French Strawberry Mousse

Makes 6 six-ounce servings
Adapted from Monet's Table, Simon & Schuster, 1989.

2 cups ripe strawberries
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 egg whites
Extra strawberries and confectioners sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Stem and hull the strawberries, cut in half, place in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar, process again until sugar is incorporated.

Butter the inside of 6 six-ounce soufflé or baking ramekins. Make a baking collar around each dish by wrapping aluminum foil tightly around the outside of the baking dish to extend 2-inches above the top edge of each dish. Butter the inside of the foil collars to prevent the mousse from sticking. The collars help guide the mousse to rise above the height of the baking dish.

Beat the egg whites just until stiff and gently fold in the strawberry puree using a large metal spoon. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dishes filling just to the top, gently smooth the top of the batter.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the mousse has risen and is lightly browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, remove the collars and serve garnished with a fresh strawberry. Make extra strawberry puree if you would like to serve with the mousse.