February 15, 2006

Lemon Mousse - "Low Fat"

The Lemon Mousse portion of the Lemon Mousse Cake recipe from Chocolate and the Art of Low-fat Desserts by Alice Medrich, 1994

  • 1 1/2 tsp gelatin
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, strained
  • 3/4 cup sugar(divided)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Sprinkle the gelatin over 3 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl or cup. Set aside to soften, without stirring, for at least 5 minutes. Set a strainer over a large bowl.

Combine the lemon zest, juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Beat the whole egg and egg yolk in a small bowl until light. Beat some of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs. Scrape back into the saucepan. Cook and stir constantly, reaching all over the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent burning, until barely starting to simmer around the edges. Pour the mixture through the strainer set over a bowl. Stir in the softened gelatin and vanilla. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Stir and scrape the sides from time to time until the mixture is cool and beginning to thicken. If it begins to set before needed, remove from the ice bath, whisk, and set aside. If it actually sets, place in a bowl of hot water and stir until softened again.

Make a safe meringue: (If you have safe egg whites, you can avoid all the to-do of heating them to 160 degrees.) Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large skillet. Combine the cream of tartar and 4 teaspoons of water in a 6- to 8-cup stainless steel bowl. Whisk in the egg whites and the remaining sugar(1/2 cup). Place a thermometer near the stove in a mug of very hot water. Set the stainless bowl in the skillet. Stir briskly and constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom often to avoid scrambling the whites. After 1 1/2 minutes, remove bowl from the skillet. Quickly insert thermometer, tilting bowl to cover the stem by at least 2 inches. If less than 160 degrees, rinse thermometer in skillet water and return it to the mug. Replace bowl in skillet. Stir as before until temperature reaches 160 degrees when bowl is removed. Beat on high speed until cool and stiff. Set aside.

Beat cream until it holds its shape but is not too stiff. Set aside.

Fold 1/2 of lemon mixture it the beaten egg whites. Scrape back on top of the remaining lemon mixture. Scrape whipped cream on top. Fold all together. (Can be refrigerated for up to one day).

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