Herbal Desserts For Valentine's Day: White Chocolate-Basil Mousse and Strawberry Parfait

| February/March 2007

There’s no better way to signal your “serious intentions” than with this seriously delicious and showy sweet. A white chocolate pastry cream is infused with basil, lightened with whipped cream, and layered with a vibrant berry sauce. I’ve used strawberry, but blackberry or raspberry work equally well. MAKES ABOUT FIVE 3/4 CUP SERVINGS

Strawberry sauce

• 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
• 4 to 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, or to taste

White chocolate-basil mousse

• 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
• 3 cups heavy cream, divided
• 5 teaspoons cold water
• 1 teaspoon powdered unflavored gelatin
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
• 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Garnish (optional)

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