Tuesday Treat

Lemon Mousse Cake (Serves 4-6)

Although the days are trying to get lighter and brighter, it’s been a rather cold and wet Spring in the UK, so we definitely deserve a dessert that shouts ‘Summer’! This lemon mousse cake is definitely it; it has just the right balance of sweet and sour. It’s rather like a ‘lemon posset’ sandwiched between two chewy almond biscuits (macronades) – wonderful! The recipe is from Simon Hopkinson’s cookbook ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories’, he suggests that it serves 4, but although I’m greedy, I found it could easily serve 6, as it is rich.

For the macaronades:

2 egg whites

125g icing sugar

50g ground almonds

Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the mousse:

2½ leaves of gelatine, pre-soaked in cold water until softened

200ml lemon juice

250ml double cream

100g caster sugar

A handful of fresh raspberries, plus more to serve

Icing sugar to sift over

*Baking parchment

  1. Draw two circles 12cm in diameter on a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking tray.
  2. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Sift the icing sugar and almonds together, gently fold them into the egg whites, together with the lemon zest.
  3. Spread the mixture onto the circles on the baking parchment.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for 10 minutes, until pale golden. Remove, leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully lifting from the paper to dry on a cooling rack.
  5. Melt the gelatine with a couple of tablespoons of the lemon juice over a low heat. Add the rest of the lemon juice and place the bowl over ice to chill stirring occasionally until just beginning to gel.
  6. Whip the cream with the sugar until thick then slowly incorporate the lemon-gelatine mixture while continuing to beat until the mixture is thick (you can thicken it more by placing it in the fridge for 30 minutes).
  7. To assemble, place one of the macaronades on a serving plate, smooth side up, and carefully spread the mousse right up to the edges, smoothing around the edge with a palette knife. Gently press the second marcaronade on top. To decorate place the raspberries at intervals around the edge of the mousse and sift a little icing sugar over the top of the cake. Put in the fridge to chill for up to 2 hours before serving.

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