This simple eggless mousse puts the milky flavor of white chocolate center stage, highlighted by subtle molasses notes from raw cane sugar. Because this mousse contains little more than the ingredients found in white chocolate itself, it’s important to invest in the best quality you can find; my favorites are Valrhona’s 35 percent Ivoire and Republic del Cacao’s 31 percent Ecuador. Top with ground pistachios for a pleasing crunch, and serve with Pistachio-Cardamom Shortbread.
1 envelope (about 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 tsp.) unflavored powdered gelatin (1/4 oz.)
1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs. (13 oz.) whole milk
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 oz. finely chopped white chocolate, 30 percent cocoa butter minimum (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz.) organic raw cane sugar, such as Wholesome
1-1/8 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt (the amount needed will vary by brand; for table salt, use two-thirds as much)
1 cup (8 oz.) heavy cream, cold
Pistachios, rose petals, and shortbread, for garnish (optional)
In a small bowl, mix the gelatin, 2 Tbs. of the milk, and the vanilla with a fork until well combined.
Meanwhile, combine the white chocolate, sugar, salt, and 3/4 cup of the milk in a 2-quart stainless-steel saucepan. Warm over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the white chocolate has melted, about 3 minutes. When the mixture is steaming hot but not simmering, remove from the heat, add the gelatin mixture, and whisk until smooth.
Transfer to an airtight container, whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup milk, cover, and then refrigerate, whisking from time to time to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, until firm and cold, 2 to 4 hours. (The mixture can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the chilled white chocolate mixture on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 90 seconds. Return the mixture to its original container, then pour the cream into the mixer bowl; whip with the whisk attachment until thick and stiff, about 5 minutes. Gently fold in the white chocolate mixture. Pipe or spoon into parfait dishes.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Before serving, garnish as you like.