Category Archives: Mousse

Making White Chocolate Mousse

I think of white chocolate mousse a medium for another flavor versus an end in itself. I mean honestly…is there anyone out there who’s really that into white chocolate? However we can use the cocoa butter that white chocolate contains to give an ethereal herbal flavor like mint a form and a texture. Since we only need the white chocolate for its foam-reinforcing cocoa butter, not its flavor, we can go lighter than we would with a chocolate mousse. I make mine with:

4 ounces pâte à bombe
4 ounces white chocolate
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds, stir it and zap again. Repeat until the white chocolate it about 70% melted, then use the residual heat to melt it the rest of the way. Simply stir until it’s smooth.

Combine it in a bowl with the pâte à bombe.

Stir it together. As with chocolate mousse, the mixture will stiffen up a bit. Worry not.

Now whisk in the whipped cream about a third at a time.

Done!

Finish it however you like. Here I’ve added about three drops each of peppermint oil and green food color.

People will know that it’s a mint mousse, but not necessarily that there’s white chocolate in it. So much the better.

Filed under:  Pastry, White Chocolate | 21 Comments

Making Peanut Butter Mousse

This mousse is a little rough looking, but what it lacks in appearance it more than makes up for in taste and texture. It’s like peanut butter, but in satin pillow form. Start by placing your soft butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle.

Beat until smooth and light in color, about a minute. Then add the peanut butter and beat about three minutes until perfectly smooth and even.

Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl.

Whip your cream to stiff peaks and fold it into the peanut butter mixture.

Done! There, wasn’t that easy? This stuff is great for filling cakes, or just eating, ideally our of some edible chocolate cups. It will hold for several hours at room temperature, but pipes best after it’s just been made and is still slightly cool.

Filed under:  Pastry, Peanut Butter | 6 Comments

Peanut Butter Mousse Recipe

You’ll have a coronary when you read the ingredients list for this, but the reality is it’s a very light mousse and in small quantities will only modestly shorten your life. My latest favorite cookbook author Roland Mesnier (a Frenchman who worked for years as the White House pastry chef) calls this peanut butter “cream”, but mousse is really what it is. You’ll need:

3.5 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
7.5 ounces (3/4 cup) smooth peanut butter
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) chilled whipping cream

I know, I know, just go with me on this. Beat the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle until it’s light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat 3-4 minutes until the mixture is completely uniform. Transfer to a large bowl and wash the mixer bowl well. Return the bowl to the mixer and pour the cream in. Affix the whip and whip the cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture.

This works great piped into small cups, but can also be used to fill and frost layer cakes.

Filed under:  Pastry, Peanut Butter | 12 Comments

Making Mango Mousse

Fruit mousses take a bit of work, but the technical frills are worth the extra-silky and luxurious result. Mango is very nice, but many kinds of fruit will work (see the below recipe). Start by peeling two large, ripe mangoes. Yes, I know this is a composite shot, but as you already know, I only have two hands.

This aftermath of this attempted action shot required a bandaid.

Oh well, live and learn. Slice and/or scoop the mango flesh away from the pit.

Combine the flesh with the sugar in a food processor and purée until smooth.

Pour the purée into a fine mesh sieve…

…and using a spatula, press it through until you have nothing but about a tablespoon of fruit fibers left. This step will take you 5-10 minutes, but you want to take the time, trust me.

Add the lemon juice to the sieved purée and stir.

Now pour one third of the purée into a small saucepan and bring it up to a simmer. Sprinkle on the gelatin…

…and stir it in. Keep stirring until it melts completely.

Pour the mixture, along with the rest of the purée, into a medium bowl and whisk it together thoroughly. Allow this to sit at room temperature while you whip the cream.

The next part of the process is like a little dance. The idea is to have the purée at the perfect temperature and the cream at the perfect consistency right at the same time. Since cooling the purée all the way right away will cause the gelatin to set up prematurely, and whipping the cream all the way right away risks a semi-melted or over-whipped end product, you want to do each in stages. So, while the purée is cooling, pour the cream into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip.

Whip it. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath for the bowl of mango purée. When the cream is whipped more or less to soft peaks…

…place the purée bowl into the ice water bath.

Keep scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to keep the mixture from setting up in large clumps. When you see these sorts of “curds” starting to form, you’re ready to complete the mousse. Remove the purée bowl from the ice water bath.

Promptly whip the cream to stiff peaks…

Then whip in the purée.

Whew! You’re done. Pour the mousse into the mold you’re prepared.

Or, spoon it into bowls and eat!

Filed under:  Fruit, Pastry | 96 Comments

Fruit Mousse Recipe

This is a bit of a bother to make, but your rewards will be great in fruit mousse heaven.

2-3 ripe 1-pound mangoes
3 ounces (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups whipping cream

Peel the mangoes and scoop the flesh away from the seeds. You want about 20 ounces of fruit. Purée the flesh and the sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the lemon juice and strain the mixture through a sieve.

Pour about a third of the purée into a small saucepan, warm it gently, then add the gelatin, stirring it until it dissolves. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the rest of the purée. Allow it to cool, stirring it from time to time. When the purée is close to room temperature, whip the cream to soft peaks.

Immerse the bowl of purée in an ice bath. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula until you notice the mousse beginning to thicken. When that happens, remove the bowl from the bath and whip the cream the rest of the way to stiff peaks. Whip in the mango purée, then immediately pour the purée in the appropriate mold.

This mousse can be made with any number of fruits, though you might have to adjust the sugar a bit according to the fruit and your taste. Follow the same procedure with 20 ounces (2 1/2 cups) of puréed and sieved raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, bananas or blackberries. It also works with poached peaches, apricots, pineapples, kiwis, apples or pears, though you’ll probably need to add a little color to these, since poached fruit bavarians can look a little dull.

Filed under:  Fruit, Pastry | 37 Comments

How to Make Chocolate Mousse

This is a serious dessert mousse, friends. A chocolate experience so rich, velvety and decadent, a few tablespoons is really all that any one person needs. I usually chuckle when I watch Mrs. Pastry eat chocolate bars, because she nibbles them like a mouse, savoring every tiny morsel. However even I — a man known to wolf chocolate bars down by the handful — eat this only incrementally, off the tip of a spoon.

With a little pâte à bombe on hand, chocolate mousse is a ridiculously easy thing to make. You just want to make sure, as Camille pointed out, that your pâte à bombe is warm so it combines easily with your melted chocolate. The recipe goes like so:

4 ounces pâte à bombe
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Begin by whipping the cream just about to the soft peak stage (or less), you want it a little loose and runny. If you haven’t already, prepare your pâté à bombe, and while it’s whipping, melt your chocolate in the microwave. I use couverture chocolate for mousse, since the extra cocoa butter makes it even silkier than usual. Couverture, however, can be hard to find, so use whatever pricey Euro-style semi-sweet you can lay your hands on. Melt it by giving it several short bursts of high heat in the microwave…20 seconds for the first one, stir, then as many shots of 10 seconds as it takes to get it warm and melty, stirring between each burst. Stop before it’s completely melted, and stir it with a spoon until it’s smooth. Add the warm chocolate to the warm pâte à bombe (which can also be heated gently in a microwave if it’s pre-made, just be careful!):

Stir it until it’s uniform…

The mixture will firm up here and look a little rough. Ain’t no thang.

No matter, I just add in about a third of the whipped cream…

…and whisk it in until it’s all smooth:

I then do the same with the remaining cream…

…and that’s pretty much it! If you like a lighter mousse, add more whipped cream and/or whip the cream to a stiffer, more voluminous state. You’ll likely want to do that if you’re planning on using your mousse to fill a cake or pastry. If you’re just going to eat it, though, my advice is to leave it dense and intense.

Filed under:  Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse, Desserts & Cookies | 22 Comments