Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Strawberry Mousse Salad

So this is the recipe that almost wasn't. Mascarpone cheese and I had a few disagreements in the kitchen amidst my attempt to make this light dessert for Easter Sunday. At one point there were tears. Then there was nervous laughter. Then there was "I'm just going to throw it away and spend another $20 on a new batch of ingredients". And lastly there was determination to make this damn thing work out. And you know what? It did. My major piece of advice for you when you make this recipe is to make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Mascarpone cheese is extremely temperamental (I learned this the hard way), and can curdle whenever another ingredient that is too cold or too hot interacts with it. If you find yourself in lump city, don't fret, simply heat the mixture over a double broiler while constantly whipping the mixture until smooth again. In the end I couldn't have asked for a more perfect dessert, which was a great addition to a hearty dinner, since it is so light and fluffy. Just be patient with it, and it will reward you ten-fold. 

Strawberry Mousse
Serve 8
  • 2 cups strawberry puree (about 1 lb. hulled strawberries)
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 4 cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, beans scraped out
Strawberry Salad
  • 1-2 lb. strawberries, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, minced

In a small bowl, add 1/ cup of the cream and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. While that sits, add  1/2 cup of the cream and the sugar to a medium pot and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add in the gelatin mixture and stir well. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the mascarpone cheese and the vanilla beans and whisk until creamed together. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the room temperature cream and gelatin mixture. Fold in the strawberry puree. Set aside.

In another large bowl (or clean out the stand mixer) whip the remaining heavy cream until stiff peaks form, and the mixture resembles whipped cream. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone mousse. Place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving. Carefully whip the mousse once again right before serving.

In a separate bowl, toss the sliced strawberries, the sugar, and the mint. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, then serve over the mousse. 

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