Smooth and creamy, lightly sweet with a fruity tart finish, this Raspberry Mousse with a Balsamic Reduction is a lovely dessert for Spring.
Onomatopoeia. That word has to fall into my favorite words category. It’s fun to say and it’s meaning makes me smile. If you’re a little lost on the pronunciation and definition of this word, here’s the low down:
Pronunciation: [on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh] or [on-uh‐mah-tuh‐pee-uh]
Definition: making up a word to represent or imitate a sound — kaboom, meow, hiss, buzz, whir
The old Batman and Robin shows from the 1960’s were probably the most exuberant users of onomatopoeias with their near endless use of fight words. Pow! Sock! Clank! Swish! Krunch! Thunk! Oooff!
….all of these onomatopoeias lead me to think about kitchen associated noise words. Honestly, cooking will probably never be the same for me again. Each experience will play out in my head in a series of colorful cartoon inspired onomatopoeias.
Since blogging is about sharing one’s life, insights, discoveries and knowledge, I have made up some sound visuals for you. I want you, too, to be able to have full, lively cooking experiences. And give your family more reasons to think you are nuts. (insert smirk here).
- Splish — eggs falling into batter
- Ting — metal measuring spoon on side of pot or metal mixing bowl
- Clang — cast iron pan on stove grate
- Sizzle — anything frying
- Tsssss — steak being placed on grill
- Pop — soda can being opened, liquid hitting hot grease
- Bumpf — loud sound of canned biscuits springing open
- Snap — breaking fresh beans or asparagus, wooden spoon cracking
- Hhhhuummmrrrrrrrrrr — stand mixer engaging
- Clingclingcling or tangtangtang — tapping a stirring or mixing utensil on the side of a bowl or pot
- Kunk — heavy pot bumping into whatever
- Schlapschlapshlapschlapschlap… — batter being mixed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Vvvrrrrrip — tearing aluminum foil off of the roll
- Scrape — getting the last bit of food out of or off of various items
- >&#^!@* – expletive uttered in relation to burned dinner, misread recipe, fallen cake, lack of important ingredient that was in the pantry/fridge/freezer/cabinet yesterday but not today, seriously messy boil-over, any other troublesome or frustrating kitchen experience
- Beep beep beep beepbeep beep — inputting settings on microwave (or oven)
- Clink or clinnnnng — thin glass object against other glass object
- Clunng — thicker glass object against other glass object
- Flumpflumpflumpflumpflumpflumpflumpflump — bread dough hitting sides of bowl in stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment
- Whiiiiirrrrr — most excellent sound of my Bosch mixer working some serious magic on bread dough
Okay, that’s enough onomatopoeias. Here’s a recipe. Oooooo, aaaaaaah. Raspberry Mousse with a Balsamic Reduction. I LOVE it!
The raspberry mousse gave me a run for my money, almost from the very beginning. I was dutifully following a recipe I had come across and every single element went wrong. Usually I can point to a single thing that I did wrong in a recipe which caused the recipe to fail. This time, I did pretty much everything wrong, or rather, everything that I did went wrong. Those are two very different concepts and both are applicable in this instance.
As it turned out, the failures were a blessing. Because the initial recipe was problematic, I ended up developing my very own recipe. Cool. I like it when I can whole heartedly claim a recipe as my very own.
I do need to clarify that the resulting recipe is not a true mousse because it does not have egg whites. I wanted it to have them, but I have turned into such a germaphobe that I could not bring myself to use egg whites without first bringing them to a temp of 160° F in a double boiler. I’ve done it in the past with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but could not make them turn out right for this mousse recipe. As I sit here writing, I am fairly certain that I have just figured out what I did wrong with the egg whites. C’est la vie. I’m still calling this recipe Raspberry Mousse with a Balsamic Reduction.
Speaking of the balsamic reduction; in the photos it looks like chocolate. In one’s mouth, there is quite a different experience. A balsamic reduction is thick and sticky, sweet and fruity with a lovely tart finish. The sophistication of the reduction belies the ease with which it is made. Simmer some balsamic vinegar until it has reduced by half. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
As for the raspberries, oh my. I used good quality frozen organic raspberries. They were big, fat beautiful berries and so flavorful! Noooooo, the raspberries on top of the mousse are not frozen; they are fresh. And pricey at this time of year. And clearly not from the United States. And usually I would be PAAAAARticular about that sort of thing, but it’s Spring and I wanted to decorate the raspberry mousse with fresh raspberries. So, I supported a farmer local to somewhere in the world, via my grocery store guys, locally.
I’m excited for you to taste this Raspberry Mousse with a Balsamic Reduction. It is smooth and creamy, sweet with a touch of tart and simply beautiful. If you are unsure of the balsamic reduction, chocolate sauce would be a wonderful replacement, especially if it was a dark chocolate sauce. Or, the mousse could be served simply, adorned only with sweetened whip cream and a few fresh berries.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs 15 mins | Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
Refreshing with bright, sweet and tangy flavors, this raspberry mousse provides a lovely finish to almost any meal. Get ready for the applause.
Please note: The cook time includes refrigerator chilling time.
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin (from a 1 ounce total weight, 4 packet box)
- 20 ounces (weight) frozen raspberries, thawed
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 16 fresh raspberries, optional for garnish
- 8 small mint leaves, optional for garnish
- Add the water to a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to sit for a few a minutes to soften.
- While the gelatin is softening, prepare the raspberries. Place thawed berries and ½ cup white sugar in a blender. Process on medium speed until smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium-size bowl. Strain berry puree through the sieve, pressing and stirring as needed to separate the berry puree from the seeds. Discard seeds.
- Place the small bowl of gelatin in the microwave. Heat for 10 seconds on 30% power; stir well to dissolve gelatin. Repeat if needed. Add the dissolved gelatin to the raspberry puree. Stir well to incorporate the gelatin into the puree. Cover bowl and refrigerate puree for about 1 hour until chilled and soft set.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the whipping cream, remaining ¼ cup sugar and the vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until moderately stiff peaks form. Remove 3/4 cup whipped cream, cover and refrigerate.
- Beat the raspberry puree with the mixer for about 30 seconds. (It is not necessary to wash the beaters between whipping the cream and beating the puree.) Add the puree to the remaining whipped cream. Fold together well. Divide the mousse evenly between 8 dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- To make the balsamic reduction: In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Lower heat and let vinegar simmer until reduced by half (1/4 cup), about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch carefully so that the vinegar does not burn. If the reduction gets too thick, add a small amount of vinegar to thin it out. Cool before serving.
- Finishing: Just prior to serving, top each dessert with a small dollop of the reserved whipped cream, two raspberries and a mint leaf. Drizzle each dessert with 1 ½ teaspoons of the balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.
One of the great things about making this dessert is that it can be done in stages. The mousse can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving. The balsamic reduction can also be made ahead of time and can sit, covered, at room temperature until ready to use.
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