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Raspberry And Lime Mascarpone Mousse Cakes

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.

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PheMom March 27, 2008 um 5:07 pm

This is SO pretty. I’ve actually been playing around with an idea in these flavors for a cupcake. You just reconfirm for me that it will be a stellar combination (if I can ever get the cupcake right!)

Thanks again for the help with the macaron question too!

MyKitchenInHalfCups March 27, 2008 um 5:14 pm

Beautiful idea for the exchange idea. Angel Food Cake is not so well know in Europe?
It is one of my very favorites. My dad was always making them when I grew up. And oh my no once you’ve done one, you simply can’t ever accept a store bought one.

Anonymous March 27, 2008 um 5:17 pm

This looks lovely, and contains some of my favorite flavors. I’ve never made an angel food cake (!), but have it on my "to do" list. Now I have extra incentive!

Cannelle Et Vanille March 27, 2008 um 5:23 pm

What a wonderful story helen! It’s funny because I was also an exchange student and that’s sort of how I met my husbandand that’s how I ended up in the US.
I remember seeing Bea’s recipe for a similar cake. Both gorgeous! It’s the French touch!

Jade March 27, 2008 um 5:39 pm

This looks wonderful! I love raspberry and lime and mascarpone. Thanks for posting this. I forgot about this month’s click too – I wonder if there is still time to enter…

Elly March 27, 2008 um 5:40 pm

This looks so gorgeous and the flavors sound absolutely perfect. Great story 🙂

Anonymous March 27, 2008 um 5:47 pm

Charming story, charming dessert but of course what a charming blog you host! Your photography is delightful too!!!

Gina March 27, 2008 um 5:48 pm

My mouth is watering just looking at them! They look scrumptious!

bee March 27, 2008 um 6:07 pm

in this telepathy or what? i came here looking for your e-mail ID, and i saw your CLICK entry, plus this gorgeous recipe. i found your comcast e-mail ID. will send you mail in a minute.


Babeth March 27, 2008 um 6:51 pm

Can you adopt me ? pleaassssssseee I promise I finsih always my meal 🙂

Deborah March 27, 2008 um 6:54 pm

What a beautiful dessert! I kept wishing that I had planned an angel food cake for Easter – what a perfect springtime treat!

Patsyk March 27, 2008 um 7:11 pm

What a stunning dessert! I’ve never made anything like that, but your blog is making me want to expand and learn how to make beautiful desserts.

Karolina Beaudet March 27, 2008 um 7:12 pm

I’ve never had Angel Food Cake. It looks so beautiful, so delicate and sooooo delicious!!! I absolutely love the combination of raspberries and mascarpone cheese in it.

Katy March 27, 2008 um 7:17 pm

gorgeous! and how funny that all three of you made the same dessert — that is one well-tested recipe!

Peabody March 27, 2008 um 7:28 pm

Oh yum. I am so making that lime mascarpone mousse…it looks and sounds fantastic.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict….You Decide March 27, 2008 um 7:51 pm

You taunt me in my dreams w/these titillating desserts.

Nic March 27, 2008 um 8:16 pm

Oh gosh it’s gorgeous! I love the colours, bet it tastes really good too.

KayKat March 27, 2008 um 8:36 pm

Fabulous! I kept thinking the recipe looked familiar, can’t wait to try this one 🙂

Lore March 27, 2008 um 8:55 pm

Your cake looks like beautiful art.

Annemarie March 27, 2008 um 9:11 pm

Oh Helene, I think I’m a little bit/a lot a bit in love with these. The top picture is absolutely gorgeous – I love the slightly translucent peel on the top and the way the light catches it.

Anonymous March 27, 2008 um 9:28 pm


noskos March 27, 2008 um 9:33 pm

Gorgeous dessert, gorgeous pictures, WOW!!!!

glamah16 March 27, 2008 um 9:45 pm

What perfect flavors for this time of year!

glamah16 March 27, 2008 um 9:45 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

La Tartine Gourmande March 27, 2008 um 9:58 pm

You probably know it before I write it! They look adorable and delicious!

Anonymous March 27, 2008 um 11:20 pm

I like the idea of the "Exchange dinner" very much (and the dessert of course!). My husband went back to Germany just before Easter this year for business. He brought almost a full suitcase of goodies back with him. This year is not so bad, but I can totally relate. As much as I like it here…
I also like your Metal Click entry (The glasses from your Chocolate Caramel Mousse would have totally qualified for it if you ask me, even with only a little metal I find the photos totally "drool-worthy"). I am already looking forward to the next challenge…
Good luck!

Manggy March 28, 2008 um 12:21 am

I’ve only had homemade Angel Food once, so I think I must try it to get over the awful boxed ones I’ve had. But I’ve never encountered a recipe with 18 egg whites before!! I’ll probably get to it after I’ve made a lot of custard, haha 🙂

The use of raspberry leather is just genius!

Susan from Food Blogga March 28, 2008 um 12:34 am

Raspberry and lime are sublime. Don’t tell me I just rhymed that.

dailydelicious March 28, 2008 um 4:43 am

Hi, this is the first time I come here, and your blog looks so good.

Meeta K. Wolff March 28, 2008 um 5:07 am

raspberries, lime and a cake – simply awesome it looks so pretty!

Vanillaorchid March 28, 2008 um 7:09 am

I love the Exchange Dinner’s idea…it’s very nice idea.

The mousse is gorgeous!!!

Raspberries & Lime are such a perfect matching, would be really happy if i could have some. ^_^

I could not take off my eyes from your desserts..they are very beautiful.

Katie March 28, 2008 um 7:19 am

Wow thats one stunning looking dessert. 18 egg whites in the cake layer!!! What do you do with all the leftover yolks?

Sha March 28, 2008 um 7:45 am

Un angel food cake sans crème de tartre et ça marche? Vraiment génial…
En plus cette recette est vraiment très esthétique, à faire et refaire, et pas que aux framboises ! (même si j’adore ça)

aforkfulofspaghetti March 28, 2008 um 9:10 am

Simply beautiful…

*sighs wistfully*

Pixie March 28, 2008 um 10:31 am

That is simply to die for!!

Botacook March 28, 2008 um 11:17 am

ça alors! j’allais écrire en anglais quand je me suis rendue compte que tu es française! j’adore ton blog! les recettes, les photos, l’ambiance!
je suis tombée dessus en cherchant des infos sur le livre de Melissa Murphy ; j’hésite à l’acheter, pourrais-tu me donner ton avis un peu plus détaillé pour que je me fasse une idée? Merci!

Unknown March 28, 2008 um 1:32 pm

This look really pretty. The top portion is mousse? It look like cake to me.

Gretchen Noelle March 28, 2008 um 1:46 pm

What gorgeous little cakes! I love that you have exchange students over, that is wonderful! I am sure you have a lot to offer them since you were once in their shoes.

Patricia Scarpin March 28, 2008 um 2:15 pm

Oh, Helen, you used raspberries and limes, great passions of mine. It looks stunning, sweetie!

Anonymous March 28, 2008 um 2:48 pm

It’s the most fluffy mousse I’ve evere seen 😀

Anonymous March 28, 2008 um 5:31 pm

Beautiful! Beautiful! I love this mousse cake post! I love the entire blog too!!!

Erika March 28, 2008 um 7:43 pm

I am not a huge fan of raspberries, but that is beautiful!

Jenny March 28, 2008 um 8:41 pm

How very lovely and light that dessert looks!
(And oh oh, I forgot about Click!)

Anonymous March 28, 2008 um 8:58 pm

Your food just gets prettier and more delicious looking everytime!

Bake with heart March 28, 2008 um 10:23 pm

your dessert always come out nice and nicer, this one look so good !!

Anonymous March 29, 2008 um 1:00 am

I’m speechless. This dessert is so beautiful, I can’t even think of a thing to say. But I wanted you to know that I’m admiring it in silence!

Susan @ SGCC March 29, 2008 um 2:56 am

Your cakes are like little works of art! They are so pretty!. Your exchange dinners sound like fun. What a nice thing to do.

Your whisk photo is very cool too!

RecipeGirl March 29, 2008 um 3:39 am

I don’t think I would want to eat it- it looks too pretty!

Anonymous March 29, 2008 um 5:06 am

I agree with recipegirl – this looks too beautiful to eat! a masterpiece.

Mcwhisky March 29, 2008 um 10:07 am

Mascarpone and lime. That’s a double duo! Great shots you have there. Thanks for the recipe! =)

Liska March 29, 2008 um 11:25 am

So beautiful! Light&Elegant.

Sylvia March 29, 2008 um 1:13 pm

I always be stunning with your recipes and photos, but this is superber

angie March 29, 2008 um 3:48 pm

How beautiful! Also loved the way you put down memories and emotions in this post. thanks 🙂

Jonathan March 29, 2008 um 8:35 pm

I thoroughly enjoy your blog. What a wonderful tradition you have begun for these exchange students!

Jessy and her dog Winnie March 30, 2008 um 1:06 am

Wow. Just amazing.

Anonymous March 30, 2008 um 6:17 am

Lime is a staple in our household and so are raspberries when we feel like splurging. This is a real treat just to look at, let along eat!
Your whisk entry for Click is elegant, simple and deserves an award.

kellypea March 30, 2008 um 6:57 am

Are there partying gifts for the last one to the party? I’m sad I missed out on these. They’re amazing. Lime and mascarpone? How wonderfully refreshing. And I’d love to whisk by hand — I try, but my wrists are pathetic. You go girl!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home March 31, 2008 um 12:38 am

yummy looking cake!

Cheryl March 31, 2008 um 2:21 pm

Seriously, I want to frame your dessert pictures and hang them up in my kitchen. They are works of art in looks and I’m sure taste.

Anonymous April 6, 2008 um 5:56 am

Oh la la, je ne sais plus ou donner de la tete sur ton blog. Tout a l’air tellement delicieux! J’aime beaucoup le 'look' de celui ci. Tres cool!

Anonymous April 21, 2008 um 2:06 pm

very nice and perfect.

Jaime April 27, 2008 um 7:06 pm

what a beautiful cake! i hope to someday be able to make such beautiful creations in my kitchen 🙂

Anonymous August 21, 2008 um 12:46 pm

Helen –

You just don’t know how MANY times I have been starring at this image and couldn’t stop salivating…

I’ll just have to bite my lips and see if I can do this!

Thank you for spreading the sweetness to this world!

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