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Mousse Methods


Patrick S
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I have very little experience with mousses, but I recently made a caramel mousse that I thought was fantastic. I made caramel sauce, cooled it, added one pack softened gelatin, stirred, cooled some more, then folded into firm whipped cream.

Here's the thing. There are lots of other mousse recipes I want to try, but so many of them call for uncooked eggs. What do the pros here think? Do I need eggs for the best tasting/textured mousse? Should I worry about using uncooked eggs? Can I use that pasteurized liquid egg white stuff sold in some groceries? I recall seeing mousse recipes in Chocolatier that contained cream and vegetable oil[!], but no eggs. Anyone tried that a recipe like that?

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I served it with with reserved caramel sauce.

gallery_23736_355_1100544206.jpg

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick,

I have made many mousses in my life and I have found that the ones with eggs in them seem to be the smoothest and best. But that is just my opinion.

Any recipe that has uncooked yolks or eggs should be made with pasteurized eggs, to be safe.

Saying that, the first dessert menu that I came up with had a milk chocolate/macadamia nut cheesecake on it that was unbaked and contained yolks in it. Unfortunately I didn't have access to pasteurized eggs and made it with fresh eggs. Needless to say, I didn't get anyone sick ( that I know of ), but I would have definitely gone with pasteurized eggs if I had them.

Take care,

Jason

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I made a Herme mousse yesterday that involved uncooked eggs, but it also called for adding syrup that was 257 degrees to the eggs. I figured the syrup was intended to get the eggs warm enough to kill any salmonella. Was I wrong?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Thanks Jason! I didn't even know that pasteurized whole eggs existed. If I can find them at a store near me, I'll be all set!

Thanks again,

Patrick

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I made a Herme mousse yesterday that involved uncooked eggs, but it also called for adding syrup that was 257 degrees to the eggs.  I figured the syrup was intended to get the eggs warm enough to kill any salmonella.  Was I wrong?

No, the syrup would probably kill the Salmonella, depending on the volume of the syrup and the temp and volume of the material to which you added it. As long as you get the whites above about 160F, you're good to go. If you were adding the syrup to room temp egg whites, I'd assume that you'd surpass the necessary temp -- but then, I'm not an expert on the thermodynamic interactions of syrup and egg whites.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Thanks Jason! I didn't even know that pasteurized whole eggs existed. If I can find them at a store near me, I'll be all set!

Thanks again,

Patrick

No problem.

I actually get 20# bags of pasteurized whole eggs here at work, but I haven't even noticed if they are available at grocery stores or not.

Jason

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All egg issues aside, Patrick, your mousse looks delectable.  Would you post the recipe for us?

I'd be happy to share the recipe, but it's not actually my recipe. Its from the September 2000 issue of Bon Appetit, posted on Epicurious. CARAMEL MOUSSE NAPOLEON WITH CARAMEL SAUCE AND BERRIES.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Well, I'm no expert on mousses, but using/eating raw eggs doesn't bother me at all. If there's an Italian meringue, I at least know that the egg whites probably were cooked enough, but even if they're just made into a French meringue (no heated sugar syrup), it's fine by me.

Pass the mousse, please!

As I understand it, technically speaking (and I think perhaps this is splitting hairs), but a mousse should not contain any gelating, being held together by the amazing power of eggs and whatever your flavoring ingredients are (like chocolate). When you add gelatin to hold it together, it becomes a bavarian.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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As I understand it, technically speaking (and I think perhaps this is splitting hairs), but a mousse should not contain any gelating, being held together by the amazing power of eggs and whatever your flavoring ingredients are (like chocolate). When you add gelatin to hold it together, it becomes a bavarian.

I polled Google using the define:mousse command, and it returned 19 hits, about 10 of which do not refer to petroleum froth or hair products. Many of hte definitions included gelatin, none of the definitions specifically excluded gelatin, and most specify that mousse can be cream based, egg-based or cream and egg-based. Mousse seems to be defined by its texture (mousse is French for 'foam') rather than by its ingredients.

A rich, airy dish that can be sweet or savory and served hot or cold. The fluffiness comes from whipped cream or beaten egg whites. Mousses are made with meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, chocolate, and fruit purees.

www.nutribase.com/cookingt.shtml

A French term meaning "froth" or "foam," mousse is a rich, airy dish that can be either sweet or savory and hot or cold.

home.earthlink.net/~tmlphx/Dictionary/terms_and_definitions.htm

A soft, creamy food, either sweet or savory, that is made light by the addition of whipped cream or beaten egg whites or both. Top

www.mustardseedmarket.com/bodycsglossary.htm

A type of chilled pudding made from a mixture of whipped cream and flavorings thickened with gelatin.

glencoe.com/sec/busadmin/marketing/dp/rest_mgmt/gloss.shtml

A rich, airy cold dessert made with whipped cream or beaten egg whites, often with gelatin, and combined with fruit puree, chocolate, or sweetened custard.

www.frugal.8m.com/Kitchen/Glossary.html

is a French term meaning "foam" or "froth". Mousse is a rich, airy dish that can be either sweet or savory and hot or cold.

www.partyfun.com/dictionary.html

A light, frothy dessert like the souffle.

www.mahim.com/et/epage236.htm

A mixture of eggs and sugar flavored with chocolate, fruit or liqueur and lightened with whipped cream.

www.gigischocolates.com/definitions.html

A sweet or savory dish, mousse is usually made with egg whites or whipped cream to give the light, airy texture. In French, the word means "froth" or "foam." Recipe: Chocolate-Lovers' Mousse

www.about.com/food/southernfood/library/info/bld_m.htm

A French term meaning froth or foam. Its fluffiness is due to the addition of whipped cream or beaten egg whites and can be flavored with chocolates or fruits.

www.marquisecakes.com/glossary.htm

a light creamy dessert set with gelatin

www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn

a light creamy dish made from fish or meat and set with gelatin

www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn

Jgarner53:

Well, I'm no expert on mousses, but using/eating raw eggs doesn't bother me at all. If there's an Italian meringue, I at least know that the egg whites probably were cooked enough, but even if they're just made into a French meringue (no heated sugar syrup), it's fine by me.

Pass the mousse, please!

Well, the risk of Salmonella infection is extremely low. I think that estimate is that 1 in 20,000 eggs are positive for Salmonella, and eating a Salmonella-positive egg is not a guarantee that you will get sick. Nonetheless, I don't mind doing just the little extra step to reduce the risk from almost nothing to nothing.

Patrick

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Well, the risk of Salmonella infection is extremely low. I think that estimate is that 1 in 20,000 eggs are positive for Salmonella, and eating a Salmonella-positive egg is not a guarantee that you will get sick. Nonetheless, I don't mind doing just the little extra step to reduce the risk from almost nothing to nothing.

Well, according to whatscookingamerica.net, the hot sugar syrup used in Italian meringue or pate a bombe doesn't actually cook the eggs enough to kill salmonella:

Making an Italian meringue by adding hot sugar syrup to egg whites while beating them does not bring the egg whites to much above 125° F and is not recommended except for dishes that are further cooked. If, however, you bring the sugar syrup all the way to the hardball stage (250 to 266° F), the whites will reach a high enough temperature. You can use a sugar syrup at hardball stage for Divinity and similar recipes.

So the risk isn't really changed from eating raw eggs anyway.

But then, I'll eat rare hamburger from a reputable restaurant as well.

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Nightscotsman,

Thanks for the info. The link you provided states that while the Italian meringue method won't eliminate Salmonella, it can be eliminated by cooking the whites (with sugar and some water) in a double-boiler to 160F. Or I could pay a little more for pasteurized egg whites. Aside from the fact that they are more expensive, is there any reason to avoid pasteurized egg whites?

There is an interesting analysis on the American Egg Board web site, quantifying the likelihood of encountering a Salmonella-positive egg:

The inside of an egg was once considered almost sterile. But, over recent years, the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (Se) has been found inside a small number of eggs. Scientists estimate that, on average across the U.S., only 1 of every 20,000 eggs might contain the bacteria. So, the likelihood that an egg might contain Se is extremely small – 0.005% (five one-thousandths of one percent). At this rate, if you’re an average consumer, you might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years.

Egg Handling and Care Guide

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Aside from the fact that they are more expensive, is there any reason to avoid pasteurized egg whites?

I have heard from SO many people that pasteurized egg whites don't whip well, so rather than actually finding out for myself, I believed them and used fresh. I still wonder about that. Anyone have anything to say on the "whippability" of pasteurized whites?

Thanks for the info. The link you provided states that while the Italian meringue method won't eliminate Salmonella, it can be eliminated by cooking the whites (with sugar and some water) in a double-boiler to 160F.

Then that would be swiss meringue....... :smile:

As I understand it, technically speaking (and I think perhaps this is splitting hairs), but a mousse should not contain any gelating, being held together by the amazing power of eggs and whatever your flavoring ingredients are (like chocolate). When you add gelatin to hold it together, it becomes a bavarian.

Holy crap! Then I've been making a hell of a lot more bavarians than I thought!!!! :raz::raz:

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I have heard from SO many people that pasteurized egg whites don't whip well, so rather than actually finding out for myself, I believed them and used fresh. I still wonder about that. Anyone have anything to say on the "whippability" of pasteurized whites?

Actually, I did use pasteurized egg whites once, and it turned out badly, but I always assumed that I had done something wrong, over-folded or something. Anyway, I did read the same thing somewhere earlier this evening, that you need 3 to 5 times the whipping time for pasteurized whites (e.g. this page). At some point in the next few days, I'll experiment and find out the answer for sure. I don't mind whipping longer as long as the end result is as good as normal egg whites, texture-wise.

EDIT TO ADD: Apparently some pasteurized whites whip much better than others. For instance, this article reports on several tests (with macaroons, choco chip meringues, and a lemon meringue) in which Just Whites whipped and tasted well, while the All Whites were virtually unwhippable.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I use Simply Egg Whites all the time. I have an old hand held mixer without a lot of power and that mixer will not whip the pasteurized egg whites at all!!! If I put a regular egg white in the bowl, the hand held will be able to get peaks out of it. My kitchenaid however can whip the Simply egg Whites to peaks every time.

I am only a home baker but that is my observations.

Sandra

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As I understand it, technically speaking (and I think perhaps this is splitting hairs), but a mousse should not contain any gelating, being held together by the amazing power of eggs and whatever your flavoring ingredients are (like chocolate). When you add gelatin to hold it together, it becomes a bavarian.

Mousse does not require gelatin. Gelatin is sometimes used when a very firm mousse is needed or if it is going to sit around unrefrigerated for a while. Personally, I don't like the gumminess of it and like mousse better without. Bavarian cream is usually custard-based.

I've used pasteurized egg white powder to make mousse, meringues, even genoise (added to some yolks I had to use up) without too much difficulty. Some egg white products in cartons, such as Simply Eggs and others, cannot be whipped and say so on the package.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Moopheus, momlovestocook, jgarner, nightscotsman, chefpeon, Jason, KarenS and everyone else -- thanks so much for your help. I look forward to experimenting with these different solutions.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I use pasturized egg whites if possible. "If possible" because my experience is that not all pasturized whites will whip to a stiff stage............and it varies from one container to the next even with the same brand made at the same time. We buy these in crates and I can pick up one carton that will whip and the one next to it won't.

I also use raw whites............and "cooked" meringues with-out hesitation.

If I'm really nervous because I'm serving a group of seniors I do use meringue powder- subbing weight for weight. Also when I'm making large batches of mousse or mousse I need to freeze I turn to meringue powder because it holds so well thru the freezing process. Also I might make a large batch of meringue powder whites earily in the day and use the remainer through-out the day as I make other items. It does hold, so your only beating whites one time in the day.

I do think we've gotten too loose in naming bavarians and mousse. I do understand the French translation and that's how we are able to broadly use the term 'mousse' (it's pretty rare that you'll see the word bavarian on a menu). But a well made bavarian isn't texturally much different then a mousse, they both can be described as a foam. Theres a certain amount of stigma involving items set with gelatin and to avoid that turn off we use the word mousse too much because we don't want people to know theres gelatin in this. When used properly, gelatin is very helpful and not noticable to the 'average' person.

If you wanted to define mousse from bavarian I don't think method is a good enough dividing factor because theres just too many methods to making both. Limiting "bavarian" to a mousse made with an anglaise base doesn't work because you can make a chocolate mousse using an anglaise that doesn't contain gelatin. Mentally I define mousse as "with-out gelatin" and bavarian as "with gelatin" and I too am guilty of calling that bavarian with gelatin a mousse.

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How do the little salmonella buggies like the freezer? I'm wondering if frozen, then thawed egg whites would be any safer, salmonella-wise? I always have a bunch of egg whites in the freezer.

Of course, if your mousse/bavarian/foam-based dessert has yolks, it's a moot point.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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How do the little salmonella buggies like the freezer? I'm wondering if frozen, then thawed egg whites would be any safer, salmonella-wise? I always have a bunch of egg whites in the freezer.

Of course, if your mousse/bavarian/foam-based dessert has yolks, it's a moot point.

Freezing does not kill salmonella, or most other bacteria that causes food poisoning.

Anyway, it's the yolks that potentially carry salmonella. We learned in school that the whites actually have some antibacterial qualities that protect the growing chicken embrio, so it's much safer to eat raw whites, even if they are left out at room temp (uncovered, so they don't mold) for several days. We did this in school all the time with no problems.

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re: how old is the cake?

how old is the mousse?

how old were the eggs?

How old were the flavorings?

Did anyone place their hands or fingers in the product? Did they all have good bathroom ettiquette?

The person who cut and plated the cake has the same variables.

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