with basil cream

Kirk Whittle, corporate chef pâtissier at Hélène Darroze, describes our lovely recipe for strawberries with basil cream, and introduces some of today’s best strawberries.

“Some of today’s most popular strawberries have the prettiest names: Gariguette, Mara de Bois, Ciflorette, Cigaline, Elsanta and Charlotte among them. We also love to use wild strawberries. I have three favourite varieties. The first is Ciflorette: a red-orange fruit with an elongated look and the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. The second, Mara de Bois, is bright red in colour and has an irregular shape. It is a hybrid strawberry with an intense flavour, a strong fragrance and little acidity. My third favourite, Gariguette, is an old and much-loved French variety which produces sweet, aromatic, elongated fruits early in the season. I chose to use it in this dessert for its acidity, which marries well with the olive oil and the basil.”

Serves 10


To prepare the crumble:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg C.
  • Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Roll out 0.7mm thick.
  • Leave to rest for a few minutes.
  • Cut into small cubes.
  • Cook in the oven for approx 30 mins.

To prepare the sorbet:

  • Wash and dry the strawberries.
  • Cut off the stems.
  • Mix to make a purée and pass through a fine sieve.
  • Stir in the sugar and taste to see if it needs lemon juice.
  • Churn in an ice cream machine and then place into the freezer.

To prepare the basil/olive oil chantilly:

  • Separate the basil leaves from their stalks and cut up with scissors.
  • Bring the cream to the boil and add the basil.
  • Mix with a hand blender, strain, add the sugar and bring to the boil again.
  • Pour onto the egg yolks.
  • Strain, cool and add the olive oil.
  • Place in a kitchen siphon.

To serve:

  • Take three fresh gariguette strawberries per person, cut in half, sprinkle with some icing sugar and place in the middle of the plate. 
  • Place a quenelle of strawberry sorbet on top and some olive oil crumble around.
  • Siphon the basil cream to finish, and top with fresh violas, coriander, cress and a little of the Spanish olive oil.


For the olive oil crumble:

  • 42g caster sugar
  • 42g olive oil
  • 125g flour
  • pinch baking powder pinch fine salt

For the strawberry sorbet:

  • 825g fresh gariguette strawberry purée
  • 150g sugar
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice

For the basil/olive oil chantilly:

  • 640g French cream 35%
  • 25g fresh basil leaves
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 45g Spanish olive oil (Verde Esmeralda Red Diamond)


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