One of the culinary allures when it comes to Summer is grilling or barbecuing. It is a time of the year when we like to gather on the deck or patio with family and friends and enjoy the aroma of spices and herbs wafting through the hot Summer breeze. Whether the grill is being fired-up for ribs, chicken, steaks or burgers, it is a food-lovers rite of Summer.
Another great Summer eating treat is the plethora of fresh fruits available at either your supermarket or your local farmers market. One of the favorite fruits of summer is berries and one of the most popular of the berries is strawberries. A wonderful berry dessert is one of the best ways to end a meal of grilled and/or barbecued meats as berries can cleanse the palate and refresh the mouth.
Strawberry Mousse is one of the most classic desserts in the world and it is a favorite Summer desserts out here in the great American Southwest. When most home cooks see the word "mousse," they tend to cower. There is no need to fear making this dessert at home. The fact-of-the-matter is, a mousse is one of the easiest desserts to make and it is almost impossible to make a mistake.
For a proper mousse, you will want to use an Italian meringue. Don't worry, if you can make a meringue, you can make an Italian meringue. The only difference between the two is that for an Italian meringue, you are going to beat into the egg whites a very hot sugar syrup. Have no fear, in the directions to this dish we'll walk you through.
The only special tool you'll need to make this Strawberry Mousse is a candy thermometer. You can find them at all cookware stores for a few dollars.
Ingredients needed to make Strawberry Mousse (serves 6 depending on size):
- 2 cups pureed strawberries (if they're not to sweet, add a tablespoon of sugar while pureeing)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Once you have pureed the strawberries, set them aside.
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form (DO NOT add any sugar).
- In a medium pot, combine the water and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cook the sugar and water mixture (now a syrup) until it reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. This is important, it must reach 240 degrees.
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff.
- With the mixer going at medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites and continue beating until they become stiff again (congratulation, you just made Italian meringue).
- Remove the Italian meringue to a large bowl and fold in half of the whipped cream.
- Fold in half of the strawberries, followed by the remaining half of the whipped cream and then the remaining strawberries.
- Spoon the Strawberry Mousse into serving cups and chill (at least a few hours) until ready to serve.
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