Ruth from Oshkosh, WI (2017 Week 7: Desserts)




Oshkosh, WI

Baking Challenge

Mini Mousse Cakes

Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.

Lambeau Layers and Door County Darks. The Lambeau one is a mango mousse and lime mousse layered over a vanilla sponge. The Door one is Door County cherry mousse and dark chocolate mousse layered over chocolate sponge cake.

What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!

Wow, what I have learned! I’ve worked with mousse before but one type at a time. This week I worked with four and the biggest lesson that sticks out is that not all mousse is created equal. The mango started out as a mango puree. Not realizing that I needed to thin it out a bit to replace the original fruit in the recipe, I followed the rest of the instructions as written. It turned out tasting great but was probably much more dense than it was supposed to be. The lime turned out tasting great and the consistency was airy but after I combined them I realized that under the weight of the dense Mango, it slouched down a smidge. The cherry/chocolate had the same problem. The cherry was soft and airy and the chocolate (though yummy) was very rich and dense so the thin cherry layer ended up curving out a bit. I had the opportunity to use acetate in shaping these and was really pleased at how it lent it self to this. The one other bit of…advice? lesson?…I didn’t trust any of the recipes about putting the mousse into the molds first and then letting them set. I let them set over night and then piped them in. Should have listened. Wish there was a "really pleased but still room for improvement" in the evaluation part.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

I wanted to do green/gold in gearing up for the first pre-season game for the Packers. Circled through several flavor combinations (pistachio and banana) before I settled on Mango and Lime. Had some dried Door County cherries left and was always planning on doing a dark chocolate layer so those two were an easy pairing. In addition, they were donated to the workers at the EAA air show. I wanted to give some of them (I only made 48 total mousse) a bit of a treat for all the extra hours they have to work to pull the air show together.

How did you do?

Pleasantly satisfied.