Raspberry And Lime Mascarpone Mousse Cakes
Thursday, March 27, 2008
We celebrated Easter with B.'s family, a small and quiet gathering on the beach, very much unlike the gatherings in my family back home. There was plenty to share and although I offered to bring something for dessert, my sister-in-law said I could take the day off, she'd take care of it. Doesn't she realized that it really does not bother me and I am actually looking forward to making something? I am sure those of you who like to cook and bake have found themselves in this position. When you love food, it's not work, it's a pleasure. Oh well, I still wanted to make something for us and took the opportunity of the "Exchange Dinner" we host each year to make these Raspberry and Lime Mascarpone Mousse Cakes.
What is the "Exchange Dinner" you ask? Well, I came to the US as an exchange student about 11 years ago and I was an exchange student doing my Masters here for one year. Long story short, I met B. here a few weeks before I was supposed to go home "forever" and although I did go home, it was not too long before we each were making a couple of overseas trips "to figure this one out"....As you can see we figured it out pretty fast and I moved here permanently a few months after we met. This little tidbit is essential to the dinner in question: as an exchange student, I remember that one of the holidays that made me the most homesick was Easter (most of us make it home for Christmas). The weather is gorgeous, the flowers are all in bloom, everybody is in a chirpy mood, and we feel a little or a lot out of place. We are filled with mixed emotions: the semester is nearing its end, we'll have to buckle down on our dissertation, pack soon and say goodbye to friends and yet, we realise how much we miss everybody back home and how we wish we could hope over for a nice Eater celebration. Being a professor at the College, B. has the chance to meet the exchange student from my old University and we try to help them get set up the best we can and to give the a crash course on American matters, and the South specifically. I remembered the way I felt over Easter and decided a few years ago to host a little gatherings around that time for the two students who are now in the shoes I wore a while back. So there it is, the "Exchange Dinner".
Nothing screams Spring more than light and fluffy lime mousse studded with raspberries, especially when it is set on a light base of Angel Food Cake. Our guests had never tried that type of cake before so it was quite a lesson in American desserts that they got that night...that was to be expected when you dine with a baker and a History professor, we can be so nerdy sometimes!! The girls loved it and both asked for the recipe to make back home. The desserts itself calls for only four slices cut out from the cake so you might be tempted to buy a box mix or one already made. Resist! There is nothing like homemade Angel Food Cake and it is actually easy and fun to make also. The lime mousse is the same one I used here, inspired by a blogger I have been reading for a long time, Mercotte. When I was unmolding the cakes, I kept thinking I had seen them before on someone's blog, not the exact same one but the same concept and look. Light bulb moment as I was hopping in bed: Bea had made them, also inspired by Mercotte. Ah! Tout s'explique! (it all comes together now). I guess that if the three of us ever meet, she'll know what to make us for dessert!
Raspberry Mousse Cake: serves 4
4 slices angel food cake (1 inch thick), recipe below
Lime Mascarpone Mousse
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 piece raspberry fruit leather (I used these), cut 4 thin strips
1/2 recipe Blood Orange Syrup
Angel Food Cake:
18 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift cake flour and confectioners sugar together and set aside.
In a large clean bowl, whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar while beating, and continue to beat until very stiff. Add the lemon extract.
Slowly fold in the flour mixture. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and invert the pan and set it over a longneck bottle (water or wine). It is necessary to invert the pan when making angel food cake because while it cools, the weight of the cake is enough to collapse it. Upside-down, the weight of the cake will keep the cake tall. Elevated cookie cooling racks also work fine, like these. Release the cake from the pan when it is completely cooled.
For the dessert, cut 4 slices from the cake and with a 3 inch pastry ring cut 4 rounds out of the cake slices. Cut strips of parchement paper about 2 inches taller than the rings (you'll need 4 or you can use 3 inch in diameter rings cut from pvc pipe) and place them inside the rings,place the rings on a baking sheet. Put the cake rounds at the bottom and divide the rapsberries among the rings.
Lime Mascarpone Mousse:
1 egg, separated
2 TB sugar
2 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
75 ml. heavy cream
1 tsp. powdered gelatin (1/2 sheet) + 1 Tb water
zest and juice of one lime
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, stir and let sit to bloom. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the sugar, add 1 egg yolk and whisk until well incorporated. Heat the gelatin for about 10 seconds in the microwave and quickly whisk it in the mascarpone batter. Add the lemon juice and zest. Whip the egg white until stiff, fold into the mascarpone mixture. Whip the heavy cream to medium stiff peaks, and fold into the mascarpone. Divide it evenly and carefully among the pastry rings, trying not to disturb the rapsberries. Let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Slowly remove the rings, and peel off the parchement paper very carefully. Pour some blood orange syrup on top and let it slide down the sides.
To decorate, twist the raspberry fruit strips and anchor them down in the cakes.
I have been watching the Click photography event for some months now but I always seem to miss the deadline. When I read the theme for March was "metal", I did let the idea sprout in my mind for a while, not sure of what I could enter if I decided too. Then, I thought about the most used metal item in my kitchen, my whisk. I am one of those weirdos who like to whisk egg whites (except 18 for angel food cake, let's be honest), whipped cream, batters and such by hand. So here it is my first entry, my whisk for Click, created by Jai and Bee.