This easy strawberry mousse is a delicious balance of wonderful strawberry flavor and smooth creaminess. This recipe comes together easily and being made ahead, it's perfect for entertaining.
Strawberries have long been a favorite fruit in our house. They're perfect to snack on and I love adding some when I make my Dutch baby pancakes with roasted berries. And that's before we get on to desserts using them.
My no churn roasted strawberry ice cream is a big favorite on a hot day, and it's probably about time I made a strawberry tiramisu again, too. But for now, these wonderfully creamy cups of deliciousness are giving us our strawberry dessert fix. They're easy to make, great to make ahead and with a fantastic flavor.
Today I'm sharing this as part of a special Valentine's event hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. If you're a regular, you may remember I've joined Julie's event before to support this great cause.
Help us make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids' Cancer! Our goal is to raise at least $3000. Because these three companies: OXO, Mediavine and Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000! That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4! Thank you to so many of you who have already donated, please help us reach our goal so we can get the full matching donations and help us make an even huge difference! Donate here today.
Differing mousse ingredients
For something so simple, mousse has a number of ways to make it. And I don't mean just different flavors but even within a flavor. The differences are largely about consistency - most people are looking for a relatively thick, creamy texture and there are different ways to do that.
You can use eggs to help give that 'lift', though that's less typical with strawberry. For one, egg yolks can dull that lovely pink color. Then it's really whether you use just cream, or add some cream cheese for richness and firmness, and whether you use gelatin.
Personally, I prefer just cream and a just a small amount of gelatin to get a lovely balance of texture and flavor. My taste-testers were certainly more than happy to enjoy it this way.
Ensuring plenty of strawberry flavor
Strawberries have a wonderful natural flavor, but it can be easily diluted by other ingredients, even cream. As a result, in a similar way to my choice to roast the berries for ice cream, here I chose to cook them down a bit first.
You effectively make a compote to mix with the cream. It both helps to bring out the strawberry flavor plus means it's a less liquid mixture to fold into the cream. As a bonus, it means you can use frozen strawberries (defrosted first) as you can then reduce down the extra juice you get from them.
I'd suggest whipping the cream before you make the compote so that you can have it nice and chilled before you fold in the strawberry mixture. But you could also do it while the strawberries are simmering, if you are short on time. Just remember to stir the strawberries now and then.
Using gelatin in mousse
As I mention above, I decided to use a little gelatin in this - just enough to help it hold it's textures but not that it feels jelly-like. I still wanted this to be a nicely creamy mousse. If you prefer it to be a little firmer, then you can increase this amount to say 1tsp rather than ½tsp.
You can also skip the gelatin and it will still work well. The mixture will just be slightly less firm, particularly as it comes to room temperature. Or, for a vegetarian version, you could use agar-agar.
Using gelatin is not difficult, you just need to remember a couple things. First, start by letting it 'bloom' by adding it to a small amount of water. It becomes jelly-like after a few minutes. Then mix it in with a larger amount of liquid to become distributed. You need heat at this point to help it dissolve, which is easy here with the strawberry mixture, but gelatin should not boil.
You add the gelatin to the strawberry mixture while it is still warm so that the warmth helps it to melt in and distribute easily. However, as I say you don't want gelatin to boil which is why you add off the heat. Let it cool to lukewarm before mixing with the cream.
Make sure you fold in the strawberries with a spatula, ideally plastic. Bring any strawberries that might settle at the bottom up and through the cream. You want to try to keep the air in the cream but also not have any white streaks. Once mixed, transfer the mixture to dishes then chill to let them firm up.
This easy strawberry mousse really lives up the name - easy to make, with a wonderfully strawberry flavor and deliciously creamy too. It's the kind of dessert that's perfect for date night, entertaining or just because. And with that lovely color, it's naturally a perfect fit for Valentine's Day too. So find your excuse, and whip some up soon!
Try these other creamy make ahead desserts:
- Crema Catalana (similar to crème brûleé)
- Passion fruit mousse (mousse de maracuja)
- Rhubarb fool
- Plus get more dessert recipes in the archives.
Easy strawberry mousse
- ½ tsp gelatin
- 1 tbsp water
- 8 oz strawberries 225g (1 typical box, approx 1 ½ cups once halved/quartered)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup heavy cream 120ml double cream (looking for 35% fat)
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and stir to mix in. Scrape down any that may stick to the sides then set aside for 5 minutes (you can do other steps while it expands).
- Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until relatively smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan then put to one side while you whip the cream (or you can start warming it, as long as you keep an eye on it and stir now and then).
- Whip the cream in a medium-large bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Place the bowl with the cream in the fridge while you thicken the strawberry mixture.
- Warm the pan with the strawberry puree over a medium-high heat, stirring regularly, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for around 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly and become a slightly darker color.
- Remove the strawberries from the heat then add the gelatin mixture and mix through well to be well combined. Allow the mixture to chill to lukewarm - you can speed it up by putting in the fridge a couple minutes. Don't let it get completely cold as you don't want the mixture to set.
- Once lukewarm, fold the strawberry mixture into the cream, making sure you get everything well distributed but try to avoid losing too much air. Once you no longer have white streaks, pour the mixture into individual dishes (2 or 3, depending on size), and place them in the fridge to chill and firm up, at least 2 hours but ideally a little longer. If longer than 4 hours I recommend covering them with a lid or cling wrap/film. Serve chilled.
Remember to pin for later!
Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in the Valentine’s Day event and check out their recipes!
Heart Shaped Chocolate Cake from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Easy Chocolate Mousse from Allison of Celebrating Sweets
Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies from Sheila of Life, Love, and Good Food
Lemon Biscotti from Jenn of Ever After In The Woods
Easy Cream Cheese Candies from Kelly of Live Laugh Rowe
Cornflake Cookies from All The Good Cookies from Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm
Strawberry Mochi Cookies from Heather of Delicious Not Gorgeous
Red Velvet Valentine Brownies Recipe from Jennifer of The Rebel Chick
Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe from Faith of An Edible Mosaic
Chinese Five-Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies from Bridget of Bake at 350
Chocolate Molten Lava Cake from Ashley of Spoonful of Flavor
Double Chocolate M&M Cookies from Melissa of Persnickety Plates
Raspberry Lemon Macaroons from Sue of It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake
Raspberry Curd from Holly of A Baker's House
Red Velvet Brownies from Kelly of Kelly Lynn's Sweets and Treats
Toffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches from Audrey of That Recipe
Creamy Raspberry Sherbet Pandemic Punch from Laura of Untwisted Vintage
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake Balls from Lindsey of Lindsey Loo's Bakery
Amaretto Cherry Swirl Cake from Samantha of Haute Pepper Bites
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Bundt Cake from Elaine of Small Farm Big Life
Vanilla Bean Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies from Colleen of Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Neapolitan Cookies Recipe from Lisa of Blogghetti
Small Batch Almond Thumbprint Cookies from Lauren of Healthy Delicious
Kahlua Truffles from Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Red Velvet Brownie Cups from Nikki of Soulfully Made
Triple Chocolate Trifles from Coleen of The Redhead Baker
Festive Puppy Chow from Erin of The Speckled Palate
Chewy White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies from Jessica of A Kitchen Addiction
Hot Chocolate Bombs for Valentine's Day from Anna-Marie of Beauty and the Beets
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies from Lisa of Taste Cook Sip
Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles from Betsy of The JavaCupcake Blog
Cherry Blossom Cookies from Carolann of Apron Warrior
Chocolate Mint Frappuccino Cookies from Peabody of Sweet ReciPEAs
Mini Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecakes from Kate of Kate's Recipe Box
Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies from Shashi of Savory Spin
Funfetti Cookie Bars from Becca of The Salted Cookie
Grapefruit Poppyseed Cake from Michelle of Cold Weather Comfort
White Rabbit Candy Cookies from Linda of Ketchup with Linda
Baby Yoda Valentine’s Day Cookies from Jenn of justJENN recipes
Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel Cowboy Cookies from Bree of Baked Bree
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Bombs from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix from Gwynn of Swirls of flavor
Cherry Chocolate Chip No Bake Cheesecake from Stefanie of Stef's Eats and Sweets
Valentine's Day Homemade Ding Dongs from TammyJo of The Chocolate Cult
Guava Macarons with Coconut Buttercream from Lindsay of Anchored Baking
Valentines Pink Dessert Charcuterie Board for Kids from Nicole of For the Love of Food
Hot Chocolate Cookies from Amanda of A Cookie Named Desire
Cóctel de Camarones from Rebekah of Kitchen Gidget
Cuccidati (Italian Fig Cookies) from Amy of The Nifty Foodie
Lemon Poppyseed Heart Shaped Sandwich Cookies from Lisa of Garlic & Zest
Valentine's Day Almond Flour Brownies from Kaitlin of I Can Cook That
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake from Trang of Wild Wild Whisk