Monday, 6 February 2017

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse


Fresh fruit desserts and snacks are my favourite kinda things, the bursts of flavour that one gets from a fresh home made item with fresh ingredients is unparalleled and tinned food cant hold a candle to them. Thats the reason why whenever winter rolls in I go absolutely gaga when I'm at the market, I want to get and gorge on all possible fruits and veggies that I can lay my hands and lose my wallet on.


Like every year, this year too I waited for strawberries as November rolled in, nope no sign of them, not until the very end of January did I spot and promptly get home four boxes, safely tucked them into the refrigerator and put on my thinking cap on what I could use them in this year. In case you are new to this space, strawberries take up a large chunk of my love for ingredients, last year I used them to make this gorgeous ruby hued Fresh Strawberry Jam and this smooth and creamy Pannacotta with Strawberry Coulis 


Mousse always occupies a top spot in my desserts list, but the excessive use of cream and raw egg whites immediately puts me off from making any. Substituting hung curd or yogurt for cream is something that I've been dabbling in since quite sometime now, remember this Mango Cake with Mango Yogurt Frosting ?, it was a runaway hit with my family.

Since tis the season for berries I thought of using the same principle in making a Strawberry Yogurt Mousse and to jazz it up a bit (and also to use up my packet of jelly) I layered it with strawberry jelly with chunks of strawberries, yumms the word. 

Read on for the recipe,


Serves 4

You will need:

400 gms yogurt or dahi
200 gms fresh strawberries
2 tsps (10 gms) agar agar (china grass)
A pinch of salt
Sugar to taste
A packet of strawberry or raspberry jelly crystals (optional)
More strawberries to set in the jelly (optional)
Pistachio nuts to garnish (optional)

Method:

Start by putting the yogurt in a fine mesh sieve over and bowl, cover and refrigerate over night, the next day all the water will drain off into the bowl and you will be left with a smooth and creamy ball of curd, remove this into a bowl and set aside.


Break the china grass into small pieces and soak in  1/2 cup water for about 10 minutes until it becomes soft.

In a sauce pan, heat pureed strawberries over a medium flame. Do not allow this to boil.

In another saucepan place the chinagrass and water mixture and stir on low heat until it melts completely. This can take about 10 minutes. Do not allow this to boil.

After the chinagrass melts completely, pour the hot china grass solution into the hot strawberry puree, stirring all the while.


Slowly add the strawberry mixture into the yogurt and beat well with a wire whisk until well blended.


Pour this mixture into four glasses or dessert bowls, level with a spoon and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

Allow the yogurt base to set for an hour or so before spreading the jelly glaze over it.

Once set remove from the refrigerator and cover with strawberries chopped into quarters.


Next prepare the strawberry jelly as per the pack instructions, allow to cool for 5 mins and then gently pour over the yogurt mixture.

Return to the refrigerator for another two hours to set and firm up completely.

Garnish with more strawberries or pistachio nuts.



Enjoy!

Notes:

China grass or Agar Agar or Kanten is a sea weed and completely vegetarian.
It gives a smooth, glossy finish and many chefs prefer to use it over gelatin.
China grass, if used properly sets easily at room temperature.

1. China grass needs to be broken into pieces and softened by soaking in water for atleast 5 minutes.
2. Heat chinagrass on a low flame for it to melt completely.
3. The dissolved chinagrass liquid should be immediately mixed with another portion of hot mixture.

Remember that both the mixing agents need to be hot for the china grass to set properly. If either of them is cold, then the dessert wont set properly.

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