Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Berry summery: berry ripple mousse

I’ve been slowly getting back to cooking. The markets are teaming with wonderful, fresh fruits. Berries have been calling my name. I've had my eye on a recipe for a blackberry ripple mousse from Michel Roux’s Eggs. When I saw fresh blackberries, raspberries and black raspberries in the Union Square farmer’s market I decided it was finally time to try the recipe. The recipe takes a bit of time as you first need to make a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) and both the crème pâtissière and the berry coulis need to be cool before the dessert is assembled. The assembled dessert then rests in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before served. None of the components is difficult to make, however, and the result is delightful. The recipe calls for blackberries but you can certainly use any berries you like – just adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the berries.

Crème pâtissière (adapted from Eggs)

6 egg yolks
½ cup plus 2 tbsp (125 g) superfine sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
generous 2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Combine egg yolks and one-third of the sugar in a bowl and whisk to a light ribbon consistency. Whisk in the flour.

Heat the milk and remaining sugar along with the vanilla bean in a pan. Once it comes to boil, pour it into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Mix well and then return the mixture to the pan.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Allow mixture to bubble, still stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.

Pour onto a half sheet pan and cover with foil (touching the crème pâtissière to prevent a skin from forming). Cool in the refrigerator.

Berry ripple mousse (from Eggs)

¾ lb blackberries or other berry (plus extra to serve if desired)
2/3 cup superfine sugar
juice of 1 lemon
generous 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 quantity crème pâtissière
2 egg whites

Put the berries in a pan with ½ cup sugar and heat gently, stirring occasionally. When the mixture comes to a simmer, cook gently for another 10 minutes and then puree in a food processor or blender. Strain through a fine-holed sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth. Let coulis cool, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice.

Whip cream to a ribbon consistency, then fold into the cooled crème pâtissière.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl to a thick foam, then add the remaining sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Gently fold in the pastry cream mixture, without overworking.

Very delicately, mix in the cold berry coulis to create a ripple effect (note: you will likely need only a portion of the coulis.). Divide the mouse between 6 glass dishes and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Ideally serve the same day the mousse is made – the mousse does not hold up well.