Monday, January 30, 2012

Lychee & Raspberry Mousse with Candied Violets

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After all the festivities that we've had over the last month, it felt like a good time to step back from doing gimmicky stuff and do something easy and pretty instead. This dessert seemed like a perfect way to enjoy the summer fruit that has been available in Sydney at the moment, but it also has the added bonus of being just as delicious when made with frozen and canned fruit for those who aren't as lucky as us Sydney-siders. I adapted one of my favourite past recipes; a Watermelon & Honeydew Mousse, to make this light and girly Lychee & Raspberry Mousse with Candied Violets.
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Originally I wanted to do this dessert with homemade candied rose petals to make it a total Pierre Hermé ispahan-inspired dessert, but I wasn't able to get my hands on pesticide free roses in time. So I settled for some crushed candied violets instead, which was fine with me because I love the subtle floral flavour and gorgeous purple colour of the violets. I've been holding on to my tiny stash of candied violets with all my stingy Asian stubborness because they are bloody expensive, but I think this dessert was decent enough to use up a few of them. Feel free to adapt this recipe to include a rose element if you prefer!
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This is such a simple dessert to whip up, the actual prep time is about 20 minutes, but there's a little bit of waiting time in between the prep while you let things cool and set. I used fresh raspberries for the raspberry mousse because the ones available at the moment are so cheap and great looking. I realised that recently I've been using raspberries to flavour a lot of my desserts, which I had avoided a lot in the past. I usually get pretty irritated eating fruits that have a lot of tiny seeds, because one of those little seeds inevitably lodges itself in the small gap between two of my back teeth and refuses to budge. But these days I can't resist adding raspberry puree to lots of my recipes because it adds such a rich flavour and colour, and I make sure to strain out as many of those pesky seeds as I can. The raspberry mousse layer is a lovely blush colour with a slightly tart berry flavour.
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In my opinion the lychee mousse layer is the star of this dessert. I was surprised by how strong the flavour of the lychees came through in the mousse, it is absolutely divine. It provides a great balance against the more sour raspberry layer, and the violets help to finish it off perfectly. I ended up using canned lychees for my puree because the fresh ones at my supermarket weren't as great as the other ones I've seen around recently, I'm sure the fresh ones would taste even better in this.
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I made a few tweaks to the original mousse recipe; taking out some of the gelatine in the hopes it would give it a more delicate texture and completely get rid of the tiny aftertaste of gelatine that I really don't enjoy. The result is this wondefully fluffy mousse, I probably could have reduced the amount of gelatine even more but I was too scared that it wouldn't set. The timing of this super pink and girly dessert might make it perfect for those planning a Valentine's Day meal, though personally I think this dessert will probably be enjoyed more by the girls than the boys. It will definitely be enjoyed a lot more by this girl than her boy :P
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Lychee & Raspberry Mousse with Candied Violets
(serves 4-6 people, adapted from my Two Melon Mousse recipe)
For the raspberry mousse:
1 punnet (125g) fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed and strained (makes about 2/3 cup puree)
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
1/8 cup cold water
1/4 cup (60g) sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat unthickened pure cream)

For the lychee mousse:
200g peeled and pitted lychees, pureed and strained (I used 1 can of lychees, which made about 3/4 cup of puree)
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
1/8 cup cold water
1/4 cup (60g) sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat unthickened pure cream)
To decorate: 1 crushed candied violet per serve, or make your own candied rose petals (make sure they are pesticide free)
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Prepare the raspberry mousse first; place gelatine and cold water in a small bowl to allow the gelatine to soften. Add about 1/3 cup of water to the raspberry puree, or enough so that it makes 1 cup liquid in total. Place this in a medium saucepan with sugar and lemon juice and heat on low until the sugar dissolves completely. Add softened gelatine to the mixture, heat and stir until the gelatine dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and chill mixture in fridge until it reaches just below room temperature and is starting to thicken. Whip cream in a large mixing bowl to soft peaks. Add vanilla to raspberry mixture and then fold whipped cream into it until all the lumps are removed. Pour into 4-6 individual serving glasses, half-filling each of them, and chill in the fridge until set, at least 45 mins.

Prepare the lychee mousse; repeat same steps for raspberry mousse but with lychee puree. Pour over the top of set raspberry mousse and chill until set or overnight. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving, then sprinkle candied violets over the top of each mousse (don't do it too early or the sugar from the violets will dissolve and stain the top of the mousse blue). Otherwise, you can top it with candied rose petals or fresh raspberries and lychees or whipped cream flavoured with rose water.
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34 comments:

  1. This is beautiful Steph. The pastel color is just gorgeous. I have only made "dark" mousse .. chocolate, mango. Love lychee in the mousse.

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  2. Sounds so light and elegant - perfect for summer!

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  3. Love your styling! What a great combination, going to try these out myself :)

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  4. *swoon* My fave flavours together in one glass. And it looks so pretty!

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  5. This sounds like a really delicious combination; the photos and your styling are beautiful as well!

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  6. What an absolutely stunning dessert with gorgeous flavors. Wow!

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  7. Love the props you use to photograph. Sounds like a treat for those hot summer nights. Gorgeous!

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  8. sounds utterly delicious & beautifully photographed

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  9. I'm totally the same. I buy pretty cake decorating things and then don't want to use them because they cost so much!

    Raspberries are my favourite at the moment. I love the colour and flavour and you don't need too many to get a burst. Yum!

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  10. Great flavour combinations and as usual completely mesmerising pictures

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  11. oh my, this os so very gorgeous;y girly and it would taste delicious too!

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  12. This would be a wonderful end to a Valentine's Day meal although I agree, I'd probably appreciate it more than my boyfriend! The photos are gorgeous - so simple and calm. Lovely recipe.

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  13. That look so pretty and elegant, would love to try the recipe!

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  14. Yum! THis looks scrumptious. My kind of dessert.

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  15. It looks so good that I could just-about taste it as I was reading. Just beautiful :)

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  16. Love your recipe and gorgeous photos. I pinned on pinterest
    PS you are amazing! xo

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  17. Steph, I love the way you have styled the photos. The paper is stunning! Oh, and the mousse looks good too!

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  18. Putting the words lychee and mousse = heaven! Your photos also look so prettty!

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  19. what a delight!love the presentation.New follower from delightsofculinaria.blogspot.com

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  20. I tried this recipe tonight and it was so so good, thank you! Having relatively recently come across your blog i have successfully attempted three of your beautiful creations and now people think that I am a spectacular cook :) (don't worry, I send them all links).
    Thanks for making me look amazing! I wish I had your creativity

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  21. que buena pinta, me parece delicioso. Saludos.

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  22. I LOVE your pics, they are amazing, congrats =)
    And this lychee mousse looks really really yummy!

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  23. Wow Steph, this looks amazing! I came upon your site today itself while looking for lychee mousse and am planning to make this tomorrow, wish me luck... One question though: can I replace the raspberries with strawberries? Any changes or tips I should keep in mind to do so?? Thanks a ton, from Rumi, amateur baker from Melbourne! :-)

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    1. Yes that's totally fine to use strawberries instead of raspberries! I only used one punnet of raspberries which makes about 2/3 a cup of puree, which I had to top up with water to get a whole cup of liquid in total, so if you have enough strawberries to make a whole cup of puree then you don't need to add any extra water!

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    2. Thanks Steph...I did give it a go with raspberries itself... the mousse was awesome!! Thanks :-)
      Not as neat as yours unfortunately, but wow was it good! Can't go wrong with lychees!

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    3. Hey Steph, thanks for the tip...
      This time round I used the raspberries, but will try it with strawberries too!
      And, this recipe is great, the mousse came out so well, perfectly fluffy and smooth... Thanks so much, this is something that's definitely gonna be repeated at my place! :-)

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  24. Just divine, divine, divine! The photos are a feast for the eyes but I can't wait to make this so I can taste the scrumptiousness!

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  25. I used your lychee mousse recipe to fill a cake the other day. I like the light flavor, not too sweet. Almost floral. I added a 1/4 cup extra of cream and it held up really well!

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  26. Thank you for the awesome recipe !
    I made the lychee mousse by itself and your recipe was too sweet without the raspberry tartness to tone it down. So I cut the sugar in half (could cut down even more) and increased the cold cream. Still came out perfectly set and fluffy as a unicorn lmao.

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