Unlike some desserts that are too cloying or filling to enjoy after dinner, this light-textured treat is an ideal finisher. You can serve this mousse either chilled or frozen, whichever you prefer. Don’t forget to top it with either candied bacon or candied walnuts (or both!) – the contrasting crunch is really nice. Note that you can easily substitute powdered agar agar, a vegetable based product, for the gelatin in this recipe to make it a vegetarian dish; the use of either gelling agent really helps the mousse maintain its lightness. Maple mousse leads the pack in my “fluffy, not stuffy” dessert parade!
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin or agar agar, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
3/4 cup heavy (35%) cream
- Pour maple syrup into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Add egg yolks and whisk to combine.
- Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat mixture until it begins to boil. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Remove pot from heat and whisk in dissolved gelatin mixture.
- Pour the maple mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside to cool completely – you can refrigerate it briefly to speed up this step. It is important that the mixture be cooled when you add the beaten egg whites or it will deflate.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.
- In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.
- One at a time, gently fold the egg whites and whipped cream into the cooled maple syrup mixture.
- Carefully spoon the mousse mixture into small serving dishes (old fashioned champagne glasses are really nice for this).
- Alternatively, spoon the mixture into a zip lock bag. Close the bag and make a small snip across one of the lower corners. Carefully squeeze the bag gently to pipe the mousse mixture into the serving dishes.
- Refrigerate the mousse for at least 2 hours until serving time (you can make it up to 24 hours ahead), covering with plastic wrap if letting it sit longer than 4 hours or if it might get jostled in your fridge.
- If you prefer, freeze the mousse in the serving dishes, covered, but remove from freezer 1/2 hour before serving.
Makes four servings. Can easily be doubled or tripled.