I discovered some maple syrup in the back of my fridge tonight … just enough to make Maple Mousse (good) p. 241 from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. Clara Stoecker contributed this recipe. Normally I wouldn’t list two similar recipes at the same time but I suspect that the contributor of the other recipe for Maple Mousse (p. 242) is the same person. The second recipe was submitted by Miss Stoecker and is identical in key areas except for the amount of eggs and the use of the word syrup vs sugar. I decided that the referrence to maple sugar in the first recipe was a mistake and was supposed to be maple syrup since the word syrup is used later in the same recipe.
I decided to take the best instructions from both recipes to hopefully recreate this dish. Should I heat the syrup and then add the eggs as suggested Maple Mouse (good)? I thought that would be a recipe for disaster (and cooked eggs). Should I use 3 or 4 eggs? I don’t like eggs so I chose the smaller number thinking I could add another if necessary. I separated three medium eggs. I put the yolks in a small saucepan and beat them slightly. I poured in a cup of maple syrup, stirred thoroughly and began slowly heating the pan. I gradually turned up the heat and stirred continuously as I was afraid the yolks would cook. Instead the mixture began to thicken and turn quite foamy. It finally appeared to be boiling so I removed it from the heat. As it cooled I whipped 2 cups (1 pint) of whipping cream until it was quite thick. I’m always afraid of beating cream to much as I’ve ended up with butter a time or two. It happens more if the cream isn’t cold. I stirred the cooled syrup mixture into the whipped cream. I had a quick taste and then popped it into the modern icebox (refrigerator) to cool.
Strangely I can’t find Clara Stoecker in either the 1901 or 1911 census in Ontario. She’s not on the Waterloo Generations website either. I don’t know how this name is pronounced so I’m not sure what alternative spellings to try in the census. A Miss Clara Stoecker of Pittsburgh appears in an advertizement in The New Era paper for a patent medicine in 1900. It also looks like there was a Clara Stoecker in Syracuse New York — a city familiar to several contributors to the Berlin Cook Book.
I could quickly make myself sick eating Maple Mousse since it contains both dairy and egg — and is incredibly good! I ended up eating a small bowl before it had even chilled. Be sure to use a strong flavoured maple syrup and I think the three egg yolks are enough. I had to use a little apple syrup to complete my cup of syrup and it is another good option. This is a recipe that can time travel well. It is a wonderful quick and easy summer dessert if you can afford to buy cream and maple syrup in 2012. After tasting it cold from the “icebox” and from the freezer, I found it was better simply cold rather than frozen. Now I am even more interested in details about Miss Clara Stoecker.
MAPLE MOUSSE (good)
1 cup of maple sugar [sic], 4 well beaten yolks, bring syrup to a boil and pour over beaten eggs, return to fire and cook well, let cool then add 1 pint cream whipped stiff. Mix and set in mould to freeze.
1 cup maple syrup, 3 yolks of eggs, boil syrup and eggs. Add pint of whipped cream. Pack in ice 4 hours before serving.