When Helene of Tartelette put out the call for everyone to submit examples of mousse for this round of Hay Hay Donna Day! I had a quirky smile.
I like mousse, though I admit to not having made one before. I've never made one before because my husband does not like mousse, and it is always a bad idea to make a dessert recipe where I might be the only one who eats it. Sure the children could contribute - afterall, mousse is very similar to a pudding with a different texture. It's the texture that made it iffy that the children would eat it.
But I like mousse. And Helene said make mousse. So I had to do it! Even at the risk that I would eat it myself. (Low risk, I have a number of testers who are willing to eat anything I put in front of them - I just don't happen to live with any of them!)
I admit, I wanted chocolate mousse. Not your regular boring, brown chocolate mousse - I wanted white chocolate mousse. Especially if I could pair it with either raspberries or cranberries.
Which is why I present to you my submission for HHDD - Lime Curd Mousse Cake!
You can see the connection between white chocolate, raspberries and cranberries, right?
Glad you can, because I can't!
I went looking, searching through my books (I can't believe Dorie didn't have a mousse recipe!) and then through various websites. When I came across this recipe, it was for Lemon Curd Mousse Cake, which would have been fine. But then I mentioned it to the mousse-disliking husband, and he said, "Could it be lime maybe?"
Since both of us prefer lime to lemon, how could I refuse?
I'm afraid I made this when one of my Daring Baker's sisters was having a horrid weekend, all because of curd. So before I proceed, I need to say - I'm sorry Lis! My curd (again another thing I've never made before) came out the first time with not hitches! (Of course mine seemed to be a backwards recipe, with everything mixed together, then cooked, so that might have helped prevent curdling.)
I've copy and pasted over the recipe I used from Epicurious.com. I followed the recipe almost exactly - swapping out lime for lemon, and graham crackers for shortbread cookies. The graham cracker switch was a matter of what was in my pantry, but worked out well, which is no surprise to me as I love graham crackers.
I am very pleased with how this cake came out - it was bright, fresh, not too sweet or too sour, and light. It took a bit more time than making a mousse in a glass, with all the various steps, but was well worth it!
2 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 7 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
6 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
Lemon slices, cut into quarters (garnish)
Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead.
Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and keep chilled.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Blend cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom of pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.
Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 3/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl. Stir 3/4 cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.
Stir gelatin mixture over medium-low heat until dissolved and liquid is clear (do not boil). Whisk warm gelatin mixture into 3/4 cup warm curd. Gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into curd in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold whites into curd mixture in 3 additions. Using same beaters, beat cream in another medium bowl until peaks form. Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions. Pour enough mousse over cooled crust to fill pan completely. Pour remaining mousse into small bowl and reserve. Cover and chill mousse cake, reserved mousse, and remaining curd overnight.
Using long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Gently spread 3/4 cup of remaining curd over cake. Transfer reserved mousse to pastry bag fitted with small star tip. Pipe rosettes of mousse around top edge of cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)
Arrange lemon slices between rosettes. Cut cake into wedges.
Bon Appétit, April 2005