Frozen Honey Mousse with Blackberries and "Buttered" Challah Crumbs
Frozen Honey Mousse with Blackberries and "Buttered" Challah Crumbs

This Rosh Hashanah dessert keeps the honey and loses the cake

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

My family is not much for honey cake, probably the quintessential Ashkenazi Rosh Hashanah dessert, so I came up with an option that keeps the honey and loses the cake. Frozen Honey Mousse with Blackberries (and an optional challah-crumb topping).

It uses pasteurized egg whites (available in supermarket refrigerated case) to avoid the health risks of eating unheated eggs. The whipped egg whites combine with the hot honey and defrosted whipped topping to make a cold, creamy dessert, with the blackberries adding a tart punch to the honey’s earthy sweetness. The optional “buttered” challah crumbs provide crunch and texture. See the notes for a dairy version using real whipped cream and butter, if you prefer. Because it is frozen, the mousse needs to be made at least four hours in advance and can be made up to five days before serving.

Frozen Honey Mousse with Blackberries

Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 cup orange blossom or other mild honey
  • ¼ cup pasteurized egg whites (from refrigerated carton), cold
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups frozen parve, non-dairy whipped topping, defrosted according to package directions
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • “Buttered” Challah Crumbs, optional (see below)

Put honey in small pot over low heat and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.

Place egg whites and lemon juice in large bowl and using an electric hand or stand mixer beat on high until opaque, white, frothy and somewhat thickened. Continue to beat on high and slowly pour in warm honey until fully incorporated. Keep beating on high for another 3 to 5 minutes until mixture is very thick and glossy.

Working in batches, gently fold in whipped topping until completely combined. Place in a 4- to 6-cup serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer, decorate top with blackberries and sprinkle top with challah crumbs (if using) and serve immediately. For a creamier, dessert, let sit 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

If desired, spoon into individual serving dishes and garnish each with berries and crumbs.

“Buttered” Challah Crumbs: Toast 2 cups crumbled or cut challah (¼-inch pieces) in a hot, dry fry pan, stirring often, until just starting to turn golden. Remove from pan. Wipe out pan. Melt 3 Tbs. parve margarine in pan over low heat. Stir in ¼ tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest and the toasted crumbs. Sauté until crumbs have absorbed the margarine and have browned a bit. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 Tbs. sugar.

Notes: For a dairy dessert, replace whipped topping in mousse with cream whipped to stiff peaks. Replace margarine with salted butter in the challah crumbs.

Make ahead: The mousse can be made 3 to 4 days ahead and left covered in the freezer. The challah crumbs can be made a few hours ahead and kept airtight until serving. Leftover mousse re-freezes well.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].