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August 2, 2013

What’s Cooking: White Chocolate Mousse with Summer Berries

Introducing our newest feature: What’s Cooking. Get ready for delicious, seasonal recipes from our four Nordstrom cookbooks, including beloved dishes from our restaurants and other original, simple-to-follow recipes developed by our corporate chef, Michael Northern, and his small army of chefs and contributors.

Nordstrom Blog Editor Jeff will be taking you into the kitchen as he brings home what’s fresh in Seattle to create a dish and prove (with his photographic evidence) that you don’t have to be a professional chef to transform beautiful ingredients into irresistible food meant to be shared with family and friends.

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It’s been one of the most amazing summers I can remember here in Seattle, and I like to celebrate such gorgeous weather by snatching up the berries we have at the Broadway Farmers Market. The first few recipes we’ll be sharing are perfect for showcasing these plump little juice-bombs. First up: raspberries—though this mousse plays well with any summer berry that makes you happy.

White Chocolate Mousse with Summer Berries

(Makes 8 Servings)

For me, hot and sunny days call for a light-feeling dessert, especially one like this that doesn’t require turning on the oven—just a barely lit stove with enough heat to melt some luscious white chocolate. For such a straightforward recipe with so few components, the resulting airy texture of this rich and velvety dessert seems almost unbelievable. As always, but especially here, quality ingredients are key.

From the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook: 

“Not that there is anything wrong with dark chocolate mousse (you can use bittersweet chocolate to replace the white chocolate in this recipe), but the mousse’s silky texture and pristine color is irresistible. When purchasing white chocolate, be sure the ingredients include cocoa butter. Tangy fresh berries balance the mousse’s sweetness.” –Marcus Matusky, contributing chef

Ingredients:
1¼ cups heavy cream
8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, separated*
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
4 cups assorted fresh berries, such as raspberries and blueberries
White chocolate curls

1. Pour ¼ inch water into a medium skillet and bring to a bare simmer over low heat. Pour ¼ cup of the heavy cream into a heatproof small bowl. Add the white chocolate. Place the bowl in the skillet and turn off the heat. Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and thickened. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Let stand, stirring often, until tepid, about 10 minutes. (If the mixture is too warm, it will melt the whipped cream in the next step.)

3. Beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a chilled medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir one-quarter of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture to lighten its texture. Fold in the remaining cream.

4. Using clean beaters, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whip just until the peaks are stiff and shiny. Stir one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the white chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.

5. Divide the mousse among 8 individual bowls or wine glasses. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Garnish with berries and white chocolate curls; serve chilled.

To make chocolate curls, let a chunk of chocolate (at least 6 ounces) stand in a warm place in the kitchen for about 1 hour. Working over a plate, use a vegetable peeler to shave curls from the chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm the curls before using.

Editor’s Note. I confess: No doubt some of you eagle-eyed readers have noticed my lack of a white-chocolate-curl garnish on the final martini glass presentation. After I finished all the whisking and beating, I noticed the extra chocolate I reserved had vanished. Into my mouth. I’ll just call it “overzealous quality control.” In a culinary make-it-work moment, a sprig of mint seemed like a classic, colorful substitution to complement those ruby-red raspberries.

The best part about making this mousse was watching the looks of near delirium on my friends’ faces as they relished their first spoonful. The combination of voluminous, silky sweetness and fat little berries at the height of freshness made for a dessert that’s nothing less than summertime perfection. I love how elegant it looks and tastes.

Download a PDF of this recipe to print, or find it in our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook. Have a favorite recipe from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

[Photos by Jeff Powell]

*This recipe contains under-cooked eggs, which have been known to carry the potentially harmful salmonella bacterium. Do not serve to the very young or elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Comments

JillC August 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm

The photos are lovely! My mouth is watering :)

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor August 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

Thank you, Jill. I hope you try it yourself!

Allison August 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I adore white chocolate and berries, and haven’t made a mousse in a long time. Thank you for the recipe! yum

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor August 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Our pleasure, Allison! It’s such a great combination.

Rujesh August 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

Yummy….

susie August 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

can anyone comment on how this recipe actually tastes? It sounds divine!

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