Peanut Butter Mousse Cups: An Ode to What Could Have Been
A few nights ago, I found myself on the Minimalist Baker blog, and was mesmerized with how beautiful and simple the Peanut Butter Mousse Cups looked. And I thought, this could be the recipe where I can finally get WowButter to substitute properly for peanut butter. Despite the fact that WowButter has a completely different ingredient list than peanut butter (with soy as the main ingredient), I have currently been on a quest to make fantastic peanut butter baked goods, using a soy nut butter spread. Needless to say, these experiments have led to sub par results - the peanut butter cookies that scorched at the bottom and fell apart if you looked at them the wrong way are a particularly painful memory.
But, oh there's always a but. This time would be different, I thought. These over-sized Reese cups were the answer to my soy butter substitution woes.
It was all looking so promising. So few ingredients, so few steps and directions. There was a slight hitch when the directions said whip the condensed milk and icing sugar for 30 seconds. Now anyone who has whipped cream by hand will know that it doesn't just happen. I'm pretty sure even the Hulk couldn't come up with a bowl of hand-whipped cream in 30 seconds.
But we digress.
In 15 minutes I had a Food & Wine cover worthy bowl of whipped, mousse-y deliciousness. It was going to be amazing.
I measured out the WowButter and managed to coat about half my hands getting it into the bowl. I watched it drop into the mousse and slowly, slowly get sucked under the surface to the bottom of the bowl. Washing the goo off my hands I picked up the whisk, preparing to do battle once again, before stirring slowly and watching all my hard work dissolve in approximately seven seconds.
What was once a beautiful, light fluffy mousse, was now a thin, watery bowl of what looked like frothy orange pekoe tea. I felt as deflated as the strange tea/mousse looked. After attempting to whip the mixture back to life, I dumped it down the sink before even taking a picture.
While this could be some kind of great metaphor with a delicate balance between never give up and know when to quit, I feel like it's more of a reality check.
Having food allergies means having to substitute a lot of ingredients in both baking and cooking, and often times, it doesn't work out. Substituting soy nut butter for peanut butter is one of those things that is destined to not work out because the make up of the ingredients is just too different.
Peanut butter cups and peanut butter cookies are something that I obviously am not able to have, and the fact that WowButter exists under the guise of "fake peanut butter" doesn't mean it actually reacts like peanut butter, or that it will create a perfect peanut butter mousse filling. The dream of getting to try something new because of WowButter was a little lofty, and I'd much rather live without the trip to the ER because of it.
Variety is the spice of life really isn't the slogan when it comes to baking and food allergies, and no amount of wanting to eat a peanut butter cookie will change the fact that I can't.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.