Well well. When I signed up for a book project last autumn, I never imagined it would simply take over my life and make sure I never had time to do anything ever ever again ever. Well ok, maybe not ever, but for months and months anyway! Luckily the deadline for the project is now looming, so I’m hopeful I’ll get my life back at some point in May. You know what I’ll do in May? Bake. Also read fiction. Heck, I might even get around to deep-conditioning my hair.
I quite daringly took some time off for Easter and managed to bake two things. Yes sirree! This lovely, light-as-a-cloud mousse cake was one of them. Wonderfully fluffy, lemony and spring-y! It’s a small cake – made in a 18cm springform pan – but I can’t see why you couldn’t double the recipe for a 24cm pan. Mind you, the cake is lovely and high, and you don’t need a huge piece, so even this small version should serve 6-8 people. Not that TLSO and I wanted to share this with anyone. We ate the whole thing between the two of us.
Note that the cake contains uncooked egg whites.
Lemon Mousse Cake (6-8 pieces)
appr. 100 g shortbread cookies
40 g butter
4 gelatine leaves (+ water)
250 ml lemon curd
3 egg whites
75 ml white sugar
175 ml heavy cream
100-150 ml lemon curd
(1 gelatine leaf, if preferred)
To make crust:
Preheat oven to 175C. Line the bottom of a 18cm springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the paper and sides of the pan.
Crush cookies in a food processor. Melt the butter and pour over the cookie crumbs: blend well. (If the biscuits are very buttery, you probably won’t need all the butter – mine were pretty dry and crumbly!) Press the mixture onto bottom of pan.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.
To make mousse:
Soften the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Bring a small amount of water close to a boil in a small saucepan. Squeeze out the leaves, add to the hot water and stir until dissolved. (Gelatine leaves can come in different “strengths”: the ones I use say 1 leaf per 100 ml of liquid for firm set (can be unmolded/cut neatly) – so check your gelatine leaf package to make sure)
Place the lemon curd in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the gelatine mixture.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Fold egg whites in the lemon curd in three additions.
In another medium bowl (but you can use the same beaters!), whip cream until peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the egg white & lemon curd mixture in three additions.
Line the sides of the cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the mousse over cooled crust. Cover and chill the cake overnight.
Remove the pan sides and parchment paper. Gently spread lemon curd over cake (you can add another leaf of gelatine to the curd too, if you want it to set and cut neatly). Chill until ready to serve.