desserts · food + drink · posts · store cupboard

easy mixed berry mousse made with uncooked raspberry jam

Fruit and dairy products make a delicious combination and chilled desserts using these ingredients can easily be assembled for quick summer entertaining. This months blog hop theme “Berry Nice to Meet You” found me scouring the supermarkets to find the freshest raspberries (organic if possible) available, as I wanted to make an uncooked raspberry jam. I love traditional jam making and had recently made some delicious Doughnut Peach Conserve, but it’s always nice to try a different method!

Planing an easy make-ahead dessert for entertaining, the uncooked raspberry jam was perfect for this easy berry mousse, assembled and served in glasses. Actually this berry mousse would make a wonderful filling for pavlovas, meringues and cakes.

When making the jam, warming the sugar makes it easier to dissolve and the heat helps release some of the pectin when mixed with the berries! Infusing the warming sugar with the wonderful perfume of thyme had more of a therapeutic effect on me than the taste it delivered. However the fresh thyme served with the finished mousse was really quite delicious…!

Using only sugar and raspberries in equal weights, Marguerite Pattens version of uncooked raspberry jam; heat the sugar for 15 minutes in an oven on a low temperature  before mixing with the berries until the sugar has dissolved, then place the jam into hot jars and store in the fridge. I would imagine using perfectly ripe berries would make a nicely set jam but I needed to give my jam a little helping hand by adding a small amount of gelatine.

Over at Serious Eats you can find different recipes for delicious uncooked jams or freezer jams (method of preserving), which use instant pectin for sure jam setting results. Less sugar and more fruit is my preference when making jams and conserves, I still find them very sweet… but also berry very delicious!

Room temperature does make this jam somewhat runny, so when serving this jam with freshly baked scones, I would leave a little pot resting on some crushed ice, keeping its spoonable consistency.

Uncooked Raspberry Jam


  • 100g castor sugar
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • 170g fresh raspberries or blackberries or you could even use a mix
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatine

How to make: Place the sprigs of thyme into a heatproof bowl and cover with the castor sugar. Place the bowl into the oven and turn the temperature to low (160°C), leaving the sugar to heat and infuse with the flavour of thyme for about 30 minutes, give a quick stir half way through heating.

While the sugar is warming place the raspberries into a bowl. Remove the hot sugar from the oven, discarding the thyme. Quickly sieve (catching any small bits of herb) over the raspberries. Gently mix together and set aside while preparing the gelatine.

Pour the lemon juice into a small heatproof dish and sprinkle over the gelatine, leave to sponge for a couple of minutes. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat and place the bowl containing the gelatine into the hot water. Stir the gelatine until completely dissolved.

Gently mix the raspberries and sugar a few more times, ensuring the sugar has melted. Stir the gelatine into the raspberry jam. Spoon the raspberry jam into a suitable jar rinsed with some boiling water, cover and leave the jam in the fridge to set, a few hours or overnight.

When making and assembling this dessert certain kitchen tools help with getting the job done faster… using an electric whisk to beat the cream and piping the berry mousse into the serving glasses using a piping bag fitted with a plain tipped nozzle.

Easy Berry Mousse


  • 225ml whipping cream
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons uncooked raspberry jam or bought jam from a local farmers market

    to assemble

  • 6 glasses with narrow bottoms
  • 3 teaspoons raspberry jam
  • whole fresh blackberries
  • fresh thyme (optional)

How to make:  Pour the cream into a bowl and with and an electric whisk, whisk until thick and the cream holds its shape. Gently fold in the raspberry jam.

Assembling the dessert: Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam at the bottom of each glass, followed by a whole blackberry. Spoon or pipe the raspberry mousse evenly into each glass and top with another whole blackberry, garnish with thyme just before serving.

This dessert can be made several hours in advance, covered with cling film and stored in the fridge. Always serve chilled.

This post is part of the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop hosted by Christina from The Hungry Australian. See all the other delicious entries here.

desserts · food + drink

chocolate, guinness and blackcurrant cupcakes

I heard someone once say that St. Patrick’s Day without a drink is like Christmas Day without a tree! On the 17th of March St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated throughout Ireland and there will be lots of “ceoil agus crack” (music and fun), with the  festivities running well into the night! Many pints of the famous Irish drink called  Guinness will be served and even the drink itself will be turned green for the occasion.

Guinness is a rich dense black looking liquid with a distinctive burnt and tangy flavour and when poured has a thick creamy head which floats on top. Even though I love the look of Guinness I have never acquired a taste for it! I always think of Guinness as a man’s drink, but back in Ireland in my younger days we ladies were known to have a half pint or two… but with a feminine twistblackcurrant! The blackcurrant cordial makes this bittersweet drink more palatable and turns the creamy head into a delicate light pink… much more lady like.

Cooking with rather than drinking Guinness is my preference, it adds a depth of flavour and richness to cooking and baking which is not always so apparent.  So, based on this famous Irish drink I decided to bake some not so overly sweet chocolate cupcakes with a blackcurrant center, topping them off with fresh whipped cream to echo the creamy head that sits on top of a pint of Guinness! Sláinte

Chocolate, Guinness and Blackcurrant Cupcakes


  • 50g sour cream
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 150ml Guinness
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 25g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 4 tablespoons blackcurrant jam
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 -2 teaspoons of icing sugar
  • edible glitter (optional)

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/170 Fan/Gas 5.  Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cases.

In a medium mixing bowl add the sour cream and mix with a whisk until smooth. Next add in the butter, egg, vanilla, milk and Guinness, whisk gently until all ingredients are combined.

In a larger mixing bowl sieve in the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and  bicarbonate of soda. With a large spoon throughly mix all the dry ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a large spoon gently mix and fold together until just combined and no dry ingredients are visible.

As the batter is fairly liquid use a large globe ice-cream scoop or a small cup to help fill the cupcake cases with. Fill no more than three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with your fingers. Remove cupcakes from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before removing from the tin and transferring onto a wire rack to cool.

When cold use a cupcake corer to hollow out the center of each cupcake and fill each one with a teaspoon of blackcurrant jam.

I used a cupcake corer which is a handy little gadget to hollow out the middle of these cupcakes, but you can use an apple corer instead!

In a medium mixing bowl pour in the cream and add the icing sugar. With an electric whisk, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form, be careful at this stage or you could end up with butter.

The fresh cream can be piped onto the cupcakes an hour or two before serving. Using a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, pipe a swirl of cream on top of each cupcake. Or simply place a neat blob of cream on top using a spoon. If using, dust over some edible glitter for a sparkle effect.  Serve or store in the fridge until needed