Saturday, February 11, 2012

Raspberry Mousse

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                 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.
 Serves 4

Ingredients

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

graham crust:
1 1/4 cups graham crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 tbs water

cocoa powder for dusting
homemade marshmallows

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.


To Serve:
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.
2. Place the graham crust in the center of the heart and then place the mousse on top of the crust. Garnish the mousse with fresh raspberries and homemade marshmallows.

13 comments:

  1. Looks delicious as do all your recipes.

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  2. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the recipes.

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  3. Thanks for this recipe! I love it! Just wondering, what would happen if I didn't add in the egg whites? I need to make this for tomorrow afternoon (so I'm planning on making it real soon) and I hope you see this in time!! Help.

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  4. Hi Purple jalapeno. You can make the mousse without adding the egg whites, but the texture wont be the same. The egg whites are what makes it soft and light, yet strong enough to hold it's shape. You can replace the 2 eggs whites with about 1 cup more whipping cream and it should turn out ok. I hope you get this one time! Let me know how it turns out.

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  5. What happens if you make it without the gelatin? Thanks

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    1. You can omit the gelatin but it will definitely not hold its shape. If you do you will have to either serve it in a bowl or a pie shell deep enough to hold the mousse.

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  6. Thank you for all the hard work you did testing this. I wonder, what advice could you give me regarding the sieving of the raspberries. I used a small metal strainer and found it took quite a lot of work to get the syrup through. Thanks.

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    1. Because they have so many seeds, raspberries can take a lot of work to strain, but there are a couple things you can do to make your life easier. First, make sure your syrup is still at least a little warm when you strain it. If it cools too much, it will thicken and be harder to pass. If you are still having trouble, return the syrup to the pot and stir in some water to loosen it. Afterward you can bring the syrup back to a simmer to boil off any excess water. Hope this helps!

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    2. Thank you! I had actually let the syrup cool before attempting to strain it the first time - I didn't think of doing it while it was still hot! Going to try it today!

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  7. If I can ask you another question - at what point do you add the cream of tartar to the egg whites? The first time I tried it I added it to the unbeaten eggs, but it sat like a lump, I had to stop the mixer and use a fork to spread it around. But I don't want to leave it too late... should I do it when the eggs just become frothy?

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    1. Hi Deb. Sorry for the late reply. That's exactly when you want to add the cream of tartar. Start beating the whites and have the measured cream of tartare ready nearby. As the mixer is going, tap the powder in a little at a time and you shouldn't get any clumps.

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  8. Hi Derek, My daughter is going to make this for her school exam and after reading through the ingredients and then following the procedure I cannot see where you add the salt. Also the ingredients says 1 cup of sugur and 2 tbs of sugar. I can see you use 3/4 of a cup and then the 2 tbs sugar. Where does the other 1/4 go? Kind regards

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    1. Hello,

      Thank you for pointing out a couple things that were unclear in the recipe. You're absolutely right that I left out a 1/4 cup sugar from the recipe. The first step should have read "1/2 cup sugar" The recipe will still work with or without the extra 1/4 cup sugar. When you make the raspberry syrup you can adjust the sweetness to whatever your personal taste is.

      As for the salt, it is a very small amount and you can add it at any time before you set the mousse. You only want enough to boost the flavours a bit, without making the dish come out salty. The best strategy is to add just one small pinch to each component (the syrup, the meringue & the whipped cream)along the way.

      I hope this helps your daughter on her school project. I appreciate the input and have updated the recipe.

      Cheers,
      Derek

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