Frozen desserts: Mousse, bombes & parfaits (1921)

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Mousse, parfait or bombe — and when are they served?

by Florence Margaret Lee

For the very extra occasion when the daintiest of frozen desserts is desired, or when there is a convalescent in the house and only a little need be prepared, or when there is no ice cream freezer, it is then that we choose the mousse or parfait. In the delicacy of the mixture (the feathery texture which the whipped cream gives, as well as the richness), this differs from the ice cream and sherbets and the extra expense is justified.

Molds of every size and shape which have a water-tight cover can be used, or even a glass jar will serve for the freezing of mousses and parfaits, since there is no turning to be done, as in a freezer. The mousse is made usualiy of whipped cream flavored or combined with fruit pulp, while the parfait has an egg foundation, the sugar and liquid being made into a syrup, then poured over the beaten eggs.

Raspberry mousse recipe

Ingredients: 1 pint cream, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup sieved raspberries, 1 tablespoonful lemon juice.

Wash and put the berries through a sieve. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice if desired; then fold in the whipped cream. Place in a mold and bury in ice and freezing salt for two hours. Serve with a garnish of raspberries and whipped cream. An apricot, strawberry or peach mousse made in the same way will be equally delicious. If a large mold of mousse is made allow from three to four hours for freezing.

Your fireless cooker or a large icebox is an excellent place to put the mousse and ice during the freezing, for if left where the ice will melt rapidly it must be drained and repacked. This should be done when the ice begins to float on the surface of the water, for after that the temperature will begin to rise.

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Angel parfait

Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 2 cups of double cream, 1/2 cup boiling water, 2 or 3 teaspoonfuls vanilla, 2 egg whites

Boil the sugar and water to 238 degrees F (until it threads) and pour it in a fine stream over the stiffly-beaten egg whites. Beat constantly until cold, then flavor and fold in the whipped cream. Pack and freeze as a mousse.

This the French flavor with wine instead of vanilla, mold in a tall, slender peak and serve as “Dame Blanche.” (Of historic interest rather than practical value.)

Half a cup (about four) stale macaroons crushed to a powder, or half a cup of maraschino cherries, chopped, or both, may replace the vanilla in the angel parfait. Garnish with macaroons, cherries and whipped cream in serving.

Packing the molds

First, be sure that the cover fits tightly. A wise precaution is to fill the mold very full, then a layer of waxed paper (or even a buttered one with buttered side up) over the top; put on the cover and let some of the mixture be forced down the sides. Bury this in ice and salt. The proportion of ice and salt differs from that used for ice cream, as the texture sought is different. The larger the proportion of ice the finer will be the texture (and the longer to freeze). So instead of the three to one used for the ice cream, use four parts ice to one part salt for a mousse.

Frozen bombes

To make a bombe, that frozen work of art that the amateur approaches with awe, first bury the mold in ice and salt until well chilled, then remove and line with the frozen sherbet or ice cream to the width of about one inch. Then fill the center with either whipped cream sweetened and flavored or with a different frozen mixture. Leave space enough on top to cover with the lining mixture. Fill to overflowing and follow directions for packing and freezing of a mousse.

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To be most successful, choose contrasting colors as well as flavors that combine well in making a bombe. A strawberry, raspberry or grape juice sherbet lining will give rich, beautiful color contrasts with the white whipped cream center, as well as a dessert to be dreamed over!

Chocolate ice cream as the lining, with whipped cream and chopped candied cherries in a cylindrical mold, is one of the best combinations.

Unmold by first carefully wiping the salt water from the mold, then dipping for a moment in warm (not hot) water before sliding the bombe into position on the serving dish. If the water is too hot or the mold remains in too long, the edges of the frozen shape will be lost. While the glass preserving jar will be found convenient for freezing the small quantity made just for the invalid, on account of the small top this cannot be unmolded whole.


Photo: Three bombes, by Vegan Feast Catering IS norwichnuts /

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