This yogurt mousse is an exercise in nostalgia for me, evocative of two different memories. The first is recent: cold lassi spiked with cardamom, a favorite drink at Indian restaurants. The musky flavor of cardamom just plays well with the tangy, refreshing taste of yogurt. And so does honey, which brings me to my second memory. My mother often served me and my siblings big bowls of plain yogurt with honey swirled in—it was a favorite summer lunch. I remember how the honey laced the yogurt in thick ropes of sweetness. This is a plain yet comforting dish, the two flavors marrying perfectly. I bring these three tastes together here in this dish, and finish it all off with fresh summer apricots.–Faith Durand
LC Magnificently Mousse-y Note
When we think of mousse, we gotta be honest, we don’t typically think of something quite so dreamily, cloudily, airily lovely as this version from Faith Durand. All we can say is wow, wow, wow. It’s magnificently mousse-y in a sorta mousse-of-our-dreams kinda way. Many thanks, Faith. We tip our toque to you.
Cardamom Yogurt Mousse
- Pour the water into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.
- When the gelatin has softened, place the pan over medium heat and whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the honey and continue warming until the honey has thinned and seems completely incorporated. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool almost to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently scrape the whites into a separate bowl.
- Wipe out the mixer bowl, add the cream, and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the yogurt to the whipped cream and beat just until combined. Beat in the cardamom and salt, then slowly pour in the cooled honey and gelatin mixture and beat until combined. Use a spatula to gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
- Scoop the mousse into 6 separate cups or ramekins. Alternatively, you could spoon the mousse into a 1-quart serving dish. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until softly set.
- Serve the mousse chilled, with fruit, if desired.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
We really enjoyed the subtle but interesting flavors in this mousse, which we found to be light, fluffy, and not too sweet. It wasn’t at all fussy to make, yet the results were truly sophisticated. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons gelatin and I used 1 envelope Knox gelatin. The recipe also calls for 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt and I used 1 cup 0%-fat Greek yogurt. The prep time was accurate, and an hour of chilling was all it took for these to set up perfectly (I served the mousse in 6 small ramekins). This would make a good summer dessert, and would be a particularly nice way to end a Middle Eastern or Indian dinner. We didn’t have fresh apricots at our market, so I served the mousse as is. I think it works best with some fresh fruit—perhaps some blackberries or fresh pears if apricots aren’t available?
This is WONDERFUL. We followed the method exactly, but changed a few of the ingredients. We replaced cream with whipped coconut cream (which I had in the pantry), we decided to leave out the egg whites (with all the young children who’d want to try it), and we replaced the apricots with fresh berries (lots of berries at our farmers’ market now, whereas our apricot tree is laden with tiny green fruit. We also used freshly ground cardamom. The result was absolutely delicious. We’ll make this again exactly as we did the first time, and we’ll also experiment with an Orange-Maple-Cardamom version later this week. This made 5 individual puddings and 1 mighty fine popsicle.
This is a very easy and light dessert, healthy and refreshing, perfect for a warm summer night. And since you can do it a day in advance, it’s also very convenient. The cardamon is in perfect harmony with the yogurt mousse, where the little bit of heavy cream adds nice body. I didn’t have any apricots around this time of the year, so I served the mousse with fresh mandarins, which worked perfectly well. The recipe is written very well and the timing is accurate. I chilled the mousse for 1 1/2 hours and it set nicely. We had it for 3 days in a row, and the mousse was still fine and fluffy on the last day. The cardamon flavor somewhat intensified, which was fine with me. I didn’t use powdered gelatin, but rather 3 sheets of gelatin. Worked perfectly. I used full-fat Greek yogurt, but I think low-fat would work as well.
This resulted in a subtly flavored dessert in which the tartness of the yogurt came through with only a hint of cardamom. The recipe was easy to prepare. I happened to use extra-thick heavy cream, which worked well. I used black cardamom pods instead of green, because I thought their larger size would enable easier extraction of the seeds. I tried extracting the seeds by lightly crushing the pods with a pestle and mortar, but I found that little bits of the pod and seed membrane also got ground up. I was cautious in my use of the seeds, as I feared the taste would be overpowering; therefore I used less cardamom than the 1/2 teaspoon recommended. Given the results though, I feel that the recommended 1/2 teaspoon cardamom would’ve worked alright. I piped the mixture into ramekins, as I wanted the increased control of using a piping bag. Mine seemed set after 1 hour in the fridge.
Originally published July 19, 2013