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I’m not having a particularly good run of cooking recently. Perhaps it is the maternal figure continually nagging me to go learn how to do things properly, or the numerous ‘I told you you should have done this’ (and not from my own head, I’ve long learned to block that out).

Anyway, this sad attempt looks pretty, and the strawberries were awesome – heady scents, and sweet, straight from the farm. On the downside, the genoise was dense, with large rough crumbs and eggy, while the mousseline…well…where to begin with the mousseline.

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My first attempt at making the pastry cream flopped. It resulted in a pastry cream so bouncy and thick, I could imagine it talking back. Yes, it had that much attitude. I tried salvaging it by adding milk a little at a time, and it eventually smoothed out again. Which made for a decent pastry cream, but didn’t come together as a mousseline upon adding butter the next day.

The second attempt looked reasonable, but was possibly undercooked, and ended up too runny, and not setting. So, it went into the freezer so I could get a reasonable shot, but someone tilted it before it had frozen, so that the surface wasn’t smooth anymore.

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Once out of the freezer, it melted really quickly, and was too sweet for my liking (which says a lot, seeing what a sweet tooth I have).

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I don’t want to give up, it’s such a beautiful cake, so I’m putting a call out – Any suggestions, recipes, tips and hints to make this work?

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