This is the more popular cousin of the humble barley mousse or odrajahuvaht that I wrote about back in March. I doubt if there are any Estonian kids who have not eaten mannavaht either at home, at kindergarten, at the school cantine (unless they're intolerant to wheat gluten, of course). It's definitely one of the staple everyday puddings, and real comfort food. You can use pretty much anything as a base for this mousse. Tart juices are good (e.g. cranberry, sour cherry, redcurrant juice), leftover jam from the fridge will do, as well as stewed and sieved fruit (e.g. rhubarb and pretty much all berries). On the morning I left Estonia, my mum picked a big bowl of raspberries from her garden, and mashed them with some sugar for a delicious and fresh jam. This is what I used for this vibrant and summery semolina mousse below few days later in Edinburgh.
(Roosamanna ehk mannavaht)
about 200 ml of concentrated juice (e.g. cranberry, redcurrant, cherry) or jam (e.g. raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant)
about 800 ml of water
150 ml wheat semolina/cream of wheat
up to 100 ml of sugar
Dilute the juice or jam with enough water to make up 1 litre of liquid (or simply use a litre of cranberry juice drink or something similar). Add sugar to taste and bring everything slowly to the boil.
Pour semolina quickly into the boiling juice or jam water, stirring vigorously to avoid any clumps. Simmer in a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until semolina has expanded and you have a thick sweet porridge. Taste - add more sugar, if necessary, or some vanilla sugar, grated lemon or lime zest etc.
Pour into a large bowl and let cool.
Whisk the cool sweet porridge until it's couple of shades lighter and a lot fluffier and lighter in texture*.
Serve with cold milk.
Kalyn included this post in her BlogHer entry Sahlep and Other New Entries for that Food Encyclopedia in your Brain - thank you, Kalyn!
Anna included this post in her weekly recipe carousel. Thank you, Anna!
* My paternal grandmother, Mamma, has often told us a story how my dad managed to rid himself of kitchen duties as a kid. He was once given the task to whip up a big bowl of mannavaht for some workers on the farm. However, when my dad had finished the task, there was no increase in volume whatsoever, as my dad had been eating the mousse as eagerly as he had been whisking it (we're talking about early 1950s here, so obviously there was no gorgeous Kitchen Aid artisan mixers to talk about, just pure muscle power). Since then, he was asked to stay away from the kitchen. Which probably explains why he is still a bit of a beginner when it comes to cooking and feeding his family.