Orange Mousse

March  9, 2017
0 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 3 1/2 cups of mousse
Author Notes

This mousse recipe produces a firm mousse that's meant to use for building a Charlotte (, a pretty mousse cake surrounded with ladyfingers. You can also make this mousse and serve in dishes, but remember it's on the firm side, since it's meant to be sliced! I used an adaptation of Alice Medrich's lemon curd recipe as the base of this mousse ( I love her method because it's so easy and delicious, and making mousse has a lot of moving parts - keeping the curd simple makes it all much easier! —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • Orange Curd
  • 5 large (284 g) eggs
  • 3/4 cup (181 g) orange juice (freshed squeezed is best!)
  • 3/4 cup (149 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
  • Mousse
  • 1/2 cup (121 g) cool water
  • 3 packets (21 g) granulated gelation
  • 1 cup (242 g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (113 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 large (89 g) egg whites
  • 12.00 ounces (340 g) prepared orange curd (above)
  1. Make the orange curd: (I adapted Alice Medrich’s great and easy lemon curd recipe for this curd. It is meant for a the Citrus Charlotte recipe, and produces a firm mousse – but you can portion it into dishes instead of using it to build the cake.)
  2. In a medium non-reactive pot, whisk the eggs, orange juice and sugar together to combine. Add the butter and heat, whisking constantly, until the butter melts. Switch to a silicone spatula and continue to cook, stirring constantly untilt he mixture thickens and begins to simmer around the edges.
  3. Strain the curd into a bowl, and cover directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
  4. Make the mousse: place the water in a small heat-safe dish and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let bloom for 5 minutes. While the gelatin blooms, prepare your other ingredients.
  5. Whip the cream and half of the sugar to medium peaks (I usually use a hand mixer or an immersion blender so I can save my stand mixer for the egg whites). Set aside. (Tip: I usually whip my cream to soft peaks, throw a whisk into the bowl, and chill the whole thing until I’m ready to use it. A few quick whisks when I’m ready to begin folding takes the cream to medium peaks—the ideal texture for mousse.)
  6. Ready the curd in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the gelatin in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
  7. In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and remaining sugar. Place the bowl over a medium pot of barely simmering water and continue to whisk by hand until the mixture reaches 140° F on a thermometer. At this point, return the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium speed until you reach medium peaks.
  8. Stir the melted gelatin into the curd. Gently fold the whipped cream into the curd. Finally, gently fold the meringue (egg white and sugar mixture) into the crème curd. With each aerator, it’s best to "temper" the mixture by adding a small amount—about 25%—of the given aerator to the base and mix to combine. During this time, it’s okay to mix slightly more vigorously. Add the remaining aerator in 2 or 3 additions and gently fold, just until the aerator is incorporated. Use immediately (for the Citrus Charlotte or by portioning into dishes and chilling).

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I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

1 Review

Sandra P. March 16, 2021
I just made this recipe and the flavor turned out great! But there were a few things that kept it from turning out exactly like I wanted it to. Firstly, I ended up having to remake the curd because the first time I made it it turned out very lumpy due to the eggs being over cooked. I ended up doing some research and decided to use a double boiler and a lower heat and also wait until after it had thickened and just started simmering to remove from heat and stir in the butter. I also decided to add a touch of orange extract and a bit of salt. This made it much creamer and I was a lot happier with the outcome. Neither curd got all that thick, but I decided for the purpose of this recipe it ended up a good consistency.

Then when making the mousse, there was no mention of when to add the vanilla bean. I ended up adding it to the meringue right at the beginning of mixing and it turned out great.

Everything came together really nicely except for the gelatin. I believe it’s just because the melting of the gelatin was too early in the process and it had re-solidified too much by the time it was incorporated into the orange curd. But I got really big chunky pieces of gelatin all through my mousse. I ended up having to pass my mousse through a fine strainer, whipping up some more cream, melting the big gelatin chunks and attempting to reincorporate everything. It is setting in the fridge now and I don’t expect it to turn out perfect, but hopefully tow I’ll be salvageable to an enjoyable degree.

If I make this again I would definitely wait until right before mixing everything together to melt the gelatin! There should be no problem waiting the 20 seconds at that point in the recipe and I believe would make everything come together the way it’s intended to.

The only other thing I have to add is that my mousse turned out a very light yellow color. That doesn’t bother me but if you want a bright orange mousse like what is pictured, you’re definitely going to need food coloring