Queen Maud’s Mousse – a dessert designed for royalty
This lovely dessert, seen on many Norwegian tables across the country, was invented in honor of Norway’s Queen Maud when she and King Haakon VII went to Haugesund in 1906 to get crowned, after Norway got its independence. The pudding is also referred to as “Haugesund dessert”, while others call it Dronning Maud’s Pudding (pudding) instead of “fromasj” (mousse in Norwegian). Today, fittingly, you will see the Queen Maud’s Mousse on dessert tables on 17th of May, which is Norway’s Independence Day. This incredibly light and airy dessert is a lovely dish with few ingredients, and can technically be made in 10 minutes or less. Best made the night before serving – it’s also great for entertaining since you can do everything in advance.
Queen Maud was Norway’s first queen who wasn’t also the queen of either Sweden and Denmark. She was born Her Royal Highness Princess Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland, and her dad was the count of Wales, and later King Edvard VII of Great Britain, and the countess of Wales, previously Princess Alexandra of Denmark. In 1896 she married Prince Carl of Denmark at Buckingham Palace, and in 1905, when the union with Sweden was dissolved, Prince Carl was offered the throne of Norway. After a public vote, he accepted and took the name King Haakon VII. Queen Maud never lost her love for Great Britain, and she went back to visit many times. She was very involved with charities involving animal rights and children, and also enjoyed horse riding, music and art. Although she remained British, she tried her hand in cross country skiing in an effort to embrace the Norwegian culture. Regardless, she never quite managed to capture the heart of the Norwegian people, who viewed her as a bit of an odd creature. She often didn’t understand what people said, and she kept to herself indoors while traveling around the country. Quite an independent woman despite her conservative and aristocratic background, she surprised people with her liberal views on women’s rights. She was also very fashionable and was known for her incredibly tiny waist. Queen Maud died in 1938 of heart complications after a stomach surgery in England.
I always loved reading about the royals growing up – they were a bit mysterious, and not like us regular mortals – but more than anything, they still represent a piece of history that is still living among us today. The Norwegians are divided in their opinion about whether or not to keep the royal house, but it’s undoubtedly a sense of pride and joy for many when the royals come visit their home towns. Regardless of how one might feel about this subject, I thought it was fitting to give you a little “briefing” on Queen Maud now that you will be attempting to make her dessert!
Some people add a bit of port wine to the mousse, and decorate with fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.
I’ll warn you that there might be a part 2 to this post as I just found out there is also a “Queen Maud Cake” out there!! Looks like a project for another day… In the mean time – here’s a lovely mousse that will make you feel like royalty!
DRONNING MAUD’S FROMASJ
5 large eggs
5 tbsp sugar
5 sheets of gelatin
2 tbsp hot water
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, grated
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract until thick and place in the fridge.
Whisk eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes or so. Meanwhile, place the gelatin sheets in the hot water and stir to incorporate. Pour into the egg mixture while on low speed, until well combined. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge and carefully fold in to the egg mixture with a spatula so that all traces of yellow disappear and the cream is evenly incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
Grab a big dessert bowl, pour in one third of the mixture, cover with some grated chocolate repeat two more times until you have a layered dessert with the grated chocolate on top. Alternatively, pour the layers into individual serving glasses for a more decorative and fun look. Place in fridge to let firm up for a few hours or over night.
Image source: melk.no