foodie fridays: strawberry mousse

Strawberry.

A flavor that is often overlooked. 

Why? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe it’s because strawberry’s older sister, chocolate, gets all the attention. Would it kill her to share some of the room in the red heart-shaped box? Or leave some shelf space in the ice cream section? How many flavors do you really need? 

Poor strawberry, all she ever wanted was a single day to be more flavorful than her milk chocolate-y sister. Well, Miss Strawberry, you needn’t worry any longer because today is all about your red sweetness. 
So….
Move overchocolate molten lava cakes. 
Take a hike chocolate orange pudding.
Peace out chocolate fudge ice cream. 
Today is all about the strawberry mousse. The first time I tried this sinfully sweet dessert was about a month and a half ago, while attending a Denver Cook Street event. We made everything from homemade crepes to baked chicken to cheesy risotto. I am hungry just thinking about it right now. Anyways, we ran out of time to tackle dessert, but luckily, they already had some whipped up just in case. Cooking schools are so smart. 

Friends, if you could imagine what heaven would taste like if you put it into a glass and was edible,this strawberry mousse would be the clear winner. It tasted like sweet, fluffy clouds. Needless to say, I licked my bowl clean and immediately went to the chef to ask if he had divine intervention when making this dessert. He giggled, and said, “Yes, that could have been possible. But I am going with the roasting strawberries and meringue may have been an influence.”Ahhhh….yeah, that sounds way more legit.

Did you know that you could roast strawberries? I certainly didn’t. You could imagine the surprised look on Miss Strawberry’s face when I told her it couldbe done. She flipped out! I explained to her that by roasting the strawberriesit intensifies the sweetness and natural flavors. She continued to do the happy dance as I explained to her by simply pureeing the strawberries, folding in meringue and freshly whipped cream, you have a dessert that will blow your sister’s chocolate chip cookie dough batter out of the mixing bowl. 

She applauded and continued to thank me for my kindness. I blushed and reassured her I wasn’t from the make a wish food foundation. Why do people always assume I’m fromthere? Weird. 
Anyways, if you’re looking for a fun, flavorful summer treat look no further. This strawberry mousse will hit the sweet spot.

Strawberry Mousse(adapted from Cook Street)
Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes 
Ingredients:
for thestrawberries:
1 quart strawberries,cleaned, halved (leave a few for garnish)
1 lemon, zestedand juiced
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoonbutter
for thewhipped cream: 
1 cup heavywhipping cream
for themeringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspooncream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
Directions:
for thestrawberries:
Preheat oven to350 degrees. Butter a baking dish. Place strawberries cut side down in thebaking dish. In a separate bowl combine lemon juice, zest and honey. Pour sauceover strawberries making sure that each berry is evenly coated. Roaststrawberries for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Oncecool, strain strawberries through mesh sleeve; saving liquid if desired. Placestrawberries in food processor and puree. 
for thewhipped cream:
In a mixing bowlwith a whisk attachment , whip the heavy whipping cream until mediumpeaks form. Set aside.
for themeringue:
In a mixing bowlwith a whisk attachment, place eggs and cream of tarter. Mix until combined.Slowly add the granulated sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks appear. 
assemble: 
In a large bowl,place 1/2 cup of the strawberry puree. Fold in a 1/3 cup of the meringue. Addmore puree if necessary and keep folding meringue gently until all added.Gently fold in the whipping cream. To serve; pipe mousse into serving glassesand top with sliced strawberry and drizzle of remaining liquid ifdesired.