If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you must know that I am massive fan of aquafaba and I use it in my cooking all the time. I first stumbled across it in 2015 and have experimented with it ever since. The vegan chocolate mousse video we did back in July 2015 went viral and I’ve since used it to make so many things I lost count, but its application to make delicate mousses that even non-vegans rave about still blows my mind.
As it’s summer and I have been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, I’ve decided to replicate something my grandma used to make with egg whites and wild strawberries. Have you ever had wild strawberries? They are to die for, intensely aromatic and not quite like strawberries at all – much more fleshy and less watery. Maybe because Poland has historically been quite tortured and therefore poor, we are a nation of foragers. We love picking free foodstuffs and they are widely used in many of our dishes. Things like bilberries (traditionally used in these), wild strawberries, sour cherries, blackberries, mulberries and a whole host of wild mushrooms, of course.
So anyway, my Gran was a very good cook and she used to make this delicious wild strawberry mousse with loads of egg whites and tonnes of sugar. It was light and super sweet, which of course I did not mind as a child and she would serve it in elegant bowls with wafers stuck in that were used as an eating device. It was definitely one of her summer dinner party desserts of choice.
With her at the back of my mind, I made a light mousse using raspberries (I am pretty sure that strawberries would work also). It’s not quite like what she used to make – I would never be able to replicate how delicious her mousse was – but it brings back my happy food memories so that’s enough for me.
This vegan raspberry mousse is fruity and light and really perfect as a summer dessert. And because I am an annoying perfectionist that never feels like enough, I’ve tested two different options for you – one with coconut and one without. I also tested using maple syrup (essentially any liquid sweetener will work) and sugar. They both work well but the method in each case needs to be a bit different so please read the instructions carefully. Sugar produces a stiffer mousse but then I know that some people are not keen on it – I’ve got a maple syrup sweetened version for you, which while a touch softer, is also super light and airy. Take your pick and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed testing all these variations for you 😉 x
- 240 g / 8½ oz fresh raspberries, plus more to decorate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 30 g / 2 tbsp smooth (unroasted preferably) cashew butter*
- 60 ml / ¼ cup maple syrup OR 50 g / ¼ cup superfine caster sugar
- 130 g / 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 mins
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup aquafaba
- Press your raspberries through a sieve to get rid of the seeds – you should end up with under a cup of raspberry puree. You don’t have to do that but your mousse will be a bit gritty if you skip this step.
- If making the CASHEW VERSION, place pulp from the raspberries, vanilla extract, cashew butter and maple syrup (if using sugar don’t add it in yet) at the bottom of a blender. If you are making the COCONUT VERSION whisk all of the ingredients (apart from sugar if that’s what you choose to sweeten it with) together in a bowl using a wire whisk.
- If making the CASHEW VERSION, add drained and rinsed cashews and blend until the mixture is silky smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Place aquafaba in a clean (that’s very important as any grease residue will prevent the aquafaba from foaming) glass or metal bowl. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Whip it until you achieve stiff peaks – you should be able to invert the bowl and the whipped aquafaba should not budge an inch. If it does it means that it hasn’t been whipped enough.
- If USING SUGAR to sweeten, add it slowly to the whipped aquafaba whipping well after each addition.
- As I wanted to prettify this dessert for the blog, I mashed up some extra raspberries and placed a thin layer of them at the bottom of each glass, but be aware that the extra moisture makes the mousse a little less firmly set where it comes in contact with the raspberries. I don’t think it’s much of an issue, but I want you to be aware.
- Fold stiff aquafaba into the raspberry mixture gently and gradually (I do it in 3-4 batches) until the two are well incorporated. Use a slow folding motion so that you don’t knock too much air out of the dessert when mixing. The mixture will deflate a little bit, don’t worry, that’s normal. Pour the mixture between 4 small glasses and place them in the fridge for 8 hours (or overnight) for the mousse to set.
- Once the mousse has had a chance to set, decorate with fresh raspberries just before serving. This dessert keeps in an airtight container for about 2 days.
**In order to separate the cream you need to chill the tin undisturbed for a few days, after which time the cream should have floated to the top. I have not tried using store bought coconut cream, but it should work fine provided there is enough fat in it.
Based on my previous mousse recipes: Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Mousse, Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse, Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse, Vegan Black Forest Chocolate Mousse and finally Peanut Butter Mousse.