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For the rapidly approaching Memorial Day holiday, I’ve been on the hunt for a patriotic dessert to show off my proud red, white, and blues. Because I’m heading over to a friend’s house for a barbecue, a make-ahead dessert that I could assemble on the spot would be ideal. Light and airy Berries and White Chocolate Mousse seemed like the perfect sweet ending to an afternoon of grilling. It’s totally low stress: This dessert can be made the night before and stored in a closed container in the refrigerator.
recipe for white chocolate mousse
If you haven’t made a mousse before, it can sound intimidating. Let me assure you that it’s pretty simple with only a couple ingredients. The key lies in combining slow-cooked egg yolks with heavy cream until it reaches a rich consistency.
I opted to use half a pod of whole bean vanilla in this recipe for an extra-decadent flavor. Simply cut the bean in half horizontally, then use a knife to score it down the center vertically. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and reserve the pod for another use.
The fastest way to melt chocolate
Then it’s time to melt your chocolate. I started with a whole block and shaved off chunks until it measured 3 ounces on a scale. (You can also work with chocolate chips for convenience.) The fastest way to melt chocolate is in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave, stopping every 30 seconds to whisk the chocolate until it reaches a smooth consistency. It should take about 60-90 seconds.
How to Make White Chocolate Mousse
The next step is to combine the sugar, 1/4 cup water, and egg yolks in a medium metal bowl. Set this over a simmering saucepan of water to create a double boiler. Whisk the yolk mixture constantly over medium heat until it reaches 140° F on a thermometer, which should take about 5 minutes. (Watch for the mixture to become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.) Whisk the entire time the yolks are working toward that temperature, as it’s easy for eggs to overcook and become grainy. Once this mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and add the warm melted chocolate and the vanilla bean seeds to the mixture.
Beat the heavy cream in a separate bowl and gently combine the chocolate mixture with the cream in batches until evenly distributed. The mixture will still be runny until it has time to thicken in the refrigerator. Let it cool for at least 3 hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, layer the mousse in glasses along with fresh berries. You should end up a with a delightfully colorful and light dessert that will wow the crowd.
White Chocolate Mousse with Mixed Berries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 ounces white chocolate, melted
- ½ vanilla bean pod
- 1 ⅔ cups heavy cream
- 4 cups assorted fresh raspberries and blueberries
- Combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, and the egg yolks in a medium-size metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (be sure bottom of bowl is not touching water).
- Beat yolk mixture with hand mixer set on medium-high about 5 minutes or until mixture registers 140° F on an instant-read thermometer. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, beating constantly.
- Cut the vanilla bean in half horizontally, and using a knife score it down the center vertically. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and reserve to the side.
- Remove bowl from over water. Add warm, melted white chocolate and vanilla bean seeds. Beat about 5 minutes, until cool.
- Beat heavy cream in a large bowl to stiff peaks. Gently mix 1/4 of the whipped cream into cooled white chocolate mixture. Fold white chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain. Cover and cool in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- To serve: Alternate layers of mousse and berries in glasses or bowls, a scant 2/3 cup mousse per serving.