This Layered Strawberry Mousse is my Canada Day dessert creation for this year. After making Coconut Mousse last year for Canada Day dessert, I think maybe packable desserts in mason jars could become a new Canada Day tradition.
What is Mousse?
Mousse means “foam” in French, and that is a fitting term for this rich, yet light and airy, delicious treat, which is essentially an aerated dessert. It starts with a base, like the pureed strawberries in this recipe, or chocolate. Then an aerator is folded in. Aerators can be whipping cream, whole eggs, egg yolks or egg whites. Finally, a thickener is added, which is commonly gelatin, and sometimes, just butter or chocolate if the dessert is well chilled.
What is the Difference Between Pudding and Mousse?
Pudding and mousse are both rich and creamy desserts. However, there are several differences. First, pudding is a milk-based dessert that is cooked and thickened with cornstarch or another thickener such as tapioca or chia seeds. It can be served warm or chilled. Mousse, on the other hand, is not cooked and is always served chilled. It’s lighter and fluffier than pudding.
Do You Need Eggs For Mousse?
Although many recipes for mousse call for butter and/or eggs, this recipe is perfectly light and airy without them. The gelatin in the recipe gives the mousse it’s stability. However, you can replace the gelatin with an equal amount of agar-agar powder for a vegetarian version of this dessert. What’s agar-agar? Find out more: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Agar-Agar
Tips For Making Perfect Mousse
This strawberry mousse is a very simple recipe. However, there are a few points to keep in mind when making it to ensure a perfect end result.
- Have the pureed strawberries at room temperature before incorporating them into the whipped cream mixture. If they are too cold, the mousse may start to set before you are finished making it.
- Use cold whipping cream, and chill the bowl and beater in the fridge for 30 minutes before whipping the cream and sugar. This keeps the fats firm during whipping.
- Beat the cream at medium-high speed. Stop whipping when the cream forms stiff peaks, meaning that it can hold itself up. Be careful not to beat it more once it reaches that stage, or you will have butter.
- Let it set. Mousse should be chilled in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow it to become firm.
Can You Make This Recipe Ahead?
Mousse is a perfect make-ahead dessert. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, and since it’s already individually portioned, it’s very convenient. If you use mason jars with lids like I did, you can easily pack them (in a cooler with ice) on a picnic, or take them along on a camping trip or a boating outing.
Can Strawberry Mousse Be Frozen?
This dessert is delicious when frozen. It becomes a delightfully light ice cream treat, perfect for hot days. You can also freeze the mousse for up to two months and defrost it in the fridge. Once defrosted, the mousse will still retain the texture and taste as before freezing. If you don’t plan to freeze this mousse, you should use it within three days in order to keep the best texture & flavour.
Strawberry Mousse Recipe
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tbsp of water & let stand 1 minute.
- Heat the gelatin & water in the microwave 10-15 seconds to dissolve it
- Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender
- Refrigerate the strawberries until ready to use
- In a medium bowl, mix together the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla
- Whip the cream mixture on medium speed until it forms soft peaks, about 8 minutes
- Add the gelatin mixture to the cream mixture and continue whipping until it forms stiff peaks, about 2 more minutes
- Reserve 1/3 of the cream mixture in another bowl for the vanilla layer
- Gently fold the pureed strawberries into the unreserved portion of the whipping cream mixture
- Fill 6 1-pint (500 ml) mason jars with half of the strawberry mixture. Layer the reserved vanilla layer over that, and then the remaining strawberry layer.
- Garnish with sliced strawberries
- Chill at least two hours, or overnight