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Mushroom Mousse – Plan B

by Brianna Bain

Well, I made it farther than I thought I would. Here it is, the last recipe of the season and I almost fell flat on my face with this one. When Sarah and I put our heads together to create RecipeRelay we agreed that an integral element of documenting our kitchen adventures was to be transparent and authentic in our creations, even if they were a total flop. We hoped to help our readers learn from our mistakes as well as our successes and to invite others to build and share  their knowledge of making tasty, healthy and sustainable food.

Sarah and I  both relayed this week bringing you twice the inspiration for the holiday season in a “Very Mushroomy Christmas”! You can find the Mushroom Mousse recipe we used for inspiration in the Joy of Cooking (pg. 309). In preparation for this special week I did some research on how I could turn this light and fluffy mushroom delight into a dairy and gluten free meal. The original recipe calls for butter, whipping cream, all purpose flour, egg yolk and egg whites beaten until stiff. Upon reading an entry from I decided  almond milk and more egg whites could be used to achieve the desired moussey results.  So I went for it.

It stings a little when I say it but, this recipe flopped.  I have never been one to be too concerned with a “Plan B”, over planning can keep you from exploring  and there is something to be said for the creative fuel that is found in the risk of trying something new. Often, I have found that risk taking  has brought me experiences of deeper understanding and made considerable contributions to my abilities in reacting to those times when I wished there were better planning. Now don’t worry, everything turned out okay, we still ate dinner. Let’s just say this mousse wasn’t so moussey in the end.   Let me explain…

I followed the steps from the the Joy of Cooking  to a tee, but I switched out whipping cream with almond milk, wheat flour with rice flour, butter for grape-seed oil and doubled the egg whites from 2 to 4. Knowing that almond milk would not bring the same fluffiness to the dish that whipping cream would, I opted to increase the  number of egg whites to bring more air and overall rising qualities to the dish.

Here is what I did:

Warning: Please be sure to read this post to the end before attempting this recipe!

The Mushroom Mousse turned Fritatta

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 1 hourTotal time: 1 hour 40 minues 

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbs brown rice flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

Cooking Directions

  1. In a pan add oil and flour, heat until lightly browned.
  2. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  4. In a medium bowl beat egg yolks, add salt and paprika, beat into sauteed mushrooms.
  5. Add almond milk to mushroom and yolk mixture and mix well.
  6. Prepare 9-inch round mold or round baking dish by buttering or oiling the walls.
  7. In a medium bowl beat egg whites until stiff.
  8. Fold egg whites into mushroom/ egg yolk mixture and pour into baking dish.
  9. Place filled baking dish in a pan with hot water and bake to 1 hour.

I proudly placed my mousse in the oven and anticipated a dairy,  and gluten free mushroom miracle but…

here is what happened…

My mushroom mousse did not make a clean break from the pan and  it had a weird separation of fluffy mushroom goodness on top and a jello-y gray mush at the bottom. This was not what I had in mind!

I acted quickly and moved the entire mess to a pan over a medium flame, breaking it up into an even mixture. I then added two beaten eggs and mixed well; popped a lid on and turned the heat down to low-med until firm. I then moved the pan to my counter-top convection oven and broiled it until cooked all the way though; turning this mousse into a frittata in a matter of minutes!  I served it with some garlicky green beans and red peppers for some holiday flare and to soften the blow of my mousse failure I added an on the fly – “Plan B” victory sprinkling of some goat’s milk gouda cheese.

Even though this recipe did not turn out exactly the way I had hoped, it was still very tasty. The simple ingredients make for high adaptability.  In an instance of total failure you can change  most dishes into another form all-together.   I imagine that this recipe would be best left in it’s original form but, if you have tried a dairy free mousse before or have any insights as to why my mousse turned to mush I am all ears!

Happy Holidays and may all your holiday food preparing be mush free!