Entertaining during the holiday season and looking for the perfect dessert to serve? This soft, fluffy cinnamon mousse with pears soaked in spiced red wine will be the hit at the table.
Around the world, where Christmas is celebrated, it very much revolves around those special flavours associated with the festive season.
Depending on where you live, the most traditional flavours used during the festive season might change – from ginger to nutmeg, cloves, cranberries, oranges, and more.
Except for one flavour that’s found nearly everywhere during the holiday season: Cinnamon.
With a slightly sweet and woody flavour coupled with a light citrus note and spicy, aromatic taste, cinnamon adds so much more depth to a dish; and is perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes, all-year round.
But it’s unbeatable at Christmas.
Whether you are entertaining this year, if it will be a large or small group, somewhere in your Christmas menu there will likely be some cinnamon.
And since no Christmas menu is complete without dessert, make it a cinnamon flavoured mousse.
Fluffy and soft, mousse is one of those desserts that never disappoint, are easy to make and indeed perfect to make-ahead, so you don’t have to spend all the time in the kitchen while your guests are having fun.
You can make the mousse and pears a couple of hours before serving, but I really recommend preparing the pears the day before. This will allow the red wine to completely soak through and the pears taking on a dark red.
Recipe: Cinnamon Mousse with poached red wine Pears
For the mousse
3 sheets gelatin
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
50 g powdered sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
20 ml coffee liqueur
200 ml heavy cream
½ tablespoon sugar
For the pears
4 pears (not too ripe)
750 ml red wine
½ cinnamon stick
80 g sugar
1 teaspoon food starch
1 tablespoon sugar
Cut the pears in half, peel and carefully eliminate the core.
In a saucepan, add wine, cinnamon and sugar and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat, add the pears and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
Take from the heat and set aside for 2-3 hours to allow the pears to take on a dark red colour.
Transfer the pears to a bowl. If you make the pears the day before, refrigerate and take out about one hour before serving.
From the remaining red wine, mix 200 ml with the food starch and sugar. Bring to a light boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside to let cool then refrigerate. Take out about one hour before serving.
For the mousse, soak gelatin in cold water.
In a bowl, beat egg yolks and powdered sugar until creamy. Add liquor and cinnamon and continue to beat shortly.
Lightly heat 50 ml of the heavy cream (don’t let it boil). Wring out the gelatin then add to the warm cream and let dissolve completely. Pour into the egg-sugar mix and lightly combine.
Beat the remaining cream until stiff.
Beat the egg white and sugar until stiff peaks form.
First, fold the egg white into the egg-sugar mix, then also fold in the cream.
Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, better overnight.
For serving, cut the pears in a fan shape. Place cinnamon mousse and pears on a plate and drizzle with the wine sauce.