Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Butterscotch mousse

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and have made it many, many times. What I really enjoy about it is that it isn't completely sweet. There's that ever-so-slight burnt sugar taste to it, that takes the edge off the sweetness. Truly yummilicious!

Now that the weather is warming up, it's a great choice for dessert. Be aware that it does involve raw egg white, so, if you have a problem with that, you have two choices: you can either give the recipe a miss altogether, or you can leave out the egg whites, which will result in a heavier mixture more like an 'instant pudding' than a mousse.

Just in case you don't do so as a matter of course, I suggest preparing all the ingredients before you start and have them readily to hand, because there is a point at which you need to work quite quickly, and to still have to measure out ingredients at that stage will slow you down.

600ml milk
40g cornflour
175g demerara sugar
50g butter
5ml vanilla
2 egg whites

  • Blend a little milk with the cornflour in a saucepan to make a smooth paste. The saucepan should be large enough to hold all the contents eventually.
  • Add the rest of the milk and stir over a gentle heat until it thickens. Keep stirring until it comes to the boil, signified by large, glooping bubbles rising up. What you have now is more or less a white sauce. Set it aside, but not too far away.
  • In another saucepan, completely melt the sugar over a medium heat.
  • Now you need to work quite quickly. Stir in the butter until it has completely melted.
  • Still working quickly (before the sugar mixture sets into toffee), stir the sugar/butter mixture into the white sauce. If the sugar toffee-fies itself before you've added all of it to the white sauce, you could gently heat it again, to re-liquify it and then stir it in. Don't worry too much if there are small lumps of toffee in the mixture at this point, we're about to deal with that.
  • Strain the mixture to get rid of lumps and clumps and to result in a completely smooth texture.
  • Stir in the vanilla and set aside while you attend to the egg whites.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down with no movement from the egg).
  • Fold into the sauce. If you're not familiar with 'folding', here is a YouTube video clip (not mine - I have a totally different accent!) that explains it. The point is not to deflate the egg whites after you've just gone to all that trouble to introduce enough tiny air bubbles to result in the 'stiff peak' consistency.
  • Pour into a large serving dish, or (for a more elegant alternative) into individual glass bowls/wine glasses and chill for several hours.
  • Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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