Honey Cardamom Mousse with Mango Gelée and Pistachio Apricot Kernel Toasts

Desserts served in glasses (or any other vessels) are stress-free for entertaining hosts. All you have to do on the day you are having guests over is to transfer these glasses from the fridge onto the table. It is very nice not to slice or plate anything for a change, just try to relax and enjoy the company.

The toasts themselves, I suspect, originated from Australia (correct me, if I’m wrong). I saw similar cookies in Australian cooking books and magazines. The cookies are thinner and even leaner relatives of Italian biscotti; basically fat-free besides the fat contained in the nuts. If you are uncertain about using apricot kernels due to safety issues, substitute for whole almonds instead.

For the mango gelée:

  • 1 cup fresh mango puree
  • 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 gelatin leaves

For the honey mousse:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • Zest of ½ orange, removed in wide strip, using a vegetable peeler
  • Zest of ½ lemon, removed in wide strip, using a vegetable peeler
  • 2 gelatin leaves
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream, cold

For the pistachio apricot kernel cookies:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour + ½ tsp for coating chopped apricots
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fine granulated sugar
  • Zest of ½ orange, finely grated
  • Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • ½ cup apricot kernels (or substitute for whole almonds)
  • ½ cup finely chopped dry apricots

Make the mango gelée:

In a small saucepan combine the mango puree, sugar, and lemon juice. Place the pan over medium-low heat and, stirring often, heat until the sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, place the gelatin leaves in a bowl with cold water and let them sit there for about 4 minutes. Then drain the leaves and put them into the saucepan with hot mango puree. Whisk to fully dissolve the gelatin. Divide between the serving glasses. Cool. When completely cool, place into the fridge to set, for at least an hour.

Make the honey mousse:

In a small saucepan, combine the whipping cream, cardamom pods, and citrus zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and refrigerate until very cold and suitable for whipping.

Place the gelatin leaves in a bowl with cold water and let them sit there for about 4 minutes to soften.

Bring 1 inch of water to a light simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the burner off (if your stove is electric, remove the skillet from the burner). In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, honey, and salt. Set the bowl with the egg yolk-honey mixture in the hot water. Whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160F. You might need to turn the heat on again to the lowest setting to keep the temperature rising. Once the required temperature has reached, remove the bowl from the hot water, drain the gelatin leaves and put them into the bowl with the hot egg yolk-honey mixture. Whisk to fully dissolve the gelatin. Cool the mixture to 85F, stirring often.

Meanwhile, whip the chilled cream and cold sour cream until medium peaks form. Fold about a quarter of the whipped cream into the honey-yolk mixture, and then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Immediately, pour the mousse over the set mango gelée, dividing it equally between the glasses. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap without touching a surface of the mousse. Serve chilled with the Pistachio Apricot Kernel cookies or any other crisp treat.

Make the pistachio apricot kernel cookies:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the parchment. Set aside.

Sift together the flour and cardamom. Set aside.

Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large grease-free bowl. Whip on medium speed until frothy, add the salt. Increase the speed to medium-high. Very gradually adding the sugar, continue beating the whites until glossy firm peaks form.

Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in the sifted flour mixture, in three additions. Fold in the zest, nuts, and chopped apricots (before folding the apricots, combine them with ½ tsp of flour; using your fingertips separate pieces one from another). Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the cake is light golden brown and a cake tester, inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Unmold, cool completely on the rack. Wrap well in plastic and freeze for several hours or overnight until firm. It will make further slicing neat and easy.

Preheat the oven to 200F. Slice the frozen loaf very thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. Place the slices onto a large baking sheet and bake until dry but not browned, flipping the slices over through half of the baking time, about 40 min-1 hr total. Then you can turn the oven off, open the door ajar and let the slices cool in the oven. The cookies can be made well in advance and kept in an air-tight container. If they lose their crispness, simply return them into the low-heat oven to dry out.

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37 Responses to “Honey Cardamom Mousse with Mango Gelée and Pistachio Apricot Kernel Toasts”

  1. I love spoon desserts, and this combination sounds perfect for summer. I love the summery yellow color as well! Beautiful.

  2. Nice flavours… easy to eat in a glass, sweet and fresh: the perfect dessert for summer…

  3. I’ve never seen those ‘toasts’ – they look really neat and fun. Those mousse sounds lovely as well.

  4. Wow! What a gorgeous recipe- as you say, easy on the hostess, gorgeous on the eye, amazing textural contrasts and am sure it must be a taste stunner! This desert alone is reason to throw a summer party! Needless to day, goes into my must try’s and am confident it will be a favourite! :)

  5. Truly amazing!! :)

  6. Hi Vera,
    Saw your blog last week and I am “hooked”. Congratulations! It is simply wonderful!
    Question re “gelatin leaves”. I have used them in Europe, but only “Knox” powder is available in Toronto. Where do you buy yours?Generally, how much powder should I use for one leaf?

  7. c’est assez fantastique ! que ce soit au niveau des saveurs que de tes photos ! je suis éblouie ! magnifique :)

  8. Вера, сегодня наткнулась на ваш блог и была приятно удивлена, что имя Vera все-таки пренадлежит русской девушке. Честно говоря, в рунете блогов подобного качества и содержания нет… Очень красивые и качественные фотографии, небанальные рецепты. Ни разу нигде не оставляла комментарии – здесь просто сложно удержаться :) Примите мое искреннее восхищение!

  9. Great little dessert! I’ve made similar ‘toasts’ before, but not sure if Australia can claim credit for them. They’re very delicious though :)

  10. Honestly, Vera, your photos are SO tantalizing! Your recipes are fantastic and exotic, but those photos… drooling here!

    Kate

  11. Gorgeous. The toast cookies look fantastic too and a great addition to a creamy mousse dessert.

  12. I loved that you paired these toasts, chock full of texture, with the smooth mousse.

  13. I have seen and bookmarked a similar toasts recipe, but I haven’t tried it it. Now that I’ve seen how delicious it looks in your photos I will have to try it. Great presentation as always.
    Anda,

  14. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Colors, contrast, texture. I love cardamom (which I discovered about a year ago).

    Vera, I would like to invite you to my blog where I posted my very first wedding cake for a friend. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think (you can be honest :o)): http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-very-first-wedding-cake.html.

  15. I love individual desserts, and this looks perfect!! Wish I had a bite!!

  16. Such pretty mango colors.. and the bread looks wonderful!

  17. In the US there is a cookie called Almondina that is basically the same thing as your toast cookie. I make a similar recipe with almonds and raisins, except I make it in a 4×13 loaf pan and I use 6 whites, 6 ounces flour, and 6 ounces sugar. Also, I toast the slices at a higher temperature to brown them. I absolutely must try the apricot pistachio version you have here. It looks amazing.

  18. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments!

    Елена, спасибо Вам большое за добрые слова!

  19. I just came across your blog and love the setup in your photos. This mousse/cookie combo looks divine!

  20. yummy desserts! love the toasts! wonderful!!

  21. wonderful combination of flavours and those toasts look absolutely exquisite! :)

  22. Hi Vera, this dessert sounds amazing. I love the addition of cardamom in there. Truly wonderful!

  23. Thank you all, for your comments!

    Cristina, sorry I forgot to answer. One 1/4-oz powdered gelatin (7g/ 3tsp/ 1 sachet) equals 4 gelatin leaves. Respectively, 2 gelatin leaves = 1 1/2 tsp. I always buy my gelatin in the German Deli shop nearby. I am sure you will find a similar store in Toronto.

  24. LOVE mangoes! This is such a pretty dessert.
    Btw, my mom’s name is Vera too (and we are from Moscow) :)

  25. Magnifique! This sounds delicious and I love the addition of cardamom inthe honey mousse. Beautiful!

  26. What great recipes! I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses apricot kernels, and here it is!

    Greetings,
    Tiina

  27. You take the cake Vera…ooops I mean gelee!! STUNNING in every respect. Your blog is inspirational, & like a breath of FRESH air!

  28. Hi Vera I ve just realised that I haven t visited your blog for a long time and I m really sorry since you made a lot of wonderful treats. You re amazing. Sorry I thought you were listed in my blogs to follow but it seems that when I tried to add your blog I had a problem, and then I just thought you didn t had any updates. Well now I m back and I ll surely follow each post you make. Wonderful pictures!

  29. What a beautiful and elegant dessert! I love the flavors!

  30. Honey mousse and mango gelee paired with pistachio almond kernal cookies? Not only out of this world creative and fantastic flavors, but SO gorgeous! Once again, I’m in total awe..while I wipe the drool..lol

  31. Your mousse looks so delicious…and the pistachio toast looks to yummie and crunchy…great pictures as usual.

  32. Thank you, guys, so much for your comments!

  33. What a fruity & lovely combined dessert: it feels so as summer!!

    What an amazing & lovely combination of flavours! So lovely!

  34. Wow…wonderful creations! Love your pictures!

  35. How light and delicious. Very beautiful.

  36. Hi Vera,

    I am very fortunate to have found your blog. You have a lot of wonderul and beautiful recipes here. I tried making the toast yesterday and it came out very brittle and hardly able to bite on it. I am not sure what went wrong, can you please advise if there are any steps that I should watch out for.
    p.s. I am very new to baking, I appreciate if you can let me know if there is anything I need to look out for.

    Thanks again
    Anna

  37. Anna, thank you very much for your words. Sorry, but I don’t quite understand the problem. Does “brittle and hardly able to bite on it” mean it was too fragile and the toasts fell apart or that they turned out too hard and difficult to bite on?

    I’m thinking if the cake was overbaked? Another thing, the knife should be heavy and very sharp for slicing the cake evenly and thinly. If the toasts are too thick they will be hard to bite on.

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