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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raspberry Mousse

After preparing my menu for that party I catered a couple weeks ago, I came across some pre-made phyllo cups and pre-made chocolate cups in my pantry. I figured this event would be a great opportunity to use them up before our big move... but what to put in them? I thought about making a rich chocolate pudding. I thought about making a tart and sassy lemon curd. I finally settled on trying a gloriously pink and fresh tasting raspberry mousse. Not only was the color absolutely fantastic, but the flavor tasted so strongly of freshly picked raspberries and the mousse had a perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Now, I'm going to tell you a wonderful secret: I made it using frozen raspberries from the grocery store! I'm not sure it would have tasted any better or different if I had used fresh. What a wonderful thing!

The first step, after letting the raspberries thaw, is to puree them with some of the sugar. Once they are pureed, run them through a sieve to remove the vast majority of the seeds. Nothing ruins the great mouth feel of this mousse faster than getting a mouth full of raspberries seeds.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cool water so that it can soften. After about 5 minutes, place the bowl of softened gelatin in the microwave and gently heat on low until the gelatin becomes a clear liquid. Pour it into the strained raspberries and whisk to mix.

In a bowl over gently simmering water, whisk the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until they reach about 140° F. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the raspberries.

Using the same bowl you used for the egg whites, whip the cream until it also forms firm peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the raspberries as well. The last step is to test for sweetness. Obviously, the amount of sugar required will vary depending on the tartness of the raspberries and personal preference. If the mixture needs a little more sugar, stir in powdered sugar until it tastes right to you.

If you are serving the mousse in bowls, divide the mousse between them and refrigerate up to two days before serving. If you are planning on putting the mousse into small tart shells, phyllo cups, or chocolate cups, you can pipe immediately into the vessels and refrigerate until serving or you can place the mousse, covered, into the refrigerator until you are ready to pipe. If you are using phyllo cups, I strongly recommend waiting to fill them until the last minute, lest the phyllo lose its snap.


Raspberry Mousse
Yield: approximately 6-8 cups
Adapted from Food & Wine

2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 TBS cool water
2 10-ounce bags of frozen raspberries, thawed
3/4 cups of granulated sugar, divided
2 large, room temperature egg whites
1 cup heavy whipping cream
powdered sugar (optional)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cool water to soften for five minutes. Puree the thawed berries with 1/2 cup of the sugar and run through a sieve to remove the seeds. Heat the softened gelatin in the microwave on low heat until the gelatin has melted and the mixture is clear. Stir the gelatin into the raspberries.

Over a pan of gently simmering water, whisk the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until they reach about 140° F. Remove the bowl from the heat and use a mixer to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the raspberry mixture.

In the same bowl used for the egg whites, whip the heavy cream until it makes stiff peaks as well. Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry mixture. Taste the mousse and add a little powdered sugar, if necessary, to balance the tartness of the berries.

Divide into bowls and chill, pipe immediately into small tart shells (or other shells) and chill, or place all of the mousse in an air tight container to chill until ready to pipe into tart shells. The mousse holds well in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Oh, I almost forgot... garnishing this mousse with curls of white chocolate is the perfect complement! What a delightful combination.

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