Mousse of any kind is a love of mine. They are light, fluffy and delicate. Let's see how this one turns out. I hope this turns out with 'lush texture, real berry flavor', just like Cook's Illustrated boasts .
Fresh strawberries, sugar, cream, gelatin, salt and cream cheese.
Simple enough ingredients. The different ingredient that I don't usually see in a lot of mousse recipes is the cream cheese. It's used as a fortifier, body provider and to lend a little bit of a subtle twang.
Dice 1/4 cup worth of strawberries and set in the refrigerator. These will be your garnish.
The rest of the strawberries will be roughly chopped in the food processor
Toss the processed strawberries in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the sugar.
Add the salt, cover the bowl and let the strawberries macerate for 45 minutes.
Strain the strawberries through a fine sieve. You should have about 2/3 cup of juice.
Put 3 Tbsp. of the juice in a tiny bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top of it. Let it soften for about 5 minutes.
The remaining juice is cooked down to 3 Tbsp.
Once reduced removed from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture, whisking until dissolved.
Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
Pour this mixture into a large bowl.
Return the macerated berries to the processor bowl to pureé
Run the strawberry pureé through a fine mesh strainer or a food mill like I did.
I personally think that the strainer would remove more of the tiny seeds. The food mill allowed a lot to get through although it did not compromise the mousse in my opinion.
Whip the cream until you have soft peaks
Add the remaining sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks have formed.
Combine the strained berries and the cream cheese mixture
Whisk the whipped cream into the berry mixture
until no white streaks remain
Divide the mousse into dessert dishes and chill for at least 4 hours. Garnish with your reserved chopped berries.
Fresh Strawberry Mousse
Serves 4 to 6
Adapted from the May/June 2014 issue of Cook's Illustrated
2 pounds fresh strawberries (6-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1-3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin (one 1/4 oz. envelope)
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Mise en Place
- wash and hull strawberries
- Measure out sugar
- measure out salt and gelatin
- cut cream cheese into 8 pieces and allow to soften
- measure out cream and place in refrigerator until ready to use
Cut enough strawberries into 1/4-inch dice to measure one cup; refrigerate until ready to use as garnish. In the bowl of a food processor pulse the remaining strawberries in two batches. Pulse each batch 6-10 times so that your strawberries are in 1/4-inch pieces. Don't clean the processor bowl or blade. You're going to use it again.
Transfer the berries to a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Toss, cover and let macerate for 45 minutes; stirring periodically.
Strain the macerated berries through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. You should have around 2/3 cup of juice. Measure out 3 Tbsp. into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top of juice. Allow gelatin to soften for about 5 minutes.
Place the remaining juice in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat cook the juice until the juice is reduced to 3 Tbsp. (about 10 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and add the softened gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl.
Return the macerated berries to the processor bowl and process until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to remove seeds and pulp. (You should have about 1-2/3 cups pureé). Discard any solids that are left in the strainer..
In a bowl of stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 more minutes.
Whisk the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain.
Divide the mouse into dessert dishes and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve, garnishing with the reserved diced strawberries. If the mousse is chilled longer than 6 hours, let the mousse sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.