Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

I was in pursuit of an eloquent cake that was fruit-based and did not contain chocolate for a friend's upcoming birthday celebration.  I was struggling and continued to stike out with each cookbook and website I searched.  Oh I was finding cakes that looked good, but nothing that would knock my socks off, and let's face it.  When trying to make an adult feel special on his/her birthday, good does not cut it;  taste and presentation are a prerequisite since nothing can hide behind Strawberry Shortcake's cute button nose or in between the layers of Spongebob or Superman. 

Then I found an article on showing their 30 top-rated cakes.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Talk about amazing cakes!  There was no question why each one was on the list.  This Lemon Curd Mousse Cake from that list is divine.  It has the perfect combination of tart and sweet with presentation good enough for the President.  The lemon curd topping has a brilliant lemon flavor and it beautifully complements the sweet and light mousse.  This cake is not difficult to make, but it does require time.  Not necessarily active preparation time, but time for each component to solidify in the refrigerator.  Plan to start two days before you need to serve 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

2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 8 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 (optional garnish)

To prepare the curd
1.  Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan.  Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves into juice.

2.  Whisk in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, whisking between each addition.  Add butter and place saucepan on burner set to medium heat.

3.  Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to medium size bowl and allow to cool.  Once cool, press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and chill in refrigerator until cold, at least 6 hours.  (Can be made and chilled for up to one week.)

To prepare the crust
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bottom of springform pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray.  Mix together cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl until well blended. 

2.  Press into bottom of springform pan and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Cool and set aside.

To prepare the mousse
1.  Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan.  Sprinkle evenly with gelatin and water-gelatin stand for 15 minutes, or until gelatin softens.

2.  Meanwhile, measure 1 3/4 cup chilled lemon curd and place in large mixing bowl.  Additionally, measure 3/4 cup chilled lemon curd and place in small nonreactive pan and heat on medium heat until curd is very warm but does not bubble.  (Remaining curd should be returned to refrigerator overnight.)

3.  Stir gelatin-water mixture and place over medium-low heat until completely dissolved and liquid is clear of granules.  Do not boil.  Whisk warm gelatin into bowl with 3/4 cup warm lemon curd.  Then gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into large bowl with chilled curd.  Set aside.

4.  Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy.  Fold into curd mixture in 3 additions.  Set aside.

5.  Using same beaters, beat cream in another medium bowl until peaks form.  Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions.

6.  Pour enough mousse over cooled crust to fill 8-inch springform pan completely.  Cover and chill overnight.

7.  Pour remaining mouse into pastry bag fitted with small star tip and chill overnight.  (Note from Holli:  I used a Dessert Decorator made by Wilton.)

To assemble
1.  Using long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen from pan and then carefully remove pan sides.  Use clean spatula to gently spread any imperfections along sides.  Gently spread 3/4 cup of lemon curd over cake.  Spread evenly around cake to 1/4-inch of sides.  Return to refrigerator and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Lemon curd will spread slightly and move closer to edge.

2.  With reserved mousse in pastry bag, pipe 8-10 rosettes around perimeter of cake.  Chill cake until ready to serve.  (Can be made up to 8 hours in advance.)  Arrange lemon slices between rosettes just prior to serving.

This recipe is linked to Sweet Tooth Friday....check it out.  You won't be disappointed!


Kendra said...

Holli- I found your website from facebook. Oh my gosh, this looks amazing. Next event I'll be trying it. Was it as delicious as it looks? I love your site!

Mamahollioni said...

Hi Kendra! Yes it tastes as good as it looks. Please come back and let me know how it turns out for your next event...I would love to hear!

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Mmmmmm, I love lemon!

Thanks for linking up with Sweet Tooth Friday!