Lemon Mousse Cakes
- SPONGE CAKE:
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 cup simple syrup plus
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream chilled
- 1 cup Lemon Curd (see below)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
- Fresh mint sprigs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter plus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar plus
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- LEMON CURD:
- 3 lemons
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter cold
Line 6 (3-inch) metal pipe molds with parchment paper, having the parchment come 3 to 4 inches over the top of the mold (it should look like a mold for a frozen souffle). Chill the bowl and wire whip of an electric mixer in the freezer.
In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup and gelatin. Stir to soften the gelatin. Place over low heat and cook until the gelatin dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl.
Remove the bowl and whip from the freezer and add the heavy cream. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Combine the gelatin mixture and lemon curd. Mix well. Add the lemon mixture to the whipped cream. Continue to beat until the cream forms stiff peaks. Brush the sponge cake with the remaining 1 cup of simple syrup.
Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut the cake into 6 rounds. Place a cake round at the bottom of each of the molds. Spoon 1 cup of the mousse into each prepared mold, on top of the cake. Cover the molds with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until the mousse is firm.
For the Sponge Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and 2 teaspoons of the butter together over medium-low heat. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip, beat the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar on medium-high speed in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the warm milk mixture.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small mixing bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture and blend thoroughly until smooth. Repeat with the other half. Add the vanilla and mix gently.
Grease a 17- by 12-inch baking pan or jelly-roll pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour the cake batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Cool for about 2 minutes, then gently flip it out onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Let cool completely. (Yields 1 (17- by 12-inch) sheet cake)
For the Lemon Curd: Zest all of the lemons and set aside. Juice the zested lemons (should have 1/2 cup of juice) and strain the juice. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the zest and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a nonreactive saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pour into a glass bowl. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cool to room temperature. (Yields 2 1/2 cups)
To Serve: Remove the molds from the refrigerator and carefully remove the ring molds and parchment paper. Place the cakes on serving plates. Garnish with the whipped cream and mint.
This recipe yields 6 cakes.
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