Who is going to beat the record?
The stability of a mousse can be increased in the following ways:
1. The mixture should be whisked for a long time. As the mixture is whisked more and more, the
beating action breaks up the air bubbles into smaller bubbles. This further stabilises the
mousse, since it means that the forces of surfaces are stronger and stronger; think of the
meniscus at the surface of a glass of water, you see that near the surface of the glass, the
water goes up; it’s because of forces between water molecules and the glass; the nearer to
the surface, the stronger the forces; in a foam, the smaller the bubbles, the nearer to the
surface of a bubble, and the stronger the surfaces forces.
2. Mind whisking in a machine, as this may cause over-whisking. Overwhisking causes the
proteins to denature and form a network too quickly, before sufficient air has been introduced.
3. Increasing the viscosity of the liquid phase helps increase stability of a mousse – a bubble
introduced into in a viscous liquid will have more difficulty rising than in pure water, because it
will be harder for it to move through the liquid.
4. It is often recommended that egg whites should be whipped in copper bowls with copper
utensils. Copper forms very tight networks with reactive sulphur atoms exposed on denatured
proteins, preventing these sulphur atoms from forming the disulphide bridges with other
denatured protein molecules. This reduces the strength of the resulting protein network, which
allows more air bubbles to be included. However, copper is expensive and a nuisance to
clean, so is not always practical… and the effect is not very important.
5. The addition of acid improves theoretically mousse formation because it speeds up the
denaturation of the egg white proteins by breaking their weak intra-molecular forces that keep
them folded. This means the proteins can form the air-stabilising network more readily.
However, again, the effect is not important, and even sometimes undetectable.
6. The presence of fat in the liquid to be mousse should be avoided. The lipids present in fat