The Scientist's favourite dessert is lemon meringue pie. When I was out shopping recently I picked up a couple of limes on a whim, thinking I might try out a lime version. Then I decided I might use the lime as the drizzle for a lemon drizzle cake variation for him to take gaming. Then I made him mini chocolate chip cookies instead after he reflected on how nice it is to have a whole pile of mini treats (one mini treat is pointless in his book because it's over too soon). So I still had the limes, and meanwhile they had been augmented by two lemons for the cake. So then I thought I might make a lemon and lime swirled cheesecake for a Sunday dessert. I even imagined how attractive the light yellow and light green halves would look. But I didn't really want to buy a whole packet of biscuits for the base and have lots left. When I had a flick through some cookbooks I hit on a lemon mousse cheesecake which just had biscuits crumbled on top. There were a few mini choc chip cookies left from the gaming batch and my mind was finally made up (about time, you may be thinking, but I like a good back story :) ).
The mixture was very much like a regular cheesecake, but the egg white was whisked up separately and folded in to the rest of the batter - hence the mousse part. I quartered the recipe and made it in the little star shaped foil pots April sent me in my Blogging by Mail package, just for fun. I also cut down on the sugar a bit and used double the amount of lemon for more tang. It made three, but there's never any harm in having a spare - or so I heard The Scientist saying on his way to the fridge later in the evening.
The verdict on this dessert was an absolutely resounding thumbs up from both of us. The Scientist is generally a fan of dessert but he really got excited about this one. The mousse part was beautifully light and soft - airy round the edges and just softly damp in the middle. The extra lemon gave it a really good flavour - I'd definitely recommend using more than the recipe says. I dusted one with icing sugar just for the photo but it tasted lovely like that, and the crumbled choc chip cookies added a really good extra substance and texture to the others (the cookies were slightly soft which was nice, although I'm sure that crunchy biscuits would work just as well).
I'm sending this souffle pie to Tartelette's round of Sugar High Friday, which has a citrus theme. Now, does anyone have any good ideas for limes...?
Lemon mousse cheesecake (from Martha Day's Complete Baking - again!)
1.2kg cream cheese, at room temperature [I used reduced fat]
350g caster sugar
45g plain flour]4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
25ml fresh lemon juice
grated rind of 2 lemons
115g digestive biscuits, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 325F/170C/Gas 3. Line a 10-2in round cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease the paper.
2. With an electric mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 285g of the sugar, and beat until light. Beat in the flour.
3. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice and rind, and beat until smooth and well blended.
4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
5. Add the egg whites to the cheese mixture and gently fold in.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then place the tin in a larger baking tin. Place in the oven and pour hot water in the outer tin to come 1 inch up the side.
7. Bake until golden, 60-65 mins [I started checking through the glass oven door at about 40 minutes for my little ones]. Let cool in the pan on a rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
8. Unmould using an inverted plate. Smooth the top with a metal spatula. Sprinkle the biscuits over the top in an even layer, pressing down slightly to make an top crust. To serve, cut slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.