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California Travel Guide

Buttermilk mousse and raspberries

  • 3 1/2 oz. sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

    Almond lace:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. very finely ground almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice

    Raspberry sauce:
  • 10 oz. frozen raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 2 oz. fresh raspberries for garnish

    In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and buttermilk until creamy. In a small saucepan, combine the lime juice, Grand Marnier and gelatin powder, stirring until the powder is softened. Place the saucepan over the low heat and keep stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the vanilla. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff. Stir the gelatin mixture into the buttermilk mixture, then gently fold in the whipped cream. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 1 hour).

    Mix all of the ingredients for almond lace and set aside, at room temperature, for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Generously butter a baking sheet and, with the back of a spoon, spread thin circles (about 3-1/2 inches) of the almond mixture (well spaced). Bake about 4 to 5 minutes or until they are a light golden color. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly, but carefully, remove the almond lace with a spatula and place on a plate.

    Prepare the raspberry sauce by pureeing the frozen berries in a blender. Strain the puree through a fine sieve and return the puree to a bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream and Grand Marnier. (This will lighten the color of the sauce and show off the color of the fresh berries when served.)

    For the presentation, divide the mousse into three equal portions. Place a pool of the raspberry sauce on a large plate. Carefully place each portion of mousse in the center of the plate and, using a tablespoon, shape each into a quenelle (dumpling) shape. Crown the trio of mousse dumplings with an almond lace, and decorate with the fresh berries. Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar.

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