I peel mangoes when I am stressed. There is something about thinly slicing the outer skin to reveal that fragrant fruit that calms me. It is well known in my family that during my wedding I peeled many many crates or "petis" of mangos. These days I find myself turning to that familiar act when a different kind of emotion strikes. I am missing home. In a 'normal' world by now I would already have one suitcase packed (large family, gifts). I would be running at turbo speed knowing that the respite of being in your parents house is a few weeks away. Here I am instead recreating that childhood classic Mango Mousse.
For all my sadness at not being able to go to Pakistan to see family, I am also very blessed to have family here including my older Mumani who I always say was my very first friend. She was in the room when I was born. The expression hostess with the mostest falls short when describing the grace and beauty with which she does everything from brunch at home to the lunch she threw last Eid. She is also the only person who my husband has ever asked for a dessert to take home and that is this Mango Mousse.
Does it taste exactly like hers? No. Nothing ever tastes like the food a loved one makes. This is my recreation from what she told me a long time ago and a tip from a friend.
What Goes in Mango Mousse?
The ingredients list is simple. It is
- Whipping Cream
- Mango Puree
- Cardamom Powder
Do I have to use Gelatin?
In a nutshell: no, but it won't be as firm then. If you are not planning on using gelatin then may I suggest you do individual servings so that even if the mousse is softer it doesn't matter. However, what gelatin is so very good at is holding that fluffy cream texture which makes a mousse feel luxurious.
A great alternative to gelatin is Whip It, a vegan product by Dr. Oetker that easily stabilizes cream. It is available for 1 for a 2 pack in the baking section of my grocery store and I use it in my Chocolate Mousse Tart all the time!
How do you use Powdered Gelatin?
The process is remarkably simple.
Step One: Sprinkle gelatin over a small amount of cold water and leave for 5 minutes
Step Two: Heat the mix in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir - the gelatin will dissolve completely.
Presto - now just let it come to room temperature and use. Tip: Always use a sieve when adding it into a dessert just in case there are undissolved granules.
What kind of mango should I use for the puree?
You have three basic options: fresh mango, alphonso puree in a tin and kesar mango puree in a tin. If you used fresh then bear in mind you will need to adjust sugar according to the sweetness of your mango. The tinned mangos are already sweetened, but the whipped cream needs a little help hence the additional sugar.
Between Alphonso and Kesar Mango purees I personally prefer the taste of Kesar Mango puree and that's what I have used here. I rarely use the whole tin, but pop one cup amounts of the puree in the freezer for later. You could also use it for mango milkshakes or mango lassi.
How can I use this Easy Mango Mousse?
Many many ways my friends. Here are a few ideas:
- Dessert cups layered with crushed digestive biscuits and fresh mango.
- In a trifle with pound cake, strawberries or mangos, and a sweetened cream cheese layer
- In a tart. You can pop this mixture into store-bought mini tart shells for prettiness or a large one too. In that case please use 2 tsp gelatin dissolved in ⅓ cup of water for the recipe. It will be slightly firmer than the consistency shown above in the spoon shot.
More Dessert Ideas!
- 1.5 tsp gelatin
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 cups whipping cream
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cup mango puree (see notes)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder (optional)
Sprinkle powdered gelatin over the water and let it sit for 4-5 minutes.
Heat the mixture for 20-30 seconds in the microwave and stir - the gelatin should dissolve entirely
Whip 2 cups of cream in a large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form - this can take anywhere from 4-8 minutes.
Add the sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. When you lift your beaters from the cream it make peaks that will stand up
Beat in your mango puree and cardamom powder, you may need to scrape the bowl from the bottom with a spatula to fold in your puree (see video) to evenly incorporate it. Do not stir!
Pour your gelatin in through a sieve and beat for 10 seconds.
Transfer the mango mousse into your serving dish or dishes and chill for at least two hours. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
I left a range for the mango puree because 1 ½ will give you a lovely pleasant mango taste and 1 ¾ a more robust one. Pick whatever you prefer!