Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

Here in Menton, la Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) is almost upon us. This year's theme is Broadway Musicals. A couple of years ago, the citrus structures were inspired by a famous Jules Verne novel, Les tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (Tribulations of a Chinaman in China).

And when life gives you lemons, you make... lemon desserts! My partner found this amazing lemon mousse recipe online, which I tweaked slightly to match the ingredients I find here. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/lemon-cheesecake-mousse/
For my version of it (less sweet, but same silky smooth texture), keep reading.

Yields 6 to 10 servings.

1 cup crushed Speculoos cookies (brown sugar cinnamon cookies) 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 tablespoon (42g) butter, melted

2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1 1/2 tablespoon water 
3 sheets unflavored gelatin (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder gelatin) 
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream 
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar 
Yellow food coloring (optional) 
300 grams (about 10 oz.) cream cheese, softened 
1 (10 oz) jar lemon curd (I used a 320 g. jar of Chiver's) 
Sweetened whipped cream, lemon wedges, blueberries and mint for garnish (optional)

In a mixing bowl whisk together cookie crumbs and salt. Pour in butter and stir until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 6 - 10 dessert cups and lightly press into an even layer, set aside. 
Pour lemon juice and water into a small bowl. Cut gelatin sheets into small squares and immerse in the liquid, let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add confectioner's sugar, and yellow food coloring if desired, and whip until stiff peaks form. In a separate large mixing bowl whip cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix lemon curd into cream cheese mixture. 
Heat rested gelatin mixture in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Whisk for 1 minute to thoroughly dissolve gelatin, then let cool 3 minutes (no longer or it may start to set then you could end up with little lumps in the mousse). While mixing cream cheese mixture with hand mixer, slowly pour in gelatin mixture then blend until thoroughly combined. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture to lighten, then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Spoon or pipe mixture into dessert cups over cookie crumb layer. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours (or up to 1 day ahead if desired) to set. Garnish as desired. Serve cold.


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