If you want to know what a lemon cloud tastes like, try this! It’s a light, aerated lemony mousse that just melts in your mouth – a sublimely tangy conclusion to a big family meal. And before you go running at the mere thought of tackling a soufflé, panic not. It’s not actually a soufflé – it just looks like one, thanks to the cool way in which it’s presented. Panic averted? Read on.
This is like a grown-ups version of Flummery – a British dessert with the same fluffy texture (we grew up on the stuff). But while Flummery’s made in a jiffy with whisked evaporated milk and jelly crystals, this Chilled Lemon Soufflé is a bit more involved and the result is rather more sophisticated.
I followed this recipe from Neil Perry at Good Food.com.au. I adapted it only slightly, reducing the amount of lemon juice from 180ml to 160ml which, to my taste, was already strongly tangy – however, I’ve left his original instructions so you can decide for yourself. I also didn’t have gelatine leaves, so used 1 tablespoon of gelatine powder.
The tricky part for me was not the recipe per se, but wrapping the wax paper around the ramekins to serve as collars – I swear it took me half the amount of time just doing this bit. Curses were uttered. I tried using Sellotape – didn’t work. Light packing tape – nup. The only tape that stuck was that heavy duty, super sticky brown packing tape you use when you’re moving house. But if you don’t have any of that, just use string or even rubber bands – having an extra pair of hands will help. And don’t worry about the mixture seeping out the bottom of the collars – if you’ve prepared the mousse properly and the ramekins have straight sides, the mousse will stay put. Enjoy!
CHILLED LEMON SOUFFLÉS
Ingredients: (Click here for unit converter)
- 2 leaves of gelatine, titanium strength (or 1 Tbsp gelatine powder)
- 180ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 250ml double cream
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- To prepare the soufflé dishes, tape or tie baking paper around 6 small (half cup capacity) ramekins, so that at least 2cm of paper is above the rim of the dishes.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in water to soften. Once soft, squeeze the soaked gelatine leaves, removing any excess water, and place in a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Gently warm the juice over low heat until gelatine has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside. (If using gelatine powder, sprinkle the gelatine over ¼ cup of water and set aside to soften. Once softened, add the gelatine to the lemon juice in a small saucepan. Gently warm the juice over low heat until the gelatine has completely dissolved).
- Put the egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
- Beat using an electric mixer on a medium speed until it pales and thickens. Add the lemon-gelatine mixture and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and place bowl in a container of iced water, stirring occasionally, until almost cold.
- Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add a large spoonful to the cooled egg-yolk mixture and stir through gently. Fold the remaining whites into the egg-yolk mixture.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form (don’t over-whip). Fold through the lemon-egg mixture. Spoon into the ramekins, filling 1cm over the rim. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
- To serve, remove the baking paper (I found that the wax paper easily peeled away from the mousse without any need for using a knife as many recipes suggest) and dust the soufflés with icing sugar (don’t add the icing sugar until the last second, as it rapidly disappears into the lemon mousse). Can be served with plain, light biscuits (I served with Palmiers).
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 18-55 lens / Natural lighting