recipe: blood orange mousse

February 19th, 2011

A few weeks ago, we had a few friends over for drinks and dessert, and I was actually at sort of a loss in deciding what to make.  I spent way too long the day of the party wandering around the grocery store trying to figure out a fun, original dessert idea, until I stumbled across a bin of blood oranges.

Could it be?  Had I somehow found them on one of the two weeks per year that these incredible little fruits are in season?  I immediately knew that I had to use them. 

Except… one problem.  The gorgeous color that’s the defining characteristic of these oranges got a little lost in turning them into mousse!  When I’d added heavy cream and quite a bit of whipped eggs and sugar, the end product was something much more cream-colored than blood-colored, which was a little disappointing. 

The easy solution would be to keep a little wedge of the original oranges as a garnish, but I wondered if you guys had any ideas!  How do you preserve color when you’re diluting an ingredient?  Do you resort to artificial color, or do you choose ingredients with presentation in mind?

Blood Orange Mousse


4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 blood oranges, juiced
1 cup heavy cream, whipped


Combine the egg yolks and 1/4 sugar and set over a pot of boiling water.  Whisk until light and frothy, and until the eggs have reached 120 degrees.  Add the salt and blood orange juice and stir until combined.  Strain to remove any pieces of egg from the mixture.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites with the other 1/4 cup sugar until it has formed soft peaks.  Fold together the juice mixture, egg whites and whipped cream, stirring gently until combined.  Spoon the mixture into six glasses, and refrigerate for at least four hours. 

Tags: desserts · food

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dana // Feb 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    yum!!!  bet it was amazing!

  • 2 Joanne // Feb 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I think with this, preserving color would be next to impossible.  I would probably go with the wedge for garnish.  I’m sure it’s so delicious that no one would even care about color!

  • 3 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) // Feb 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Blood oranges always appeal to me even though I’ve never actually had one! lol

    That mousse sounds great. šŸ™‚

  • 4 Rosemaryandthegoat // Feb 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I love blood oranges and buy them quite often. I would never use anything artifical to color a dessert. Just like Key Lime Pie is never suppose to be green.  I made this orange tian last year
    Look how I used the segments for the top. I think if you fileted (or sectioned) a blood orange and used that for a garnish with a sprig of mint, that would be beautiful.
    I would like to hear the rest of your menu. Since I caterer I always want to see what other people serve. Thanks.

  • 5 MaryBeth // Feb 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I haven’t had time to look at all the links in this posting, but perhaps the answer lies within one of them. I know I had the same problem with blood oranges in other recipes.  I was led to this link by reading David Lebovitz’s recent blog on citrus, a very thorough overview on all things citrus, also posted below.

    Your recipe looks scrumptious. I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing list of to-do’s.

  • 6 Nicolette // Feb 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Very unique, sounds delicious!
    P.s. I’ve been so jealous of your nyfw posts!

  • 7 Alejandra // Feb 21, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Looks delicious! I think a fun idea would be to make a syrup with some of the blood orange juice and drizzle it on top. Or candy (or dehydrate) a few thin slices of blood orange to stick on top as a garnish.

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