“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse … yes, it’s that time of the year yet again. SPRING! I love it. It’s euphoria all around with new leaves unfurling everyday, flowering tomato plants that hold promise of a ‘good crop’, herbs that finally begin to expand like there’s no tomorrow. Also days when quark gets made beautifully and with ease!Spring And if there is homemade quark on hand, can dessert be far behind? I make huge amounts of quark, a curd cheese I love to love. Ever since I first discovered it 5 years ago, thanks to Hoglet K from Down Under, it has brought about a change in the way I think ‘desserts‘.Quark dessertsQuark isn’t just the sweet way home. I use it often to add wonderful tangy flavour to chicken like in theis Chicken Quark Cross Over Puff Pastry, as part of creamy dressings, in cold potato salads, in stir fries etc. A little goes a long way and once you start exploring, you will find a billion novel ways to include it in your everyday food. 

Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI made Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse just before we left for a short vacation {which might explain why it’s been so quiet around PAB}. The mousse was addictive and a huge hit with everyone. It got added texture from some chocolate coated homemade granola which I was experimenting with.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse I love the way the colours, textures and flavours came together in this dessert which is a celebration of spring. These days we have a virtual flood of seasonal fruit in the market with cape gooseberries {locally called ‘rhasbhari’ meaning filled with juice} and strawberries ruling the roost. It’s a riot of colour with the fruit piled up high at local bazaars and on handcarts lining the roadside.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse With daytime highs already hitting the early 30’s, it’s just a matter of days before summer arrives. Then of course we’ll welcome days of luscious stone fruit; sizzling hot 45C+ temperatures will be part of the deal though! Until then, this is a great way to enjoy spring fruit.

Summer Salad with orange vinaigrette You can go the salad route too with them! Rocket or mixed salad greens, strawberries, cape gooseberries, feta or cottage cheese, grapes, walnuts, orange, red onion all tossed in a nice tangy orange vinaigrette!


Recipe: Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse your picture

Summary: Light, healthy, addictive, refreshing, Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse is a wonderful spring dessert. Use fruit in season to give a burst of natural flavours and sweetness! Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • Quark Mousse
  • 300g quark, chilled
  • 300g low fat cream, chilled
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  • 200g strawberries, chopped
  • 100g cape gooseberries, chopped
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean shell {I save mine in a sugar jar after using the insides}


  1. Quark Mousse
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and thick.
  3. Reserve 100g quark mousse and 50g fruit reduction for topping. Mix the remaining mousse and fruit together gently and spoon into serving dishes/glasses.
  4. Add a sprinkling of chocolate coated granola if desired.
  5. Keep 4-6 tsps of fruit, and mix the rest through the reserved mousse. This will just give additional layers of colour. Top the  glasses with the second mix, and then top with the remaining reserved fruit reduction.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit, mint leaves and chocolate granola.
  7. Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  8. Place all ingredients in a non reactive heavy bottom pan and simmer until it gets nice and thick and syrupy. Cool completely and then chill. Use as required. {This can be made a couple of days before and refrigerated. Other than reducing work, it also preserves the fruit for a little longer}.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
Ruth Stout

Raspberry Pistachio RouladeThe Raspberry Pistachio Roulade captures the colours of spring nicely. It’s light, refreshing, moist and quick to make. Even better that you can make it ahead. I made it while experimenting with GF roulades. Made one with just almond meal and didn’t let it bake enough, so it stuck to just about everything in sight. I was really annoyed as I had baked in a hurry!

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade

The word roulade originates from the French word “rouler” meaning “to roll”.

Sometimes you should just sit back and relax and bake with time on hand. Hurry does make curry and that’s just what happened. While the failed roll was baking, I got the filling together. The filling was finger licking good. {My earlier Gluten Free Strawberry Almond Roulade came out really well}

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade I did unroll the sticky roulade and dry bake it and served up some sort of Eton mess! Yet the filling played on my mind, so another normal Swiss roll was baked at leisure the next morning. The good thing was that the filling was ready!

Coco So while the roll baked and then cooled, I spent the morning out with Coco in my little garden. While I was  ‘shooting’ ladybirds, she stuck her nose into every tomato plant, tried to catch a butterfly or two, begged for a game of ball … she’s a little busy body!

Spring I love this part of the year, spring as it should be, but a little muddled up. The weather really warmed up 2 weeks ago and we thought we’d skipped spring altogether.

Spring Then some ‘western disturbances’ etc hit the area, some rain, scattered hail etc. It’s pretty much like Spring now. Whatever it is, it’s nice.

SpringThe plants are happy. Tomatoes are GROWING, Thai chilis’ full of flowers, eggplant and lime are in full bloom, and the kumquat tree laden again. The oregano sprigs have taken root and look quite happy, as does the mint. Dill and coriander play home to ladybirds and bees as the flowers on them bloom. Pretty all the way!

Spring 5Pretty was the roulade too. Baked, rolled, cooled and ready to go, it got put together in a matter of minutes. I dressed it up with a little leftover cream and sprinkles prior to serving.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade I used a frozen raspberry fruit concentrate from Del Monte to add a touch of tang and flavour. I’ve used it in the Dark Chocolate, Raspberry & Quark Layered Cake & in the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake

You could also use a berry preserve, maybe even a bitter marmalade. The filling was given a lift with some white baking chocolate that a friend sweetly sent, gifts like these a constant source of inspiration.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade Pistachios went in for colour, and because I just love them! The good thing was that as the Raspberry Pistachio Roulade sat in clingwrap overnight, the cake and the pistachio nuts took in some moisture, the cake becoming beautifully moist. The nuts swelled up and added a nice texture to every bite.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade You could just slather it with preserves and serve it for tea, fill it with whipped cream for a comforting dessert on the go, or give it an adult twist   spiking the cream with your favourite liqueur. If you use kirsch, you could consider some balsamic cherries in the filling. Another good option might be frangelico and nutella, or maybe kahlua and coffee cream. Let your imagination lead you.

urban dazzle ceramicsThe Raspberry Pistachio Roulade was plated on this classic white ceramic platter from one of my favourite online stores Urban Dazzle. It’s actually a snack platter that accommodates a dip or relish on the side quite nicely. I use it often, and this time it doubled up as a dessert tray! White always works!!


Recipe: Raspberry Pistachio Roulade 

your picture

Summary: The Raspberry Pistachio Roulade captures the colours of spring nicely. It’s light, refreshing, moist and quick to make. It’s a nice make ahead simple homey dessert. {serves 6-8}

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Swiss Roll
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 75g powdered sugar {50+25g}
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Filling
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 50g white baking chocolate
  • 3-4 tbsps Castor sugar
  • 30g shelled pistachios
  • 75g raspberry fruit filling {or a fruit preserve}
  • Slivered pistachios and flower sprinkles for top


  1. Swiss Roll
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a Swiss roll tin with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the egg whites with 25g sugar to stiff peaks. Reserve.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the yols with the reamining 50g sugar until thick and mousse like. Add the scraped vanilla bean and beat again.
  5. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and gently fold in.
  6. Next gently fold in the beaten egg whites in 3 lots.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sliced pistachio nute if you like.
  8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown and firm to touch.
  9. While this is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel, bigger than the size of the tray, and sift sugar evenly over it.
  10. Once the roll is baked {might look uneven but don’t worry. Mine was uneven, but came together quite fine}, overturn immediately {very carefully} onto the sugar sifted towel, and gently peel parchment off. Trim the edges if required.
  11. Now roll with the towel lengthwise, and leave to cool completely. {The longer side will be the length of the roll}
  12. Cream Filling
  13. Place the white chooclate with 50ml cream in a heat proof bowl and run in microwave for 1 minute {until melted}. Stir until smooth, and then cool.
  14. Beat the remaining 100ml cream and sugar until medium peaks form. Fold in the white chocolate mixture.
  15. Assembling

  16. Unroll the cooled cake, place on a sheet of parchment, and spread the raspberry fruit filling over it with an offset spatual.

  17. Sprinkle over with chopped pistachios.
  18. Sp

    read the cream filling over it, leaving a little border right around to avoid the filling oozing out.

  19. Now with the help of the parchment paper, roll it right back into a roll, pulling the paper slightly to make a tight roll.

  20. Place seam down on clingwrap and chill for a couple of hours. {I left mine overnight}. Unwrap gently and lay seam side down on your serving platter.

  21. Pipe over some left over cream filling, slivered pistachios and colourful sprinkles if you like.
  22. Slice with a sharp serrated knife and serve! Happy SPRING!


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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