Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I love the autumn and winter season. There’s something in the air that makes everything more romantic. Maybe it’s the chilling weather that makes you want to cuddle up with your significant other. Or, it could be the falling leaves from the back yard that resemblance some romantic movie scenes. Perhaps, it’s the warmth and sweet scents of a cake baking in the oven that brings back some loving memoires. Oh, isn’t Valentine’s Day just around the corner? I guess that is probably why. :P
Meyer Lemon is one of my favorite fruit. It is a citrus fruit native to China, very much to my surprised somehow. I don’t recall seeing or using much of them back home (Hong Kong). Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. Its trees produce fruit throughout the year and the majority of the crop is ready in winter. Maybe that’s another reason why I love winter so much because I get to harvest more of these yummy fruit from my in-law’s yard. Hooray!
These Meyer Lemon and Strawberry Mousse Cakes are festive, beautiful, and delicious. They represent layers of love and happiness. Just like lives, there are sweet and sour moments. I cherish and savor every moment of it. If you haven’t plan on how to celebrate your Valentine’s Day yet, why not make this cake to celebrate with your loved ones. (*wink wink*) I’m sure you’ll fall in love all over again.
Meyer Lemon and Strawberry Mousse Cakes:
Ingredients for the cake layer:
5 eggs, separated
3 oz butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
For the cake layer:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10X15-inch baking sheet (or jelly roll pan) and line it with parchment paper, set aside. Melt butter in a microwave oven, let cool. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites.
Use an electrical mixer to beat egg whites and salt for 3 minutes, then add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks. Pour in about half of the sugar in the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks, set aside.
In another bowl, beat egg yolks and the remaining of the sugar until pale yellow (3-5 mins). Then add heavy cream, yogurt and vanilla extract, beat until well combined. Add melted butter and continue to beat mixture.
Turn mixer to low speed and sift in cake flour, mix until just combined, do not over mix.
Fold egg whites into the flour mixture gently with a rubber spatula just until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not stir or beat. For a better result, fold in egg whites in 3 batches.
Pour batter onto baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. When the surface is dry and spongy when touch, it's done. Let cakes cool completely in the baking pan on a wire rack.
Ingredients for the Meyer Lemon Mousse:
Grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup (125 ml) Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
1 cup (250 ml)heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Meyer Lemon Mousse:
Combine the zest, sugar, and juice in a saucepan, bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until light. Beat half of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 3 minutes. Strain and let it cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Incorporate the cooled lemon curd to the cream in three additions.
Ingredients for the Strawberry Mousse:
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon water
8 oz (210gr) strawberries, pureed
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup (6oz - 190ml) heavy cream
For the Strawberry Mousse:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and set aside to bloom (soften).
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stir together the strawberries and sugar just until hot. Add the gelatin and stir until it is completely melted. Let cool to room temperature.
Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Once the strawberries are cooled, carefully fold the whipped cream into the fruit base.
Spray a 9 by 5-inch nonstick loaf pan with cooking spray. Using 2 pieces of parchment paper, line the pan, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides. Cut the cooled cake in thirds, vertically, creating 3 pieces of 9 by 5-inch cake layers. Place a layer of cake on the bottom of the lined loaf pan. Top with half of the lemon mousse. Use a specula to even out the surface. Place another piece of cake on top and spread it with the strawberry mousse. Top it with the last layer of cake and the remaining half of the lemon mousse. Smooth the top with a specula and fold the overhanging parchment paper over the mousse and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, lift the cake out with the overhanging parchment paper. Peel off the paper and cut into 1.5 inch thick slices. Top with strawberry and/or candied Meyer lemon and enjoy.