Recipe: Claire’s white chocolate mousse with raspberry, elderflower and lemon thyme sauce

Claire Lara

Claire Lara, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2010, wowed the judges with her sublime desserts, executed with down-to-earth flair. ‘Meeting the great pâtissier chef Pierre Hermé during the series was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, something that doesn’t really happen in your career,’ says the 30-year-old Merseysider (and new mum to baby son George). Here’s a simplified take on Claire’s winning pud to try at home. ‘I wanted to create a chocolate dessert that showed people how easy it is to try new things, and to use unexpected everyday flavours like lemon thyme that you can easily grow in the garden and that works so well when combined with something sweet,’ she says.


Serves 6


  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 150g raspberries


  • 2 gelatine sheets such as Supercook
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod split
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 300g white chocolate broken into pieces
  • 300ml double cream


  • approx 150g raspberries
  • 6 tbsp white chocolate shavings


  • 6 x 300ml glasses or dessert dishes

  1. For the sauce, place the elderflower cordial and lemon thyme with 2 tbsp water  in a small pan and, over a low heat, very gently bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in half the raspberries, coating them thoroughly in the liquid, then leave to macerate for at least an hour. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, pushing through as much of the raspberry flesh as you can. Discard the pips and thyme. Chill until required.
  2. For the mousse, first make a custard. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften. Pour the milk into a small pan and add the split vanilla pod. Bring to the boil then remove and set aside for 5 minutes to infuse. Discard the vanilla pod.
  3. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl for about 5 minutes until thick and pale. Slowly stir in the warm milk then return the mixture to a clean pan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine and stir into the custard until dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm to help prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. Once the custard is cool, place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water to melt. Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks.
  6. Using a hand whisk, mix the melted chocolate into the custard, then lightly fold in the whipped cream. Transfer to the fridge for an hour to chill until set and just firm.
  7. To assemble, place 3-4 raspberries in the bottom of each glass or dish, then spoon over a tablespoon of the raspberry sauce. Top with a little of the chocolate mousse. Repeat until you have three layers of raspberry and three of mousse (ending with mousse). Cover and leave to chill until required. When ready to serve, sprinkle with white chocolate shavings.

ON THE SIDE Serve the desserts on their own, or with biscuits of your choice or with puff pastry dippers: on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, lay out a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and score into roughly 10cm x 4cm rectangles, or circles as shown here. Bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 10-12 minutes or until crisped and golden. 

First published in YOU, Mail on Sunday


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