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A Moment of Zen

Beautiful things can bring a sense of peace and pause. Let this dessert from Cheryl Wakerhauser’s ‘Modern French Pastry’ help share that. This tart is a celebration of fruits rouges (red fruits), featuring a raspberry mousse, blackberry coulis, black currant pastry cream and whatever you fancy for the fruit décor. Sure to be a show-stopper… it got your attention, no? Seek out a high-quality crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) from a local wine shop. For this recipe, we used a Silikomart Yin Yang paisley mould and a 28cm (11”) tart ring. Alternatively, you can mould the mousse in a 20cm (8”) cake ring lined with acetate. You will also need a 20cm (8”) cake ring for the blackberry coulis.


Serves 12


  • 100g egg yolks
  • 5g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 310g all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and baking
  • Pinch of salt
  • 140g powdered sugar
  • 240g unsalted butter, cold
  • 13g powdered gelatin
  • 65g cold water
  • 385g raspberry puree
  • 190g powdered sugar
  • 385g heavy cream
  • 7g powdered gelatin
  • 35g cold water
  • 140g Soaking Syrup
  • 140g raspberry puree
  • 5g powdered gelatin
  • 25g cold water
  • 190g blackberry puree
  • 60g sugar
  • 400g milk
  • 80g egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 32g cornstarch
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 30g crème de cassis
  • 5g (1 tsp) fresh lime juice
  • Plums, pitted, as needed
  • Edible flowers
  • Watermelon, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, and Strawberries, as needed


In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla and set aside. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and combine on low speed. Cut the butter into 1cm  (0.5“) cubes and add to the flour mixture. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 minutes. Do not overmix. If the mixture starts to stick together, it will not absorb the eggs and it will be very sticky and hard to roll. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix just until incorporated and you have a homogenous dough, about 30 seconds. Form the dough into a flattened circle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour minimum.

In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine the gelatin with the cold water and stir well to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

Place the puree in a medium saucepan. Sift the powdered sugar and whisk it into the puree. Heat the puree over medium heat until slightly warm, about 2 minutes.

Place the cream in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk to soft peak. Melt the gelatin on low in the microwave. Swirl the bowl to stir the gelatin every 30 seconds, until it is completely melted. Whisking constantly by hand, slowly add a third of the slightly warm puree to the gelatin. Add the remaining puree and whisk to combine. Add half of the puree to the cream and fold with a whisk, followed by the second half. Pour into the paisley mould and freeze overnight

In a medium bowl, combine the gelatin with the cold water and stir well to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

In a small saucepan, heat the soaking syrup until warm. Add the gelatin and stir until melted. Slowly stir in the puree. Refrigerate.

Place a 20cm (8”) cake ring on a half sheet pan lined with parchment. Pull the parchment up the outer sides of the ring and secure it with a large rubber band.

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the cold water and stir well to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

In a small saucepan, combine the puree and sugar and cook over medium heat just until warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the solid gelatin mass to the puree and stir until the gelatin is melted. Pour into the cake ring. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine all the pastry cream ingredients, except the crème de cassis and lime juice. Blend them with an immersion blender and then place the bowl in the microwave. Cook on high until the top and sides of the pastry cream are set and jiggle like jelly when you shake the bowl, 5-7 minutes. The centre will still be a bit liquid and the sides almost curdled.

With a clean immersion blender, mix the pastry cream to combine, scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to blend in the centre and also just at the surface until smooth. If, after blending, the cream is still very runny and has not thickened, continue to cook and blend until you have the consistency of pudding. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to use, transfer the pastry cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the crème de cassis and lime juice and stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Roll out the tart dough to a thickness of 0.5cm (0.2”). Line a 28cm (11”) tart shell or ring with the dough and chill for at least 20 minutes. Before baking, weigh the dough down with flour wrapped in plastic wrap.

Bake until the edges look set, 20-22 minutes. Remove the plastic and continue to bake until the bottom of the tart is light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.

Spread half of the pastry cream in the tart shell. Unmould the frozen blackberry coulis and place it in the centre. Top with the remaining pastry cream.

Heat the raspberry mirror to 86°F (30°C), stirring carefully so as not to introduce any air bubbles. Unmould the frozen raspberry mousse and place it on a wire rack over a half sheet pan. Pour the mirror over the mousse to cover all sides and let sit for a minute. Using a large offset spatula, lift the mousse off the rack and position it in the upper left hand corner of the tart shell. Decorate the other half with the fresh fruit and flowers.