Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse

By Libbie Summers
Photography Assisted by David Dempsey

Even if it isn’t served in a hand-painted cherry blossom trifle dish, this gorgeously delicious mousse will wow any dinner guests. Creamy, rich in flavor and not-too-sweet it’s perfect for a spring brunch table.
Raspberry Mousse, Cherry Mousse, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life
Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse
serves12-16

What you need:
4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
12 cups fresh raspberries, divided or two 10-ounce bags frozen raspberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups super fine sugar (pulse regular sugar in a food processor to make it fine)
2 teaspoons cherry extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Pink food coloring (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting

What to do:
1. Bloom Gelatin: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Make the Raspberry/Cherry Puree: In a blender, add 10 cups of the raspberries with 1 cup sugar.  Puree until smooth. Using a fine sieve, strain the puree into a bowl to remove the seeds (don’t worry some seeds will get through and that’s okay). In a microwave oven, melt the gelatin for 10 seconds on low power. Whisk the gelatin and cherry extract into the raspberry puree. Stir in pink food coloring if desired to enhance the color.

3. Whip Egg Whites: In a large pyrex bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the whites at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the raspberry cherry puree.

4. Whip Cream: In a standing mixer fitted with a whip attachment or using a hand mixer, add the heavy cream and beat until creamy. Add pink food coloring if desired to keep the dessert super pink. Continue to beat until firm.

5. Finish Mousse: Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry cherry mixture. Pour into a trifle dish or individual dishes and refrigerate overnight.

To Serve: Top with remaining fresh raspberries and dust with powdered sugar.

Raspberry Mousse, Libbie Summers Recipes, Spring Desserts, Mousse Recipes, Cherry Mousse, A food-inspired life

Watch this beautiful Cherry Blossom-inspired Dessert Course come together!

DIY: Louis Ghost Chair Update

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

When your event needs a little more POP, here’s an easy and fun removable idea! For this application, I was hosting in intimate dinner party inspired by cherry blossoms. The environment was very organic and I thought I needed to add a bit of a modern twist. Boom. A simple chair decal on a white ghost chair brought it all home…and was so fun to do.
Chair Decorating, Libbie Summers, Crafting with Vinyl Sheets, Vinyl Sheets, Colored Vinyl, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

What you need:
1 Plastic chair
Vinyl Sheets (Available at Michael’s Crafts. For this chair, I used one light pink, one bright pink and one copper)
1 piece thick card stock
Pen/Pencil/Marker
Scissors

What to do:
1. Make a Paper Flower Template: Depending on what your inspiration is for the chair (mine was cherry blossoms), Draw a simple outline of a flower, bud and leaf on the card stock and cut out. NOTE: for this application, I did two different sizes of the same flower. Flower were 2 to 2.5-inches in diameter.
2. Cut Out Flower Template: Cut out the flowers, buds and leaves from the card stock.
3. Cut Out Vinyl Flowers, Buds and Leaves: Working on the back side of the vinyl, use the paper templates to draw around onto the vinyl and cut out. Note: for this application, I did a full sheet of light pink flowers and a used the bright pink for buds and flowers. I didn’t cut leaves.)
4. Apply the Vinyl: Do a simple sketch on paper of the the design you want to start with. Beginning with the limbs, cut out strips (1/4-inch wide and various lengths), peel backing off and apply to the chair. Working one at a time, peel off backing from the vinyl flowers, buds and leaves.

Before and After!
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The whole process took me 1 hour and was the perfect modern touch the table needed.
Vinyl Adhesive, Chair Decoration, Flower Chair, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

A Cherry Blossom Inspired Tablescape (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I find inspiration for meals and events great or small in those things blooming and growing around me. This dessert moment is inspired by the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms.

Spring Table top design, Spring Entertaining, Dessert Course Table Decor, Table Top Decorating, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

Sprinkle Rainbow Cake Decorating (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

An imperfect rainbow of sprinkles, mega marshmallows “clouds” and a balloon dog pot of gold! Don’t worry about everything being perfect, just have fun. The end result will ALWAYS bring a smile.

What you need: 
1 frosted layer cake (we used a 8-inch and 6-inch vanilla cake)
4 (6-inch) cardboard cake rounds
1 cup (each) sprinkles in rainbow colors (we used in this order purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and pink), the full amount of each will depend on the size of your cakes.
1 bag extra large marshmallows
1 Jimmie the Balloon Dog Cake Topper Kit

What to do: 
1. Working with the bottom or larger cake first, place one cardboard cake round on either end and set aside. Using a sheet tray, pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the purple sprinkles along the longest edge. Straighten the edge with a ruler or dough scraper and pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the blue sprinkles next to the purple. Continue with the green (1/2-3/4 cup) sprinkles.
2. Holding the cake by the ends with the card board rounds, line up the cake at the at the end of the tray and roll (using pressure) the cake across the stripes of colors.
3. Use the extra sprinkles to fill in any gaps. Remove cardboard round on the top and cover the top of the cake (purple will be the bottom) with the extra green sprinkles.
4. Repeat the striping process with the smaller cake, starting with the yellow sprinkles. Then orange and finally pink.
5. Use the extra yellow, orange and pink sprinkles to fill in any holes. Remove bottom top cardboard cake round (yellow will be at the bottom) and cover the top of the cake with pink sprinkles. Remove bottom cardboard cake round and carefully place smaller cake atop the larger cake.
6. Top cake with marshmallows.
7. Top marshmallows with a pot of gold Jimmie the Balloon Dog!
Cake Decorating, Fun Cake Decorating, Libbie Summers, food-inspired fun, easy cake decorating, baking, sprinkles, Yum Yum Smile Shop, Balloon Dog, Jimmie the Balloon Dog Cake Topper

Balloon Dog, Cake Decorating, Easy Cake Decorating, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, food-inspired fun, Yum Yum Smile Shop, Baking, fun desserts,
How to Make a Balloon Dog, Graphic, Libbie Summers, Balloon Dogs,

 

Beautiful Candy Bark (VIDEO AND RECIPE)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted By David Dempsey

I LOVE a gift from the kitchen. This past holiday I made 4 pounds of Everything Bagel Topping and before then it was Homemade Mega Marshmallows. This year for Valentine’s Day, I was under the gun and needed to Macgyver something fast…but still with some Libbie Fun and Beauty.

Candy, Candy Bark, Valentine's Day Gifts, Gifts from the Kitchen, edible flowers, sprinkles
Beautiful Candy Bark
(makes 24 servings)

What you need:
2 (11 ounce) packages Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, melted (I used a double boiler)
Food coloring gel, I used purple
Sprinkles or colored sanding sugars (I used light and dark purple sanding sugars and gold dragees. NOTE: It will only take a tablespoon of each)
Edible Flowers (I used violas)
Beautiful Candy Bark Prep, Sanding Sugars, Purple Sanding Sugars, Gold Dragees, Bark Making Supplies, Edible Flowers, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

What to do:
1. Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Have all your toppings ready.
2. Divide: Divide melted chocolate into two bowls. One will have 2/3 of the melted chocolate and the other will have 1/3.
3. Color: Add just enough food coloring into the smaller amount of melted chocolate until tinted the color you would like.
4. Spread: WORKING QUICKLY, spread the white chocolate out on the prepared baking sheet. Next, drop dollops of the tinted chocolate on top of the white. Using an offset spatula, swirl the two together.
5. Decorate: AGAIN, WORKING SUPER QUICKLY. Decorate with your sprinkles, sanding sugars and edible flowers before the chocolate starts to harden.
6. Break: Allow the bark to set until completely hardened (about 20 minutes) then lift off the parchment and break apart into pieces.
NOTE: If using edible flowers, Beautiful Candy Bark is best eaten within 24 hours. If not, bark will be good for up to one week. Honestly, you don’t even have to store in an airtight container. We just leave ours on the kitchen counter for nibbling.

Need more help? Watch the video!

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