In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm posting the recipe for this cute little dessert. Usually I like to assure people that the recipes I post are easier than they look, but I'm afraid I can't say that about this one. There are definitely easier ways to make a raspberry mousse than the recipe I'm giving here, but I just love the texture of this one so much that I felt I had to share it. I figured that nothing says "I love you" like putting in a little time and effort into making something nice for your sweetheart, so I might as well go ahead post something a little challenging.
Last year I wanted to put raspberry mousse on the menu for Valentine's Day at the restaurant, so that week I experimented with a few different methods. I found the best texture came from a mix of whipped cream and meringue, set with a small amount of gelatin. I played with the ratios until I got just the texture I was looking for. This mousse is rich & creamy, yet still light & airy. Also, it holds its shape well and looks great on the plate. A big chocolate heart made of dusted cocoa powder helps raise the "Awwwwwww" factor.
Because the mousse has a fluffy, almost marshmallow like texture, I serve it with a few homemade marshmallows on the side. Since the two recipes use similar ingredients and equipment, I find that if you are going to make one, you might as well make the other. The mousse keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge, so you can make this a couple days ahead of time and then enjoy some leftovers later.
Prep time 45 minutes, Cook time 15 minutes. Rest time 3 hours.
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup + 2 tbs sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
1 cup 35% whipping cream
3 pinches salt
1 1/2 tbs powdered gelatin
1 1/4 cups graham crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 tbs water
cocoa powder for dusting
1. Put the raspberries in a small pot with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of water & a pinch of salt. Gently simmer for 10 minutes and then push through a strainer to remove the seeds. Set aside raspberry syrup until needed.
2. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 pinch salt and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. To help stabilize the meringue, add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional). Set aside the meringue and use the electric mixer to whisk the whipping cream with 2 tbs sugar & 1 pinch salt, until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the meringue into the whipped cream.
3. Mix 1 1/2 tbs gelatin with 1/4 cup water and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom. Gently heat the raspberry syrup and then add the gelatin. Stir the syrup thoroughly to fully incorporate the gelatin. Fold the raspberry syrup into the egg whites and cream. Make sure that the syrup is mixed in well, but be careful not to overwork the mousse so that it stays light and airy.
4. Pour the mix into a greased mould and let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Your can use individual moulds, or one large one and then cut the mousse into portions after it has set. I find that small plastic cups work perfectly as moulds. After the mousse has set, you can you a pair of scissors to cut down the side of the cup to easily remove the mousse.
5. While the mousse is setting, make the graham cracker crust. Melt the butter and then mix it with the graham crackers and 2 tbs water. Press into a aluminum baking tray and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then use a knife or cookie cutter to cut 2" diameter bases to rest the mousse on.
1. Cut a heart shape out of the center of a piece of paper and then lay the paper down over a plate. Put 4 tbs cocoa powder in a strainer and then dust the plate with the cocoa. Carefully remove the paper and then repeat for the other plates.