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This light and airy honey mousse, served with a fresh plum compote, is a delicious no-bake dessert and sooo easy to make.
Homemade mousse always seemed a bit intimidating to me. That gorgeous fluffy texture and all those large air bubbles – must be a real science to achieve…or so I thought. While there is a bit of science involved, it’s not necessary to know what happens on a molecular level.
…unless you are like me and love to geek out on food science. So for those of you who do, here is a brief explanation of how mousse works. (If you aren’t that nerdy, feel free to skip right down to the recipe. ;))
The air bubbles in a mousse are actually a sign of dispersion. This means that the egg cream and the air which gets incorporated, stay distinctly separate. While our mousse is made up of an egg base, it’s largely made up of air as well. But wait, how can the air stay trapped within the mousse when it’s done being whipped? Great question. Since air is a gas and we are trapping it in a liquid, it would escape after a while (think of whipping some heavy cream and letting it sit on your kitchen counter for an hour – it loses a lot of its volume as the gas escapes again).
This is where the gelatin comes into play. Gas cannot escape a solid as easily as it can a liquid (e.g. a properly baked bread doesn’t deflate after baking). So before the gas molecules have a chance of escaping, we are turning our mousse into a solid, thus locking in that air.
In a nutshell, that is how mousse works. The process is always the same, whether you are making a chocolate mousse, or in this case, a honey mousse. The difference is, that chocolate mousse is stabilized by chocolate, which is why it has a denser texture than our honey mousse.
But enough geeking out, let’s talk taste. If you have ever made a chocolate mousse before, you’ll be surprised at how much lighter (though not in calories!) this honey mousse is. The texture is almost foam-like because it is so airy. The mousse isn’t just delicate in texture but also has a lovely distinct but not too punchy honey flavor. A creamy light honey is best suited for this recipe such as the Landhonig by Langnese Honig, which is a perfect fit due to its mild taste.
To compliment the mousse, I made a fresh plum compote. While the honey mousse is already delicious on its own, the sour notes of the fresh fruit cut through the sweetness and fat… and frankly, make it even better. But if you are short for time, feel free to only prepare the mousse, as it is a lovely dessert on its own.
Compote is incredibly easy to make. It normally consists of fresh fruit, sugar, spices and water. For our plum compote, we are using red wine instead of water for an extra flavor and color boost. To create more depth of flavor, we are also caramelizing the sugar …because you can never go wrong with caramel. 😉
Since the mousse needs to set overnight, it’s a great make-ahead dessert. The compote keeps well in the fridge too, up to 4 days.
- 2 medium sized eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons creamed honey, such as Langnese Landhonig
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- pinch of salt
- 200 ml heavy cream, chilled (3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon)
- 6 leaves gelatine or plant-based gelatine
- 600 g fresh plums (1.3 lb)
- 80 g brown sugar (1/3 cup)
- 250 ml red wine (1 cup)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- In the bowl of a stand mixer*, add the eggs, egg yolks, honey, vanilla sugar and salt and beat for 10 minutes on high.
- Set aside 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Using a hand mixer, beat the rest of the heavy cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.
- In a small saucepan, add the 3 tablespoons of heavy cream as well as the gelatine and cook, stirring consistently, until the gelatine has completely dissolved and the mixture thickens.
- With the mixer still running, add the gelatin mixture to the egg-mixture. Fold in the whipped cream.
- Divide the mousse into 6 glasses and let it set in the fridge overnight. Serve chilled.
- Wash, pit and halve the plums. Add the brown sugar to a pot and melt it over medium heat (it will start to clump before it melts).
- Slowly add the red wine (careful it splatters!) and continue cooking everything until the sugar has melted again.
- Add the cinnamon stick and ground cloves and let the compote simmer until the plums are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
* If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can also use a hand mixer.
Thank you to our friends at Langnese Honig for sponsoring this post.
Keywords: honey, mousse, honey mousse, plum compote, dessert