Sunday, 3 July 2011

Snow White & Rose Red

This is an old recipe my grandma used to make. We named it after our favourite Grimm's fairy tale due to its colours. It's some kind of yoghurt-cream-mousse, light and fluffy in texture. There is something magical about this dessert because it keeps its shape without any egg whites, thickener or gelatin. Another bonus, it is as simple to make as it is impressive when served on a platter. It's great for family parties as it serves ten.

You can easily half the recipe and use a smaller colander, sieve or strainer. Take into account the time it needs to sit in the fridge for draining. I found around 20 hours for the large quantity best, some hours more don't do any harm. You best make it a full day in advance. A smaller quantity may not take that long for the whey to drip off but I've never made a smaller batch ;-) Don't forget to pour off the whey every now and then!

Grandma only made this mousse in summer when the strawberries were ripe in the garden but you can serve it well later in the year with all kinds of red berries or a puree made from frozen berries.

The mousse is not too sweet, the yoghurt makes it fresh and slightly tartish. If you like, you can add a bit more sugar but I prefer to have the berries sugared slightly.

Serves 10
1 kg natural, low-fat yoghurt (= 1,000g = 2.2 lb = 4 cups + 2 tablespoons)
250 g granulated white sugar (= 8 oz = 1 1/4 cups)
800 ml double cream (= 3 1/3 cups)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract or 4 small bags vanilla sugar (Germany)
Sugared berries of all kind

Put a colander or strainer inside a bowl and line it with a cheese cloth or a thin tea towel.

In a bowl mix yoghurt and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl whip the double cream until thick.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the yoghurt and pour the mixture into the prepared strainer. Cover the top with clingfilm. Put a plate on top and fold the cloth over. (Important: the plate is for protection only. It should rest on the colander's rim and not press the mousse as you may know it from cheese making!!) The whey will start dripping after a few minutes.

Put the strainer and bowl set-up into the refrigerator for about 20 hours. Pour off liquid whey as it accumulates in the bowl.

To serve, unfold cloth, remove plate, peel off clingfilm and put your serving plate upside down on top of the strainer. Place your plate carefully - if it is not centered, you cannot move the mousse later! Invert strainer and plate, remove the strainer and carefully remove the cloth. You may need to clean the rim of your plate with a piece of damp kitchen paper.

After removal the cloth's texture and the colander's drainage holes stay visible.

This is the mousse inside. The yellow tone comes from the sun shining in. Actually it is white.

Serve with fresh, sugared, whole or pureed berries.

Leftovers can well be kept in the fridge for another day. But then the berries should have been served separately. Otherwise you'll get an unaesthetic mixture of cream/ yoghurt and red juice at the bottom of the dessert.

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