Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Mousse

The days seem to by flying by now. Isn't that how it always is when you're having fun? And I certainly am having fun, but I'm also crazy busy. I went from having most of my afternoons free to do whatever I wanted, to now having about two afternoons to do everything I need to do. Welcome to the adult world, I guess?

Full-time school and a part-time job don't seem like anything out of the ordinary, though. People do this all the time and are fine! And then there's me, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I need to do this and that, but I have to do it then, because I don't have time now, but it's closed then, etc. etc. Is this really what being an adult is like?

Granted, I'm not really a complete adult here. My parents help me out with rent, I don't have mortgage payments or car payments, and I only have a couple small bills to pay. So, really, not that bad I guess. 

Whenever the stresses of life seem to be slowly closing in on me, a little day of baking usually helps me put things in perspective. I am super happy where I'm at, and the franticness will pass eventually. I'm still getting into the groove of pastry school, so I can give myself a break. And reward myself with this beauty.

It might seem like a bit more work than you're used to with a normal mousse, but it's quite easy and definitely worth the extra effort. The pink peppercorns add an interesting little kick to the mousse. Pink peppercorns are far less peppery than black peppercorns and have a slightly floral note to them. In the small quantity that I used in this recipe, you're not going to be sniffling and wiping your eyes. If you're really not into pink peppercorns, leave them out, but I always suggest trying something new. If it has egg yolks, sugar, and cream, how bad can it be, really?

Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Mousse
Recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay Desserts

Italian Meringue
120g caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon liquid glucose or 2 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 large free range egg whites

Pate a Bombe
100mL water
150g caster (superfine) sugar
5 large free range egg yolks

200mL raspberry puree (about 2 1/2 cups raspberries)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, finely ground
200mL heavy cream

For the meringue, put the sugar, water, and glucose (or corn syrup) in a small saucepan and dissolve over low heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and place a sugar thermometer in the pan.

Meanwhile, put the egg whites into the very clean bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until the whites are soft peaks. Continue to boil the syrup until it reaches 120 C or 248 F, about 5 to 7 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, trickle the syrup into the egg whites. Continue whisking for another 5 minutes until the mixture if cooled to room temperature. Set aside.

For the pate a bombe, put the water and sugar in a small saucepan (a clean one) and dissolve over low heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and place a sugar thermometer in the pan.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl using a hand mixer on full speed until pale yellow, thick, and creamy. Continue to boil the syrup until it reaches 120 C or 248 F, 5 to 7 minutes. While mixing on low speed, trickle the syrup into the egg yolks. Increase the speed to full and mix until the pate a bombe is a thick foam.

Place a saucepan of barely simmering water on low heat and place the bowl of egg yolks overtop. Whisk for a further 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy and stands in round floppy peaks. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking until it has cooled to room temperature.

For the mousse, puree the raspberries in a blender, then measure the puree to 200mL. Fold the puree and ground peppercorns into the italian meringue gently, then fold in the pate a bombe. Lastly, whip the cream in a bowl until softly stiff and fold into the mousse mixture. Spoon into individual glasses and chill until lightly firm, about 3 to 4 hours.

Note that these mousses are not ideal for molds, as they are softly set and will not hold their shape without a mold.

When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream, a sprinkling of pink peppercorns, and a raspberry if you want.