Saturday, 7 May 2011

L is for... Lebkuchen-based lemon mousse served with lime sorbet, loganberry jelly, Limoncello jelly and loganberry coulis




This pudding has a delicious and refreshing zing and despite the creaminess of the mousse, this still manages to feel light and Summery. There are quite a few components to this dish, but there is also an awful lot of waiting around for things to cool and set, so you can easily get on with other things in the meantime. If, unlike me, you don't always leave everything to the last minute, you can easily make everything the day before. In fact, the sorbet can be made a week or even two ahead of time. However, if, like me, despite all your best intentions, you just can't seem to get anything done without the looming shadow of a tight deadline leering over your shoulder, don't panic. This is all perfectly achievable in a day, along with the rest of the menu - just use that dead time of waiting for things to cool and set to get cracking with the rest of the prep work. Bosh.

Lime sorbet

15 oz / 375 g caster sugar
17 fl. oz/ 500 ml water
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
8.5 fl. oz/ 250 ml freshly squeezed and strained lime juice (about 12 - 15 limes)

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan with a few pinches of the lime zest over a gentle heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, let the syrup come up to the boil, turn off the heat and leave to cool completely. Once cool, stir in the juice and remaining zest and pop the mixture in fridge for at least an hour before pouring into an ice cream machine - follow your specific model's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream machine, just pour the lime syrup into a tupperware box and stick in the freezer, stirring vigorously every half hour or so to prevent ice crystals forming. It will take at least four hours to set. Take the sorbet out of the freezer about 20 minutes before serving.

Lebkuchen

5 oz/ 125 g plain flour
2 oz/ 50 g ground almonds
1 oz/ 25 g molasses sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
A generous grind of black pepper
A pinch of salt
The finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
75 ml runny honey
2 oz/ 50 g unsalted butter

Heat the butter and honey together until the butter has completely melted. Meanwhile place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Tip in the honey butter and mix everything together until you have a thoroughly combined and stiff dough. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan).

Place your ring moulds (if using) on a lined baking tray. Roll small balls of dough between your hands, flatten them a little and place one squashed ball in the centre of each mould. Pop the tray in the oven for 10 -15 minutes, then leave the tray to cool on top of a wire rack. Once cool, pop the biscuits out of their rings and wash and dry the ring moulds, and brush the insides with a little flavourless oil and set aside for later.

Lemon mousse

2 eggs, separated
4 oz/ 100 g caster sugar
Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 pint/ 275 ml double cream, whipped into soft peaks
3 leaves of gelatine

Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes or so or until completely soft. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy. Pour in the lemon zest and juice and whisk again. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and pour over a couple of tablespoons of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has fully dissolved. Pour the melted gelatine into the egg mixture and whisk together. Fold in the whipped cream until completely combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the lemon mixture, being careful to keep as much air in the mousse as possible. Place the ring moulds on a baking parchment lined baking tray. Push a lebkuchen cookie into the base of each mould. Ladle the lemon mousse on top of each lebkuchen cookie and level their tops with a palette knife. Pop the mousses to set for a couple of hours.


Limoncello jelly

125 ml Limoncello
1 oz/ 25 g caster sugar
2 sheets of gelatine

Soak the sheets of gelatine in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, stir the Limoncello and sugar together over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take the pan off the heat, squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and whisk the squidgy leaves into the hot liquid until thoroughly dissolved. Leave to cool before pouring into a clingfilm lined shallow sided baking tray. Pop the tray in the fridge to set.

Loganberry jelly

8 oz/ 200 g loganberries (or you can use half and half of blackberries and raspberries)
1 - 2 oz/ 25 - 50 g caster sugar (depending on how tart you like it)
125 ml water
2 leaves of gelatine

Place the berries, sugar and water in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stew the fruit until soft. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in cold water until soft and squidgy. Pass the stewed berries through a sieve to remove the pips and stir in the soft gelatine until it has completed melted. Leave to cool and pour the liquid into a cling film lined shallow sided baking tray and pop in the fridge to set.

Loganberry coulis

4 oz/ 100 g loganberries (or half and half blackberries and raspberries)
A couple of tablespoons of water
Icing sugar to taste

Place the berries and water in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the fruit is soft and broken down. Pass the berries through a sieve to remove the pips. Sift over and stir in a little icing sugar, taste for sweetness and add more if necessary. Pop the coulis back on the heat to reduce if needed, then pour into a small jug and leave to cool completely before transferring into the fridge.

Plating up

Pop a lebkuchen-based lemon mousse on top of an egg cup (or any other small object that is taller than the ring mould), using either a blowtorch or a hairdryer heat the edge of the metal ring mould quickly and slide the ring downwards so that it slips off and leaves a clean sided mousse. Using a palette knife, pick up the mousse and pop it on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the mousses. You can zest a little lime on their tops to make them prettier. Next, upturn the jellies on to a chopping board and cut the jellies into little squares. Use an ice cream scoop to dish up a generous portion of lime sorbet and pop it next to the mousse. Place a line of the two jellies down the side of the plate. Dot or dribble some loganberry coulis on each plate and serve. My blobs were really uneven because I was conscious of the sorbet melting under the hot kitchen lights, but I'm sure you can make your's much prettier.


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