Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Strawberry Mousse - Cake Filling that Works

A few weeks back, I delivered my second ever wedding cake (stay tuned for details). The bride and groom requested a vanilla cake with strawberry filling. I knew just the recipe for the tiers thanks to the Gender Reveal cake from last year but I very rarely bake with strawberries. They're more of a tart and pie kind of ingredient, right? It was time to roll up the sleeves, muss up the ol' apron, and pretend to be America's Test Kitchen.

I ran through multiple recipes trying to find the perfect strawberry filling. We're talking from as simple as chopped strawberries folded into swiss buttercream with a hint of lemon zest, all the way to homemade berry puree mixed with gelatin. This had to be a filling that would not cave under the weight of the tiers, last outside of fridge for longer than an hour, and still tasted great. It was a tricky line to walk - especially being a hot, July wedding! 

All my hard work paid off because I found THREE recipes that I could trust, all unique and with delicious strawberry flavor! You don't even need cake to enjoy them! Many thanks to the source bloggers for sharing your recipes. I am happy to pass this knowledge on to you - oh blogosphere- to hopefully save another home baker time and resources. Below is the break down and links to the recipes. Happy Baking!

Option 1: Authentic Strawberry Mousse (top image). Delicious but a bit more delicate, this is a chef's strawberry mousse. I found things got tricky when using fresh fruit because of its natural moisture. This recipe doubles up on its firming agents by using both corn starch and gelatin to stabilize the structure. It's light and refreshing!

Option 2: Sneaky Strawberry Mousse (middle image). The winner! This is by far the strongest flavor profile of three fillings. It incorporates fresh strawberries, heaving whipping cream, sugar, and a surprise secret ingredient that gives that vibrant red color... strawberry jello! The bride liked the bright flavor while I like that it held its shape the longest outside of the fridge. Win-win!

Option 3: Creamy Strawberry Mousse (bottom image). This filling came in second place with the bride! It's super smooth, creamy, and dreamy! The citrus tames the decadent nature of the cream cheese while the cool whip adds body. The secret ingredient in this recipe is pre-made strawberry pie filling. The recommended brand, Lucky Leaf, doesn't have a scary ingredient list (cool whip on the other hand...) aside from the added coloring.