Need an unusual dessert for a weekday night? Have no money and need something cheap to satisfy your hungry sweet tooth? This dessert should do the trick then. All you need is some barley flour and sugar in your cupboard, fresh milk in your fridge and some of that redcurrant juice you made from last summer's berries in your chiller cabinet. Failing that, a shop-bought cranberry juice will do.
A similar pudding made with manna/semolina - mannavaht - is very common in Estonia, and much loved by children. Another version - rukkijahuvaht - uses rye flour. Whereas semolina version yields the fluffiest mousse, this is lovely as well. A proper nursery food.
Estonian barley mousse
500 ml water
100-150 ml sugar
200 ml plain cranberry or redcurrant juice
200 ml barley flour
Bring water and sugar to boil and stir, until sugar dissolves. Add the juice.
Stir in barley flour, whisking very vigorously to avoid any lumps.
Simmer for a few minutes, until the 'porridge' thickens.
Take off the heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk with an electric mixer until light and foamy (you're dealing with barley flour here, so the mousse will inevitably be a bit heavy).
Divide into dessert bowls and serve with cold milk.