What do you do when you’ve got truckloads of strawberries and mulberries stashed away in your freezer? Well, I know what you’re thinking. What’s the hurry in trying to make something or the other out of it? Why don’t I just let them be and do something fun when i come across a fun recipe, right?
Well the problem is, I froze half the strawberries whole and pureed the rest with sugar, as I did with the mulberries. I froze the puree in little ice-cube trays. And thanks to all the heat, whenever someone opens the freezer, some frozen puree cubes disappear, as do the strawberries! So much so that I had to change the containers in which I’d places these and hid them in an obscure corner of the freezer.
The problem is, good strawberries are hard to come by in Chennai. When we took a small vacation last month, we visited Mahabaleshwar, a pretty little hilltop temple town in the western state of Maharashtra in India. And I discovered that the place was the strawberry capital of the country! I also saw loads of mulberries there and brought back a nice big package of that too. I was eating mulberries after close to 20 years! The last memory I have of eating them is when I was in second or third grade, standing under a tree with a big bag in my hand catching all the berries thrown down by my friend!
And so, if I did not try some recipes with all the berries I had on hand, it would probably be ages before i even get my hands again on good fruit like this. And that’s how i got down to making some strawberry mousse last fortnight. It was actually my Mothers Day fix for myself 🙂 It was a hit. Sadly, I did not manage any picture. The next day I armed myself with a seemingly complex task of a layered mousse with whipped cream. Making this wasn’t difficult at all but looked and tasted so good. One of my friends commented saying it matched top hotel quality and it really made my day! This is very easy to prepare and doesn’t take much hands on time either.
Very Berry Mousse
Fresh strawberries – 1 cup
Fresh mulberries – 1 cup
Plain China grass/agar agar – 5 gm
Whipped cream – 2 cups + 1/2 cup (for topping)
Sugar – 3-4 tbsp or more ar
Grind fresh strawberries with requisite sugar into a smooth puree. Run it through a mesh if you don’t like the seeds. I don’t because I like them lots and feel they add to the texture of the mousse
Do the same with mulberries
Tear china grass into smaller pieces and soak in a cup of water for 10 minutes. When dissolved, put it on heat and boil till the agar agar melts completely. Remove from heat. Pour half the liquid into another bowl
Add strawberry puree to one half of the china grass liquid and mulberry puree to the other half. Mix them well separately
Add 1 cup of whipped cream to each fruit puree bowl and mix thoroughly
Pour strawberry mixture into serving bowls (or pretty shot glasses if you have them) and let set roughly for ten minutes. Once it has somewhat set, pour the mulberry mixture over it. Set it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours
Top with whipped cream and serve
1. I ran out of whipped cream for garnish and so topped it with vanilla ice-cream for the second batch, the ones you see in the pictures here
2. You can play around with the firmness of the mouse by decreasing the amount of china grass. Reduce it to 3 gm for a softer mousee. I used lesser china grass in the first batch and it was softer than this batch
3. I had only 3/4 cups of whipped cream per fruit opposed to 1 cup when I made it with strawberries alone and that mousse was richer. I would urge you to use around 1 cup whipped cream for 1 cup of fruit. It is a question of preference though