, a light strawberry-yoghurt mousse and a quarter of raw strawberry at the top.

The Pink Dessert: Strawberry with Goji-Berries and Pink Pepper

Next to the cake I added a coulis with some rosewater, which – used carefully – really emphasizes the fruity taste of the strawberry. The sorbet is based on a recipe by David Lebovitz. I used less sugar to keep the sorbet more refreshing. I also included a pinch of vanilla. You can definitely taste that something is there, but you will never find out its vanilla. Similarly to rosewater, the flowery note of the vanilla also enhances the fruity taste of the strawberry. Don’t panic if the color of your sorbet is different to the one depicted. I always get a new color when making this sorbet because strawberries and rosé wines have quite a big color range. I also wanted to have a crispy component on the plate, so I experimented with different chips. The best result came with this tuile, where I added some pink pepper. Pink pepper is sweet too and works really well with strawberry, so it was a nice complement.

Strawberry with Goji-Berries and Pink Pepper

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours

Yield: 20 portions

Strawberry with Goji-Berries and Pink Pepper


  • 4 eggs
  • 50 g quark
  • 230 g sugar
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 100 ml milk
  • 100g dried Goji berries
  • 10 tbsp rum
  • 3 tbsp + 30 g flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp rosewater
  • 12 leaves gelatin
  • 500 ml yoghurt
  • 600 ml cream
  • 1450 g strawberries
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 30 ml orange liquer
  • 250 ml dry rosé wine
  • 1 cm piece vanilla pod
  • 60 g butter
  • 3 tbsp pink pepper


For the sponge base (38x25cm cake tin with tall removable frame)
Cover Goji berries with rum and soak for 30 minutes. Drain rum and reserve. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350F Separate the eggs. Cream together egg yolks and 40g sugar, then add quark, pinch of cinnamon, 100ml milk, grated peel of 1 lemon and 5 tbsp of the reserved Goji rum. Beat the egg whites with 40g sugar until stiff and gently fold into the sponge mixture. Add the Goji berries and 3 tbsp flour. Cover the cake tin with baking parchment, add the dough, spread evenly and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Afterwards, remove from the oven and wait until the cake chills to room temperature. Carefully remove from the cake tin, clean the tin, cover with clingfilm and carefully put the cake back.
For the topping
Wash 300g strawberries, discard greens and cut into small cubes. Soak 2 gelatin leaves in cold water, squeeze and gently heat with the strawberries and the orange liquer in a small pan. When the gelatin is completely dissolved, remove from the heat and let chill to room temperature. Place 2cm wide lines of strawberry cubes on the cake with enough distance to each other. Refrigerate until the gelatin gets solid.
Wash 600g strawberries, discard greens, puree in a blender and strain through a fine sieve. Mix with 500ml yoghurt and season with icing sugar and lemon juice to taste. The mousse should not be too sweet, otherwise the freshness of the yoghurt gets lost. Whip the cream until stiff. Soak 10 gelatin leaves in cold water, squeeze and dissolve with 5 tbsp of the strawberry mixture in a small warm pan. Add gelatin mixture to the strawberry-yoghurt base and immediately stir together. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Taste again and adjust sweetness with icing sugar and lemon juice. Cover cake with strawberry-yoghurt mousse, smooth the top to an even surface and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
For the tuiles
Wash 50g strawberries, discard greens and belnd with 100g sugar, 30g flour and 60g soft butter. Refrigerate until solid, then spread thin layers on 2 silicon mats and sprinkle with freshly coarsely ground pink pepper. Place mats on baking trays and bake at 200°C / 390 F until brown. Remove mats from baking trays and chill to room temperature. Break tuile in pieces.
For the sauce
Wash 200g strawberries, discard greens, puree in a blender and strain through a fine sieve. Add 1/4 tsp rosewater and adjust to taste with icing sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
For the sorbet
Wash 250g strawberries, discard greens and cut into pieces. Bring rosé and 50g sugar to a boil, remove from heat, add the strawberries and the seeds of the vanilla pod piece. Cover and let chill to room temperature. Blend to a fine puree, strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate. 30-40 minutes before plating prepare the sorbet in your ice cream machine.
To assemble
Cut the cake into cubes. Whip the cream and place one drop on each cube. Wash 4-5 strawberries, cut lengthwise into quarters and place one on each cream drop. Lean a tuile piece against the cake. Draw a strip with the sauce and place a quenelle of sorbet next to it.