Sometimes, we all desire a sweet, maple-y dessert in autumn, which brings us to maple mousse. Smooth, rich, sweet. (It's even better with a caramelized walnut on top.) It might sound hard to make, but actually, it's quite simple!
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How do you make a mousse?
To make a mousse, you need two parts: a base (which provides the flavoring) and an aerator (which makes the mousse light and fluffy). The base can be anything from melted chocolate to puréed fruit, while the aerators are usually whipped cream, meringue, or eggs. In this recipe, we're using maple syrup as our base, and whipped cream as the aerator. Read more about bases and aerators if you're curious.
How long does mousse need to set?
Many mousses take about 15-30 minutes to set. Chocolate mousse sets more quickly because chocolate naturally hardens in the fridge. Since this mousse doesn't contain chocolate, it takes about 2 hours to set.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, you can make this up to 24 hours in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until needed. I wouldn't let it sit longer than that, as it may start to get watery from the whipped cream.
How to Make
Measure out the ingredients: maple syrup, gelatin powder, water, egg yolks, and heavy whipping cream.
Stir together the gelatin and water and let it stand for 5 minutes so the gelatin can "bloom."
Pour the maple syrup into a small saucepan and let it warm up over medium heat. Whisk the gelatin mixture until dissolved, then bring the syrup to a gentle simmer.
Slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg yolks, whisking quickly.
Dump the mixture back into the pan and whisk over medium heat until the mixture reaches 160 F on a candy thermometer.
Pour the syrup into a bowl, then place in a cake pan filled with ice water. Keep the syrup bowl in the ice bath for about 10 minutes, until it has cooled to room temperature and has thickened considerably.
While the syrup is cooling, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. The cream shouldn't fall out of the bowl if you turn it upside down!
Dump the syrup into a large bowl and stir in two large spoonfuls of whipped cream. Don't worry if there are a few lumps at this stage.
Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Keep folding until no white streaks or lumps remain--it will take a minute or two!
Divide the mousse among glasses or bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Decorate the mousses with caramelized walnuts if desired.
- When you pour the hot maple syrup mixture into the egg yolks, make sure to go slowly and whisk the yolks briskly to prevent them from curdling.
- If you do happen to get a few lumps of egg, just pour the liquid through a sieve to remove them.
- Make sure the whipping cream is cold. Warm or room-temperature cream won't get as much volume when it's whipped.
- Fold the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture gently. Avoid stirring it to keep the mousse airy and light.
- Be sure to allow sufficient time for the mousse to set--no less than 2 hours.
Other Fall Desserts
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How to Make Maple Mousse
- 2 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder, 1 envelope
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Stir the cold water into the gelatin until dissolved, then let stand for 5 minutes. The gelatin will absorb the water and begin to set (called "blooming").
- Pour the maple syrup into a small saucepan over medium heat. Let the syrup warm up for a minute, then whisk in 1 tablespoon of the gelatine until dissolved. For an extra firm mousse, use all of the gelatine.
- Bring the syrup to a gentle simmer, then very slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking them continuously as you pour. Dump the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 160 F on a candy thermometer.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture through a sieve into a small bowl to remove any lumps. Set it inside an ice bath for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency and has cooled to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. The cream should be thick enough not to fall out of the bowl when it's turned upside down.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture into a large bowl, then stir two large spoonfuls of whipped cream into it. Add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold it in with a silicone spatula until no lumps or white streaks remain.
- Pour the mousse into glasses or bowls and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Garnish with caramelized walnuts and serve immediately.
- Temper the mixture slowly. Pour the hot maple syrup mixture slowly onto the eggs, whisking constantly. Going too fast might scramble the eggs.
- Got lumps of egg? Pour the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove them.
- Use cold whipping cream. Room-temperature cream will not whip as high as cold.
- Fold gently and avoid stirring to keep the mousse light and airy.
- Let the mousse set for at least 2 hours, or it will not be very firm.