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
- Draw two circles 12cm in diameter on a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking tray.
- 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.
- Spread the mixture onto the circles on the baking parchment.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.