Author Notes: The basic mousse recipe here is one I learned at LCB, and here I've doctored it up with a gingered rhubarb puree, and finished it with a simple strawberry syrup. While there are a couple of steps to preparing this dish, it is not at all hard to do. You start by making the fruit puree, then make an Italian meringue, combine the two, lighten with some whipped cream, spoon it into ramekins, toss them in the freezer et voila! Alternatively, you can freeze the mousse in a big bowl, and scoop it like ice cream for a less formal service. Mother's Day is right around the corner, hint...hint. - Oui, Chef —Oui, Chef
Food52 Review: This is the kind of ambitious dessert that I would reserve for a nice dinner party. It is not difficult to assemble, but requires a few steps. Be careful not to burn the sugar when bringing it to temp. Do it very slowly, then add it slowly to the meringue. This is light, fluffy and elegant, and the cool, smooth strawberry sauce on top is a nice finishing touch. - Emily —The Editors
- 1 pound fresh rhubarb stalks
- 4 ounces granulated sugar
- 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 12 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 ounces water
- 6 ounces egg whites
- 16 ounces heavy or whipping cream, chilled
- 1-1/2 pounds sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- For the fruit purée - Wash and chop the rhubarb into small pieces. Place into a wide non-stick pan along with the 4 ounces of sugar and ginger pieces. Stir over gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb has softened, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the ginger chunks and transfer to a food processor and blitz to a smooth purée. Return the rhubarb purée to the pan and place over high heat to cook off any excess liquid. You want the final paste to be fairly dry. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
- For the Italian meringue - Dissolve the 12 ounces sugar and 3 ounces water in a saucepan, then boil the syrup until it reaches 250 F (120 C) on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, whip the egg whites in a standing mixer, using a whisk attachment until they form soft peaks. Whipping constantly, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Continue to whip until the meringue is completely cool.
- For the whipped cream - Whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
- To finish the mousse - Combine the cooled fruit purée with the room temperature meringue and mix till well incorporated. Gently fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks are left showing. Spoon the finished mousse into individual ramekins, or one large bowl, as you wish. Freeze until ready to serve.
- For the strawberry sauce - Combine sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly with a spatula; reserve solids for another use (a next morning smoothie, perhaps?). Return juice to pan. Combine 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to juice. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cool to room temperature. Stir in 2 teaspoons juice, and reserve.