Vanilla Mousse with Black Plum & Basil Compote

Oh, I don’t wanna start off by complaining, but sometimes — most of the time — I absolutely loathe my camera (fellow bloggers will sympathize).

It’s a little piece of junk that hates taking photos of anything that’s too light, too dark, too white, too black, or too red or orange or yellow — which is basically everything after a while.

Goddamned jerk camera — and it’s all my fault for buying it, too!

Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of taking photos, there just was a way to, like, beam flavours right into the brain?

Of course, until I either come into more money or technology takes a great leap forward, taking less-than-stellar photos and text communication is all I’ve got.

So, let me describe this with words: luscious and creamy vanilla mousse with touch of tangy sour cream, frolicking with sweet and tart black plum compote that sings of fresh basil and cinnamon.

Maybe that’s more effect than these photos (but not better than direct-to-your-brain desserts).


Anyways, if I had to pick a favourte from these recipes, I’d be hard-pressed — the vanilla mousse is gorgeous and delicious, but, then again, so is the black plum and basil compote.

What’s really great is putting them together, though — for serious: this is one of the best desserts I have ever made.

Vanilla Mousse with Black Plum & Basil Compote

*recipe by Christine


Vanilla Mousse

  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 packet powdered gelatin
  • 1 & 1/2 cups whip cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

Black Plum & Basil Compote

  • 3 cups black plums, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh basil, diced


To make the vanilla mousse, first place the powdered gelatin in the bottom of a large, heat-proof bowl and sprinkle with cold water.

While the gelatin sits (at least 10 minutes), heat the whip cream, white sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stirring often, bring the whip cream mixture to a simmer, then pour hot cream into the bowl with powdered gelatin. Whisk vigorously until the gelatin dissolves completely.

Place the bowl in the fridge to cool, stirring every 5 ~ 10 minutes. After an hour of chilling, the cream should thicken to a runny pudding-like consistency — when it does, add the sour cream and whisk until smooth.

Pour the vanilla mousse mixture into individual bowls and refrigerate another 2 hours to set completely.

To make the plum and basil compote, heat the chopped plums, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the honey, white sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes — by now, the chopped plums should be soft and cooked-through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh chopped basil. Let cool.

To serve this dessert, simply un-mold the vanilla mousse by running a knife around the edges of its mold and inverting it onto a serving plate. Spoon the black plum & basil compote over top.

The compote should keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Despite how simple all this is to make, this mousse and compote are heckava fancy treat that goes down easy with a cup of black tea! Yum!

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6 thoughts on “Vanilla Mousse with Black Plum & Basil Compote

  1. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    I think your photos are gorgeous! lol. And I like how you used the word ‘frolicking’ in your description. That’s something no technology will ever be able to capture, lol. This looks good! I love you you added basil.

    • Christine says:

      Adding basil and cinnamon to plums was really interesting — it gave the compote an anise-like flavour (which can be good or bad, depending on whether or not you like anise)…

      Haha, and you’re right — sometimes words can out-do technology! 🙂

  2. that looks so pretty!
    i love making my food look pretty–it makes it so much more fun to eat 🙂

  3. That is so gorgeous! The colors work so well! YUM!

  4. daisy says:

    Christine, your photos are gorgeous, and your words accentuate the deliciousness of your food. Sure, better cameras help, but you’ve got the passion for food and it really shows in all your posts.

  5. Wow. This looks so luscious and sumptuous. I love how you use and combine different ingredients in new and interesting ways.

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