Posted February 13, 2013

Red Star Tavern’s Peanut Butter Mousse

Eat + Drink

Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter how you plan to celebrate, we figure that a good way to your heart is with a sinfully tempting dessert.

So we called on our friends at Red Star Tavern in Portland. They happen to have a few people that are very skilled in the sweets department. In fact, the restaurant’s pastry chefs, Carla Burns and Stacey Needham, are known as “Team Pastry” – and they’re happy to share their recipe for peanut butter mousse with vanilla cream and brown butter biscotti.

The decadent dessert is perfect for a party, date night or just for yourself on a cold winter’s evening. There are a lot of steps involved in putting it together, so get ready to think way out of the Betty Crocker box. Trust us – the rewards are well worth the effort.


Butterum Pudding

Butterum Pudding
4 Servings

6 tbsp.     Sugar
2 oz.         Water
2 oz.         Heavy cream
¼ cup      Brown sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tsp.   Cornstarch
½ tsp.       Kosher salt
12 oz.         Whole milk
2                 Egg yolks
4 tbsp.       Butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp.        Dark rum
½ tsp.        Vanilla extract

1. Make a medium-dark caramel out of the first three ingredients by heating on the stovetop until they turn a honey color. Set aside.

2. Mix brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in milk and stir until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and whisk in caramel sauce.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk yolks to blend. Temper into cream mixture. Bring back to a simmer and whisk in butter, rum, and vanilla.

4. Remove from heat and strain through a chinoise. Cool in ice bath. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Vanilla Cream
4 Servings

½ cup    Heavy cream
½ cup     Half & half
1/8 tsp.   Vanilla bean, scraped
1 ½          Egg yolks
2 tbsp.     Sugar
1 tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp.  Cornstarch
2 ¼ tsp.   Butter

1. Steep cream and half & half with the vanilla bean over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

2. Mix sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch together in a bowl. Temper cream mixture into egg mixture and heat over a double boiler, whisking often until it thickens

3. Remove from heat and add butter. Strain through chinoise (strainer) and cool in ice bath. Stir every now and then to prevent it from scrambling.

4. Place in container and lay plastic wrap on the surface of pastry cream. Chill.

Peanut Butter Mousse
4 Servings

½ cup      Heavy cream
1 cup        Powdered sugar, sifted
4 oz.         Cream cheese, soft
3 oz.         Peanut butter, smooth
1 tsp.        Vanilla extract

1. In mixing bowl with whip attachment, beat cream and a quarter of the powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate.

2. With the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla at medium-high speed, scraping down sides, bowl and paddle until well combined, smooth and fluffy.

3. Add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Fold whip cream into peanut butter mixture. Evenly combine. Refrigerate.

Brown Butter Biscotti
4 Servings

4 tbsp.   Brown butter
(To make brown butter: Place butter in a heavy bottomed pot and cook over medium-high heat until butter starts to slowly simmer and brown.)
6 tbsp.    Sugar
1              Egg
¾ tsp.    Vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp.   AP flour
¾ tsp.     Baking powder
1/8 tsp.   Kosher salt
Optional additions/flavorings

1. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer stand.  Add in eggs and vanilla and beat on medium-high for 5 minutes with the whisk attachment.

2. Mix together dry ingredients and add into wet. Switch to the paddle and mix until incorporated.

3. On a floured surface, form long rolls of the dough and put them on a sprayed sheet pan.  Flatten a bit with hands and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

4. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until golden and baked through.  Let cool on speed rack for 10 minutes then slice.

5. Put slices back on the sheet pan and bake again at 275 degrees Fahrenheit until crunchy throughout.  Cool.

For final presentation:

Using disposable piping bags dispense pudding, cream and mousse into glass jars, alternating flavors. Top with peanut butter mousse. Serve with brown butter biscotti.
Want to taste the chefs’ own version? Visit Red Star Tavern at 503 S.W. Alder St., Portland (503-222-0005 or


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One Comment

  1. Steph says:

    How many glass jars does this fill? What size are the jars?

    Thank you for posting. My absolute favorite thing from Red Star!