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Author Notes: This mousse recipe produces a firm mousse that's meant to use for building a Charlotte (https://food52.com/recipes/68966-citrus-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 (https://food52.com/recipes/22935-lemon-curd). 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 McDowell
Makes about 3 1/2 cups of mousse
- 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
- 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)
- 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.)
- 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.
- Strain the curd into a bowl, and cover directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Ready the curd in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the gelatin in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
- 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.
- 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).