Monday, November 21, 2011

Frozen Maple-Mousse Cake with Candied Cranberries

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm so pleased to be able to share this recipe with you. I found it while scouting for desserts that would compliment the non-traditional menu I was planning for our Thanksgiving dinner. It sounded wonderful but it seemed involved and was more work than I had intended to do. I put the recipe away, but I kept thinking about it and in a weak moment decided to give it a try. The maple flavored mousse cake was an enormous hit with my taste testers, and their praise guaranteed it a spot on the Thanksgiving menu. As a matter of fact, the Silver Fox, who I swear channels Bob Cratchit, gave it his highest and most sought accolade, "Another triumph, my dear!" That always leaves me tongue-tied and verklempt. The cake was originally developed by Kathleen Callahan for Food and Wine magazine. Her creation has a pecan crust that's topped with a frozen mousse and garnished with cranberries that simmer to tart perfection in a bath of simple syrup. The berries add wonderful color to the cake and help cut the sweetness of the frozen mousse. The cake and candied cranberries can be made up to 4 days before serving and that makes them a boon for busy cooks. While the cake is frozen, it never gets rock solid and it can be served directly from the freezer, so it's a real space saver for overcrowded holiday kitchens. Do not make the mousse with imitation syrup. If you are unable to find grade B syrup, grade A can be substituted, but the cake will be lighter in color and lack the caramel-like flavor that grade B syrup imparts. I really like this dessert, and, yes, it had my socks going up and down. I hope you will try it. Here's the recipe.

Frozen Maple-Mousse Pie with Candied Cranberries...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Kathleen Callahan and Food and Wine magazine

2 cups pecans (8 ounces)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup pure grade B maple syrup
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Candied Cranberries
8 ounces fresh cranberries (2 cups)
1-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

1) To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool completely. Pulse pecans, sugar, nutmeg and salt in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and pulse to combine. Press crumbs in an even layer into a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until firm.
2) To make mousse: Bring maple syrup to in a medium saucepan. Simmer over moderate heat until slightly reduced and a candy thermometer inserted in syrup registers 235 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent it boiling over. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and drizzle hot syrup onto whites, beating until incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat meringue has cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes. In a separate large bowl, beat heavy cream with vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold meringue mixture into whipped cream until blended. Scrape mousse into crust and spread evenly . Freeze until firm, about 24 hours.
The mousse will not freeze hard like ice cream.
3) To make candied cranberries: Put cranberries in a large heatproof bowl or into top of a double broiler. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour syrup over cranberries and cover bowl or top of double boiler with plastic wrap. Set over a pan of simmering water and cook, undisturbed, over very low heat until syrup is rosy and cranberries are tender but not broken down, about 45 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and let cranberries cool completely. Refrigerate until berries are chilled.
4) To serve: Loosen sides of springform pan with a warm knife. Remove ring from pan. Cut cake into wedges and transfer to dessert plates. Spoon candied cranberries over top of each cake and serve. Yield: 12 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Quick and Creamy Pumpkin Pudding

Two Years Ago Today: Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes


Alicia Foodycat said...

Oh wow. Wow! I think you just won Thanksgiving. I defy anyone to come up with a better holiday dessert!

Unknown said...

That is a lovely piece of cake, Mary... I bet it so was amazingly good! I'm thinking dessert for Thanksgiving may have to change!!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure which I would enjoy more this lovely delicious looking cake or seeing your socks! :)

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

very festive and light... its sounds on the tart side which I would love!

Priya Suresh said...

Looks absolutely divine,super delicious cake.

Anonymous said...

this looks lovely and Ihave been looking for something like this, this is a beautiful dish to compliment your table

Kim said...

OH WOW! This frozen cake is definitly for me. I love maple syrup and candied cranberry!

The Path Traveled said...

Looks so good and how pretty. I will have to try this. Thanks for sharing another of your great recipes.

From the Kitchen said...

I'm starting a new file: "Made Mary's Socks Go Up and Down"!! This does look and sound delicious. It has been years--decades--since I've done a frozen mousse cake and it's time. We are having Thanksgiving at Christmas this year (as well as on Thanksgiving) and this might just appear on the dessert table.

Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love.


pam said...

This sounds so good!!!

Rita said...

This is a real 5 star dessert to celebrate any specila day. Love that you can have it in the freezer. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful make ahead dessert.... and the candied cranberries look so festive. Thank you for another winning recipe.

Have a wonderful, non-traditional Thanksgiving.


Katarina said...

Looks really delicious!

Jennifer said...

This looks so inviting. I want a piece right now!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I agree with your taste testers Mary. An excellent choice for the big meal.

Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks so much more refreshing than any other Thanksgiving dessert I've ever seen. The shiny cranberries look like little jewels, so festive.

Sofia.Lopez said...

Delicious!! What a wonderfull dessert ;)
Have a really nice day Mary ;)

Spike said...

What a great recipe. I would like a big slice, it would be perfect with my coffee. Nice cake Mary. 5 stars. Absolutely perfect.

June said...

Yet another beautiful dessert. You are amazing and bless your "Cratchit" for recognizing it.

Unknown said...

now this would be hard to resist, Happy Thanksgiving.

Pondside said...

First the title grabbed me, then your description - and that was it. I hit 'print' because this is going to appear at the next bridge dinner. Thank you!

Manju @ Manjus Eating Delights said...

That looks so creamy n yummmmmy! Thanks for sharing!



The crust alone . . . sounds delicious.


Silver Strands said...

Maple Mousse?!!!! WOW ... ok. I'm convinced!

cocinamarroqui said...

Formidable mousse, an aesthetic very suggestive. We have it in mind to make a Moroccan version. Regards

Michelle said...

this looks so tasty...adding to the list for christmas *since Canada allready had Thanksgiving in October*.yum

Gloria Baker said...

Mary this look absolutely beautiful!:)

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

If I don't get around to making it for Thanksgiving, I will definitely keep it in mind for Christmas because it looks great!

Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

If I ever had a flare for food like you do, it would be amazing ... I am "awed".

Lynda said...

This looks wonderful Mary . I love maple syrup in desserts, so I've got to try this one.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I LOVE maple - a freezer dessert would be a real godsend right now!

Rona said...

Wow, this looks absolutely delicious! I am not surprised that your taste testers were happy!

That Girl said...

I have to say, I think you make the best frozen cakes. They always look fantastic.

Alessandra said...

This sounds super delicious Mary! And those candied cranberries, what a great idea :-)


Joanne said...

I made a maple mousse cake for dessert a few Christmas's ago and it was awesome. Not as awesome as this though because there were no candied cranberries!

Coleens Recipes said...

My family would LOVE this, thank you very much for sharing this recipe.

Adam said...

*drool* That looks and sounds fantastic. Any application of pure maple syrup goes over very well in my family, both of my brothers love nothing more.
Grade B maple syrup tips:
1) Grade B in Canada is No 2 Amber
2) Check the organics section :).

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