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Ono, You Know

Whipping Up Sweet Treats

By Ali Resich
August 14, 2016

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The editor cools off in the refridgerated pastry display case at JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where she selects an Iced Drop Framboise ($4.95).

The editor cools off in the refridgerated pastry display case at JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where she selects an Iced Drop Framboise ($4.95).

With summer in full swing, I’m sure I’m not alone in craving foods that are light, bright and in tune with the season. When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth at the same time, there’s nothing like a freshly whipped dollop of mousse to do the trick! Richer than whipped cream yet lighter than ice cream, mousse will hit that creamy spot without leaving you feeling weighed down. And did I mention it’s one of the coolest ways to escape the summer heat?

Meaning “foam” in French, mousse is most commonly made by whipping egg whites or cream together with other ingredients to get its signature fluffy texture filled with air bubbles. There are many recipes for savory mousse out there — which offer a great way to add a gourmet touch to an otherwise ordinary meal — but many agree that dessert mousses really take the cake.

Ono, You Know uncovers some of those sweet-as-can-be mousse creations right here.

JJ BISTRO & FRENCH PASTRY

Before head chef JJ Luangkhot opened JJ Bistro & French Pastry 17 years ago, he received classic French culinary and pastry training in New York from his mentor, the late chef Jean-Marc Burillier. It’s no surprise, then, that he offers a range of mousse treats — classically French desserts — at his Kaimuki eatery.

An assortment of mousse-filled desserts from JJ Bistro & French Pastry.

An assortment of mousse-filled desserts from JJ Bistro & French Pastry.

Of course, just as he does with his entire lunch and dinner menu, Luangkhot supplements this French foundation with flavors from both his native Laos and Hawaii.

A fusion-filled blend of flavors — from guava to white chocolate — make up the chef’s wide range of airy mousse cakes and pastries. In the dessert that put him on the map — Chocolate Pyramid ($5.95) truffle cake — there’s a cloud-like surprise of mousse in its interior. Scan Luangkhot‘s epic display case of roughly 45 desserts, and you’ll come across Iced Drop Framboise ($4.95), with raspberry mousse, Chocolate Lilikoi ($4.95) mousse cake, Banana Haupia ($4.95) mousse on top of coconut cake, Black Current Classic ($4.95), and Le Matcha ($4.95), a green tea mousse cake — just to name a few.

Luangkhot even has mousse fit for royalty: At a government dinner in 1999, he served his Marron Glace ($5.95), prepared with chestnut mousse, to Masako, Crown Princess of Japan.

The chef notes that all of his mousse cakes may be made into fully gluten-free desserts. Just call ahead to request one. “We can be very flexible for customers,” he says.

JJ Bistro & French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
739-0993

MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE

Morton’s The Steakhouse continues to lead the way in fine dining, serving sizzling wet-aged USDA Prime steaks accompanied by fine wines and classic cocktails. After indulging in an ever-satisfying feast of quintessential cuts — such as filet mignon or porterhouse steak — as well as creamed spinach and other steak-house sides, you’d think that most patrons wouldn’t be up for dessert.

Double Chocolate Mousse ($14.50) from Morton's The Steakhouse PHOTO COURTESY OF MORTON'S THE STEAKHOUSE

Double Chocolate Mousse ($14.50) from Morton’s The Steakhouse PHOTO COURTESY OF MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE

But, as general manager Zyron Schoniwitz explains, that certainly is not the case. “It’s amazing — people always have room for dessert!” he exclaims.

As it turns out, Morton’s wonderfully traditional sweets are widely adored — and devoured — for their pristine flavors and high-quality ingredients. Among the beloved choices are Key Lime Pie, Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake and, of course, Double Chocolate Mousse ($14.50). Paying tribute to the most popular type of mousse, this chocoholics’ dream dish is prepared with dark bittersweet chocolate for the most luscious of flavors.

Morton's offers upscale dining. FILE PHOTO

Morton’s offers upscale dining. FILE PHOTO

Schoniwitz says that while the mousse is nice and fluffy, just as you’d expect, it’s still a solidly rich dessert. And once you fold in the freshly whipped cream on top, you’ll be floating on cloud nine in no time.

Guests can get started on a fine meal leading up to this dessert even earlier these days, as Morton’s new opening hours are 4 p.m. for the bar and 5 for dinner daily. Don’t forget to check out happy hour as well, complete with drink and pupu specials, available in the bar every day except Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and again from 9 until closing. Schoniwitz adds that private dining options for a wide range of events also are available.

Morton’s The Steakhouse
Ala Moana Center,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
949-1300