I generally try not to brag too much on this site, but I really think this recipe was a stroke of genius. I wanted something really light and airy, but still with that awesome mousse texture, and I wanted an extreme vanilla taste.
So, for the first time (which shocks me, because how did I wait this long?!?), I finally bought whole vanilla beans. After watching chefs on TV scrape out the vanilla bean pods dozens of times, I felt pretty confident I could do it myself, and not surprisingly, it was super easy.
And the rest of the recipe was a cinch -- it comes together in under half an hour, and then chills for a few hours until you serve it (presuming you can resist digging your fingers in for a taste)! These end up something between a soft meringue and whipped cream, with an extra vanilla punch. And I really can't emphasize enough how light these are -- it's like eating creamy vanilla-flavored air.
Last, if you haven't already, remember to go over to the Whole Foods website and write a comment about my Farro with Butternut Squash dish! The recipes have been up for a week with no clear winner yet -- click here right now!
Vanilla Bean Mousse
One Vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 cup heavy cream
Whip heavy cream with vanilla bean seeds and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form (err on the side of slightly overwhipped). Set aside. Next, in a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold together the whipped cream mixture and the egg mixtures (I folded the eggs into the whipped cream). Gently pour into individual serving dishes and refrigerate at least six hours, or overnight. Serve!
Makes 6-8 individual servings.