Clementine Mousse with Champagne
As you may know by now, I have a raging orange addiction.
I've written an *entire* post about my manic hunt for *proper* Christmas Oranges one year.
If you follow me on social media, you know that from December - Februaryish = Clementine/Satsuma and - eventually - SUMO ORANGE (!!!!) season.
Yes, I get very excited at the idea of Sumo Orange season. They are my *favourite*, these past few years. Augh!
A few years ago, I found a ridiculous sale on Cuties oranges, and I may have gotten a little silly about how much I bought.
As is usually the case for me, I ate an ungodly amount of them.
... and then, I decided to be VERY decadent about it and come up with a recipe for Clementine mousse. Because it was the holidays, I added champagne into the mix.
This mousse is light, airy, fruity... and feels a little celebratory. Great for entertaining, special occasions (Valentine's Day!)... or any day, really.
Also, this recipe isn't horrible as far as desserts go. It's not a TON of sugar, it's gluten free... it has fruit, dairy, and hey, the eggs count as protein, right?
Good enough! Let’s get to it...
Traditional vs Easy Mousse
When it comes to dessert mousse, there are two main styles - “Easy” and “Traditional”.
What is Easy Mousse?
“Easy” style mousse is basically flavoured whipped cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin.
You can start from scratch - beating heavy whipping cream until it’s ... whipped cream - or you can start with a product like Cool Whip.
Either way, you add your flavouring - liqueur, fruit, chocolate, extract, whatever - and some gelatin that you’ve bloomed and melted.
Whisk it all together, put it in cups, chill it a couple hours, and you have easy mousse.
What is Traditional Mousse?
Traditional mousse is made with raw egg yolks and/or egg whites.
It generally comes together in 3 parts:
- Flavour base (Fruit, etc), usually mixed with sugar and the bloomed and melted gelatin
- Whipped cream. When I’m doing a chocolate mousse, the chocolate is usually in with the whipped cream.
- The egg whites.
While traditional mousse is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population, pregnant women, the elderly, and immune compromised individuals may want to opt for the easy version, which does not contain any raw eggs.
Which Mousse is Better?
If you don’t have any health considerations that rule out the use of the egg whites - and are willing to invest the extra 5 minutes?
Honestly, the traditional mousse is 100% worth the effort.
Easy mousse is like flavoured whipped cream. It’s a tasty flavoured whipped cream, but the texture isn’t the same as the real thing.
The whipped egg whites produce tiny bubbles, and give the whole thing a fine ... foam... texture. It’s lighter and fluffier than easy mousse, and way more fun to eat IMHO.
The Use of Clementines in this Mousse
Over the years, I’ve experimented with the use of clementines in this mousse, from a “juice and zest”, to what the recipe is today.
While I love the FLAVOUR of them... they’re not the best to work with for something like this. They can be hard to zest, they don’t usually have a ton of juice, etc.
Just puree them, whole. Seriously.
If you can zest the ones you have, do so. Just set the zest aside to use in the final mixture.
If you can’t zest them, just chop them up, peel and all.
Either way, pick out any seeds you can find, and puree them with your liquid.
I like to use a mini food processor for things like this. As it’s a small amount of food being processed, a mini food processor will do a much better job.
A large food processor will basically just keep small amounts splattered against the sides, without really doing much in the way of chopping, etc.
Swap the champagne out for sparking white grape juice or water.
Alternately, if you have a LOT of clementines, you can use a juicer to come up with clementine juice to use instead.
Other Citrus Flavours
You can use any citrus fruit you like in this, you may need to vary the technique / number of fruits you start with.
If you have fruit that’s easily juiced, just zest it first, then measure out 1 cup of fresh juice. Use that in place of the pulp.
If you’re using something extra tart - like a lemon - you’ll want to adjust for taste.
I’d start by tripling the sugar for lemon, and only using ½ cup lemon juice.
Mix the sugar with the lemon juice and see how you like it, adjust from there.
Other Fruit Flavours
You can use ALMOST any fruit in this recipe. ALMOST.
If you use raw fruits high in enzymes - kiwi, fresh pineapple, papaya, etc - they will break down the gelatin and not set.
You can cook these fruits to deactivate those enzymes (or used canned!), but I tend to just avoid them altogether for this recipe.
Any other fruit... peel / seed if necessary, and puree. Measure out 1 cup, and go from there.
You can generally skip the mesh sieve step for most fruits, as you don’t really need to be straining anything out.
If you’re using blackberries or raspberries, the sieve step will let you make it seedless, though.
How to Make Clementine Mousse
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
Wash, dry, and zest the clementines (if you can!), set the zest aside.
Chop the clementines. Remove any visible seeds, puree clementines with champagne until smoothish.
Press clementine pulp through a wire sieve, into a clean bowl or measuring cup.
Measure out 1 cup of puree. If you don’t have enough, repeat with another clementine. Combine the measured clementine puree with sugar and zest, set aside.
Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10 second increments until gelatin dissolves into the water.
Pour melted gelatin into orange mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients.
In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add on top of orange mixture, set aside.
Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold in to the fruit mixture along with the egg whites, gently folding until combined.
Pour into 4 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
I like to do a little pile of orange twists on top of each serving of mousse.
To do this, I use a gadget called a Channel Knife / Citrus Zester. It can be used to make thinner (what I used here) or thicker citrus twists.
It’s what I used for the lemon twists in my Blueberry Pavlova recipe, as well. A fun little gadget to have around!
This recipe comes from my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker. It’s FULL of fun, tasty recipes using spirits and liqueurs for flavour – you should check it out:
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
More Fancy Recipes
Planning for a special dinner, whether Valentine’s Day, a special date, or a fancy dinner party? Here are a few recipes to consider!
Balsamic Mushroom Baked Brie
Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli
Boozy Crème Brûlée
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Easy Kahlua Panna Cotta
Fancy Tea Sandwiches
How to Make Cream Puffs & Croquembouche
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Savory Tomato Shortcake
Shrimp & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Traditional Raspberry Mousse
White Chocolate Almond Amaretto Truffles
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Anyway, on to that Clementine Champagne Mousse recipe!
Clementine Mousse with Champagne
- 3 tsp Unflavored Gelatin Powder
- ¼ cup Water
- 4-6 Clementine oranges
- ½ cup Champagne or moscato
- ⅓ cup Sugar
- 2 Large egg whites
- 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Wash, dry, and zest the clementines, set the zest aside.
- Chop the clementines. Remove any visible seeds, puree clementines with champagne until smoothish.
- Press clementine pulp through a wire sieve, into a clean bowl or measuring cup.
- Measure out 1 cup of puree. If you don’t have enough, repeat with another clementine.
- Combine the measured clementine puree with sugar and zest, set aside.
- Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10 second increments until gelatin is completely melted.
- Pour melted gelatin into orange mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add on top of orange mixture, set aside.
- Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold in to the fruit mixture along with the egg whites, gently folding until combined.
- Pour into 4 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.