Lemon Poppy Seed Cake With Meyer Lemon Mousse
- For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups (185gr) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (200gr) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (14gr) baking powder
- 1/4 (1.5gr) teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3-4)
- 3/4 (175ml) cup milk
- 1/4 cup (62.5ml) lemon juice
- grated zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon (9gr) poppy seeds
- 1 stick (113gr) butter, melted
- 1 to 2 cups strawberries
- 1/4 cup lemon
- 1/4 cup of water with a couple of tablespoons of sugar
- Meyer Lemon Mousse:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 sheets) gelatin
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water
- 1 1/4 (310ml) whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (throw the seeds in the pot with the milk)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (50 grams)sugar
- 1/4 cup (40 gr)cornstarch
- 1/4 cup (62.5ml) lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
Preheat oven to 300F. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the cake. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine the egg whites and the milk. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and slowly add in the egg white mixture while stirring with a whisk. Add in the lemon juice, zest, the poppy seeds and the melted butter.
Mix with a whisk until smooth. Line a half sheet pan or a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, lightly spray with cooking spray and pour in the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. Let cool and cut out six 3-inch rounds to fit your cake rings. Line 6 cake rings with parchment paper or rhodoid (pastry film, but cut sheet protectors work well too), secure with tape if necessary and place your cake bases at the bottom. Place the cakes on baking tray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan set over low heat dissolve 1/4 cup lemon in 1/4 cup of water with a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Let cool to room temperature and brush the cake rounds with the syrup.
Quickly wash the strawberries, pat them dry and slice into 1/8 inch to a 1/4 inch thick slices and line the cake rings with them. Set aside.
Meyer Lemon Mousse:
In a ramekin, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until you prepare the cream. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together, add the cornstarch mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk and vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling, (pour through a strainer if this happens). Remove vanilla bean. Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice and zest, cook another 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Immediately add in the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream so that it does not develop a skin as it cools to room temperature.
Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and gently fold it into the pastry cream. Pipe or spoon the mousse immediately in the cake rings, level the top with an offset spatula and refrigerate. If you have any leftover, spoon into dessert dishes or glasses for quick snack.