Raspberry mousse is a dessert dish featuring raspberries as the primary flavoring ingredient along with a thickening agent like gelatin or cream. Typically, the mousse requires chilling before it is ready to eat. Extra flourishes for the dish can include raspberry sauce, or fruit-flavored liqueur. Both fresh and frozen raspberries can be used for the mousse.
A few different species of raspberry bush are found in the world, all of which are part of the Rubus genus of plants. The plant likes temperate climates and does not require much maintenance. As the plants fruit at certain times of the year, supermarkets experience gluts of them at times and cannot obtain them in others. Some types of the plant fruit in the summer, and some can produce more fruit into the fall.
Each plant produces soft fruit that is made up of segments, and which a farmer can pick off the bush very easily when completely ripe. Although most raspberries are deep red, some varieties are yellow, purple or black, which could provide a variation on the typical raspberry mousse. Normally, a raspberry mousse gets its pink color from the redness of the fruits and the whiteness of the thicker ingredients, which could be cream, egg whites or yogurt.
Recipes for the mousse vary widely; some are light and airy, while others are creamier and thicker. Personal preference influences, therefore, which ingredient a cook uses to bulk up the mousse. Whipped egg whites and white sugar give the raspberry mousse an airiness and sweetness that can balance the tartness of the berries. Whipping cream and icing sugar together also adds sweetness and lightness to the dessert.
Cooks who want a jelled consistency to the mousse can mix gelatin with hot water and add in crushed raspberries before the bulking agent goes into the bowl. A simpler form of raspberry mousse involves mixing the ground-up berries with yogurt or vegan yogurt to make a thick mousse. Most forms of raspberry mousse need to undergo chilling for up to several hours before they are ready to serve, otherwise the consistency may be wrong.
Variations on a mousse include a layered dessert, with the mousse alternating between portions of fresh or stewed raspberries. A dash of fruit liqueur can also add flavor. Broken nuts like pistachios can also go into a cream-based dessert. Both fresh raspberries and frozen raspberries suit a mousse, as the fruit need not be whole. Issues to look out for when serving a raspberry mousse to guests include the fact that the egg whites are still raw, which may be a problem for some people, or that gelatin is often from animal sources, which may be an issue for vegetarians.