Strawberry Mousse is an ethereal, light as air dessert made with strawberry puree for freshness and dried strawberries for intense flavor. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry on top.
I absolutely adore fresh-from-the-field, in-season strawberries. Don’t you? I could gobble up a quart in one sitting.
Fresh strawberries are so delicious to eat because they are super-juicy. While that’s a good thing when you want to eat a fresh berry, it’s a problem when you want to infuse strawberry flavor into a dessert.
I challenged myself to make a light and fluffy Strawberry Mousse with a distinctive, fresh-strawberry flavor. Because a great mousse starts with a thick and flavorful base, I had to balance out the moisture from the berries without overwhelming the delicate strawberry flavor.
Cooking the berries is one way to do reduce the moisture. This is the approach I use for Roasted Strawberry Hand Pies. But cooking changes the flavor of the berries. I wanted fresh strawberry flavor not a cooked/jammy flavor.
When I created my Strawberry & Rosé Wine Macarons, Strawberry Ice Cream and my Strawberries & Cream Bundt Cake I used freeze-dried berries to get fresh strawberry flavor without extra water. I take the same approach with this recipe.
Freeze dried strawberries are simply berries with all the moisture removed. Without extra water, they have a concentrated flavor. The dried berry powder also thickens up the fresh strawberry puree to make that thick and flavorful base for our mousse.
Because the strawberries are never cooked, the flavor is pure fresh-berry bliss.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make luscious Strawberry Mousse using fresh berries:
Tips for making the fluffiest Strawberry Mousse:
- Adding freeze-dried strawberry powder thickens up the base so it can hold lots of air.
- By adding not only whipped cream, but also whipped egg whites you will have the fluffiest and lightest texture possible.
- Use just enough gelatin to thicken the mousse without making it rubbery.
- Fold the components together very gently to retain as much as the air as possible.
- Pipe or spoon the mousse into serving dishes while it’s still soft. Refrigerate until the gelatin is set
How to turn Strawberry Mousse into a cake filling.
- Strawberry Mousse is the perfect filling for Vanilla Chiffon Cake, Vanilla Genoise or any chocolate cake.
- Have the cake layers baked, trimmed and ready to go before you begin making the mousse.
- To keep the mousse from oozing out, pipe a dam of buttercream around the rim of each cake layer.
- Spread the mousse within the buttercream dam while it’s still soft.
- Refrigerate the cake to set the mousse before you ice the cake.
Now that you’ve made this recipe what should you do with the extra yolks? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra yolks for some great ideas.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 1.5 cups (1 oz, 30g) freeze dried strawberries
- 24 oz (680g) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (8 oz, 240 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons orange liquor (or use water)
- 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons, 7g) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 large egg whites
- Toss the fresh strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Macerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, use a food processor to grind the freeze dried strawberries into a powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl and set aside. Puree and strain (see note) the fresh strawberries to make 2 cups of puree. Stir the strawberry powder into the puree.
- Place the liquor (or cool water) into a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin in an even layer over the liquor and set it aside to bloom. Whip the cream with another 1/4 cup of the sugar and fold it into the puree. Refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Combine the egg whites with the final 1/4 cup of sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl. Set the bowl over the pan of almost simmering water (don't allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and heat to 160°F, stirring constantly. Remove the whites from the heat and whip until they are at full peak and completely cooled.
- Heat the bloomed gelatin in the microwave in 10 second increments until it's hot to the touch. Working quickly, add a 1/2 cup of the mousse to the warmed gelatin. Whisk to combine. Pour the gelatin mixture back into the mousse. Immediately whisk until the mousse is smooth and the gelatin is evenly incorporated. Immediately fold the whites into the mousse.
- Pipe or spoon the mousse into serving glasses while it's is still soft. Refrigerate until set.
- Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Straining through a fine mesh sieve will remove some but not all of the seeds. If the seeds don't bother you, you can skip the straining step.
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