Simple Strawberry Mousse



1 cup finely chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sugar, divided
5 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Dash of salt
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Combine chopped strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a mini chopper or food processor, and toss gently. Let stand for 10 minutes. Process until smooth.

Pour 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl, and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place 6 tablespoons sugar, the remaining 3 tablespoons water, and dash of salt in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves.

Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240° (about 4 minutes).

Add egg whites to gelatin mixture; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy.

Gradually add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, beating at high speed until soft peaks form.

Gradually pour hot sugar syrup into egg white mixture, beating first at medium speed and then at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla.

Place cream in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into whipped cream.

Fold in the remaining egg white mixture.

Fold in strawberry mixture.

Spoon about 1/2 cup mousse into each of 6 dessert glasses; chill 2 hours or until set.