Well, it is Thursday, so let’s step back in time to the 1800’s for this one. That seems to be the era most noted when looking for info on the origin of mousse as a dessert, though I believe it was probably being served way before that. The first official recipe citing seems to have been for Chocolate Mousse in 1892 in New York. One source mentioned that it was not a term used for styling hair until 1977 – but I digress.
Mousse translates to the English word “foam” which is appropriate for this light airy dessert, but not quite as appetizing a word as “mousse.” Many people probably already know that mousse can also be a savory dish made with a puree of meats or vegetables, but of course, in this instance we are concerned with the sweet variety. The history lesson alone should count as one reason to make mousse, however, I will give you 3 more as promised.
- It comes in so many different flavors – as many as you can imagine. Chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse with fresh raspberry sauce, lemon mousse, Key lime mousse, coconut mousse – really the possibilities are endless and just looking in your liquor cabinet can lead to inspiration.
- It’s naturally gluten free! No special alteration needs to be made.
- It’s quick to make. You don’t even have to turn on the oven. Last minute guests, no problem! Mousse can be made in about 30 minutes and ready to serve after just a short time in the fridge.
Mousse Flavored with Liqueur
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
6 egg yolks
1/3 to 2/3 cup liqueur or to taste
Whip cream and set aside in the refrigerator.
Heat sugar and water in a pan until all the sugar has dissolved and it is bubbly and thick.
Place the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and begin whipping on medium speed. Carefully and gently pour the hot sugar down the inside of the bowl in a single stream into the yolks while whipping on slow speed. Once all the sugar is poured in, turn up the speed of the mixer and whip until the yolks turn pale yellow and thick.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the liqueur until combined. Fold the egg mixture into the whipped cream in thirds. Using a pastry bag with a large round tip or a plastic bag with a 1″ diameter hole cut in the corner (cut about a half an inch across the corner to achieve this), pipe the mousse into glasses or bowls for serving. Consider garnishing with chocolate shavings or toasted nuts, depending on the liqueur which was used. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Coconut Mousse: Substitute 13.5 ounces of canned unsweetened coconut milk for the liqueur. Stir the coconut milk before adding to the egg mixture. Add 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut and 2 teaspoons vanilla before folding into the whipped cream.
For even more mousse recipes check out Baking Pure & Simple.