Strawberry Mousse Forever
The strawberry mousse is one of of those desserts that is so simple, so utterly reliant on the goodness of strawberries that it is either spectacular… or a total let down when made with sub-par strawberries. In which latter case, no doctoring can make it taste good. So! Select local fragrant completely ripe strawberries either those you’ve grown, you pick at a pick-your-own operation, or you purchase at a true farmers’ market. If you can smell the fragrance of a few quarts of berries a couple of feet away, those are the right berries for this dessert. Otherwise, pass and make chocolate mousse instead.
You may certainly serve the mousse in a clear glass, with or without strawberry coulis or fresh berries. With or without brownies crumbs at the bottom. with or without strawberry gelatin: make a little more of the strawberry/gelatin mixture than needed and use it at the bottom (and/or the top of) the mousse. But wait! it’s so much more versatile. You can also:
- freeze it it a loaf pan (lined with parchment for easy removal), and slice before serving for a semi-freddo type of dessert. Add a few marinated strawberries and their juice to finish the plate, and maybe a small scoop of dark chocolate ganache.
- pour in in a graham cracker crust (especially one made with chocolate crackers), let set and pipe rosettes of freshly whipped creme fraiche or minty whipped cream just before serving.
- once set, put in a pastry bag, and pipe small amount in chocolate shells for the cutest tartelettes.
And the best part? When you have an abundance of strawberries (such as after a visit to a PYO), you can freeze berries in pre-measured quantities, so all you have to do is thaw and puree. Or better yet, which is what I do, is puree, and freeze the puree in measured amount. So, I can actually make this dessert year around with superior strawberries. I just won’t have fresh strawberries to garnish it. But you know, in February…. I can deal with that. There is something very satisfying with strawberry mousse that tastes of last May when still in the grip of winter but the cusp of spring.
Recipe based on Strawberry Mousse with Kirsch recipe by Faye Levy in her book “Dessert Sensations Straight From France”.
- 1.5 lb (675 g) strawberries
- 1 packet gelatin powder (7 g)
- 1/2 Cup of water (125 ml)
- 2/3 Cup sugar (135 g)
- 1 Cup whipping cream, very cold (250 ml)
- Wash, hull, and trim strawberries. Puree in blender until very smooth. Weigh and reserve 375 g for the recipe. Save the rest, if any, for another use such as coulis or strawberry gelatin to garnish of the mousse (see pix) (or adjust recipe to make more)
- Sprinkle gelatin on 1/4 C (65 ml) cold water and let it get soft about 5 minutes.
- Bring sugar and remaining water to boil in a small sauce pan. Boil 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Thoroughly whisk in the softened gelatin. Let rest a few minutes. Then whisk the gelatin in the strawberry puree, constantly whisking to ensure the gelatin is well mixed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any possible lumps.
- Set the bowl in a larger bowl of cold (not iced) water, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken but is not set – maybe 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip cream until firm. Fold into strawberry mixture.
- Chill in a large bowl (it will take longer) or individual glasses for at least 4 hours before serving.