Oct 16, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Strawberry n’ Basil

Robert Nieto's Strawberry n’ Basil.

Strawberry sorbet, basil cake, white chocolate-fennel pollen mousse, white glaze, verjus gel and brown sugar sablé by Robert Nieto, Pastry Chef of Jackson Family Wines in Fulton, CA.


Yield: 16 servings

Robert Nieto, Pastry Chef, Jackson Family Wines, Fulton, CA.

Strawberry Sorbet:

  • 11 oz/306 g water
  • 1.6 oz/45 g glucose
  • 5.6 oz/158 g granulated sugar
  • 18 oz/509 g strawberry puree

1. Combine water, glucose, and sugar in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Chill base.

2. Stir puree into sorbet base. Process in ice cream machine and freeze until ready to use.

Basil Cake: 

  • 9.8 oz/275 g all-purpose flour
  • 0.3 oz/20 g chardonnay grape skin flour
  • 0.15 oz/5 g baking powder
  • 0.15 oz/5 g baking soda
  • 0.14 oz/4 g salt
  • 1.1 oz/33 g basil leaves, blanched and drained
  • 0.07 oz/2 g lemon juice
  • 8.9 oz/250 g granulated sugar
  • 2.7 oz/ 77 g chardonnay grape seed oil
  • 3.5 oz/ 100 g eggs
  • 5 oz/150 g yogurt
  • 1.7 oz/50 g heavy cream

1. Sift all-purpose flour, chardonnay flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Place basil, lemon juice, sugar, and oil in a blender and blend at high speed for 20 seconds.

3. Add eggs, yogurt, and heavy cream to basil mixture and blend for 10 seconds.

4. Pour mixture in bowl. Add dry ingredients in two stages and mix well to prevent any lumps. Pour batter in a greased two 4 x 7 loaf pan. Bake at 250°F for 20 minutes. Let cool on rack before trimming the edges.

White Chocolate-Fennel Pollen Mousse: 

  • 2 gelatin sheets, gold
  • 4.4 oz/125 g heavy cream
  • 1.7 oz/50 g granulated sugar
  • 0.03 oz/1 g fennel pollen
  • 5 oz/150 g white chocolate
  • 10.7 oz/300 g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

1. Bloom gelatin in ice water until ready to use.

2. Place heavy cream, sugar, and fennel pollen and bring to a boil. Set aside for 10 minutes to infuse. 

3. Bring mixture back to a boil and strain over chocolate along with the gelatin. Stir well. Let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Fold in whipped cream in three stages. Pipe mousse into 1 ½” half sphere and ½” sphere molds. Freeze for a few hours. Unmold and place two halves together to create a sphere. Place back in freezer until ready to use.

White Glaze:

  • 4.4 oz/125 g milk
  • 0.8 oz/25 g corn syrup
  • 10.5 oz/300 g white chocolate
  • 2 gelatin sheets, bronze
  • 0.03oz/1 g water-coloring white color

1. Place gelatin in ice water.

2. Bring milk and corn syrup to a boil. Pour over white chocolate, stir well. Add gelatin, mix well.

3. Let mixture cool to 28°C/84°F for dipping spheres.

Verjus Gel:

  • 10.7 oz/300 g white verjus
  • 1.7 oz/50 g granulated sugar
  • 0.07 oz/2 g vanilla beans
  • 0.10 oz/3 g agar agar

1. Place all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a full boil. Strain mixture. Chill for 2 hours.

2. Place gel in a blender and mix at high speed for 1 minute. Strain. Reserve in squeeze bottle.

Brown Sugar Sablé:

  • 8 oz/227 g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 10.7 oz/300 g all-purpose flour
  • 4.4 oz/125 g brown sugar
  • 0.03 oz/1 g salt

1. Place all ingredients in electric mixer and mix on low speed to a crumble-like texture.

2. Bake at 325°F for 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely.

3. Place sable in food processor and blend to a small crumble. Reserve in container.


  • Micro basil and wild alpine strawberries

Place basil cake on plate. Dip 1 medium and 2 small spheres in white glaze. Place spheres on cake. Pipe verjus gel in various places. Spoon sable crumble on side of cake. Quenelle sorbet on top of crumble. Garnish with basil and strawberries.

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