How many of you would like to treat your Mom to a special little something this Mother’s Day? One that is so pink, and sweet, and light that it’ll tickle her all over. One that is so beautiful to behold that she’ll think you slaved away for hours in your kitchen making it for her, even though it can easily be done in under an hour (hey, play that angle up if you want, your secret’s safe with me). Sound good? Then pull up a chair my friends, because your Mom deserves a little of this goodness.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to be with my Mom on Mother’s Day, but if I were, this is the dessert I’d make her to show her how much I love her. You’re reading this, right Mom….I Love You! This light and refreshing mousse is a perfect way to enjoy the abundance of fresh rhubarb this time of year, and it screams MOM when you look at it…..can’t you hear it? If your Mom’s not a big fan of rhubarb, but you think she’d like the idea of a frozen mousse, no worries. Just substitute any other fruit puree of your choice, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and make any old kind of mousse your Momma’s little heart desires.
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 could make pretty parfaits out of the mousse, layered in a tall glass with fresh fruit, for a totally different kind of thing. Get creative and have some fun with this dessert. You can make it as plain or as fancy as you wish. For a “family style” presentation, freeze it in a large bowl, then scoop it like ice cream and drizzle with the strawberry sauce. For a more refined presentation, freeze it in individual ramekins or glasses, and decorate with a glazing of the sauce and some sliced fresh strawberries.
Good luck with this, and don’t forget to give your Mom a great big hug and kiss from all of us here at Oui, Chef! – S
Fruit purée -
- 1 pound fresh rhubarb stalks (option: add a pint of strawberries here for a little more sweetness)
- 4 ounces granulated sugar
- 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Italian meringue -
- 12 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 ounces water
- 6 ounces egg whites
- 16 ounces heavy or whipping cream, chilled
- 1-1/2 pounds fresh sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the fruit purée
- For the fruit purée - Wash and chop the rhubarb into small pieces. Place into a wide non-stick pan along with the sugar and ginger pieces. Stir over gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then cook over medium heat for about 5 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 sugar and 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 lemon juice, and reserve.