Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More on the Mousse: Best Brands

So, that mousse I was tellin' ya about...

I have been sampling and surveying a number of NZ coconut cream brands for consistency and now wish to report:

1. The BEST BRAND I've found yet to make the mousse with, is Fia Fia.
Behold, post-10-minutes-in-the-fridge consistency:
And the entire can is like that, pretty much!  Best. by. me. by. far.  And as you can see, 92% coconut milk;
It is truly spectacular if you only have a few bites of the mousse when you make it and chill the rest a few hours -- then it tears when you slice it with a spoon.

2.  Second best, is Pams.
After being in the fridge, Pams thickens up very nicely, with only a tablespoon or so of watery content left at the bottom.  The ingredients list here reports 75% coconut kernel extract.

3. Now we get niggly.  Solo's Choice takes out third, just.  It doesn't list in the ingredients what value you can count on, but I can tell you at least half of the can will form the thick plug of cream required to make the mousse.  So Solo's will work, but you won't get as much bang for your buck.
4.  Closely following by Dole.  The entire carton will thicken upon being chilled, and will come out carton-shaped to prove it.  Dole has a richer coconut flavour, which Haki prefers to brands 1-3...but I don't.  Because it is pulpier, it also doesn't produce as nice a texture -- it is rather granular, after whipping, and tongue-feel is very important for me, with mousse.  But Dole is reliable.  Smaller package too...
Be warned:
  • Homebrand's coconut cream boasts a whopping 80% coconut milk content (more than Pams) -- but I have found half of the cans I buy turn into a thick pouring cream upon chilling, with zero plug.  Then the other half of the cans I buy -- they thicken up like Pams!  If you buy this in bulk already for curries and other dishes, then sure, throw one in the fridge and see if it'll be suitable for mousse-making.  If not, it won't go to waste.  But do not buy a single can and rest all of your hopes on that being your dessert one night.  You may be disappointed.  Sense bitterness?
  • Pams "lite" coconut cream only has 60% coconut cream, and will not work.
  • Coconut milk will not work.
  • Maypride, Trident, and Exotic Food = lower coconut milk content, I wouldn't recommend any of these.
  • kara and Family Choice do not include their percentage of coconut milk/kernel extra content, but do note stabilisers -- a bad sign in my book (it shouldn't need help to thicken unless you've been stingey, manufacturer!)
  •  Carnation's brand is only flavoured evaporated milk.
Want to try this mousse already?  Recipe here.

Already tried it? 
Used another brand and had success (or otherwise -- sorry!) -- add your knowledge to the comments!  THANKS!
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