Of spring and challenges – Lemon mousse and blackberries

It is finally spring: it is warm again and green and I feel alive once again. We had a great weekend for this reason, we played outside and fully enjoyed the sun. For me winter is a challenge, it freezes me. But after it goes away life is great.
And when sun shines all the other challenges of life are easier to fight with. For the past week I had to learn to live differently. I was devastated at first, I could not accept that life would be so ironic, but I took a long breathe, I talked to my husband who is the most supportive person on earth and to a dear food blogger that I admire, Aran and their words managed to make me see the bright side of things. The diagnosis is not 100% sure yet (it will be in a day or two), but these past days proofed that all things in life can turn out great with the right people by your side. And I have them and I thank God for this every day.
So I decided to thank them in a sweet way and prove myself that gluten free can be delicious and adorable and not ironic, but challenging.

I also decided to not end this experiment if my diagnosis will be negative as I have read about many people discouraged by this and I hope that my sweets will just help them understand that life is great no matter what.

For the genoise
adapted from Aran
105 g almonds (toasted and grounded in a food processor)
75 g powdered sugar
25 g GF flour mix (mine has maize starch, maize flour, thickener: locust bean gum)
125 g eggs (2 large eggs)
92 g egg whites (3 medium eggs)
35 g sugar
17 grams butter

Preheat the oven at 185 degrees Celsius. Butter the pan (9/ 13 in) and line with parchment paper.
Mix the first 4 ingredients and beat them for 5-8 minutes until they thick and form a ribbon.
Beat the whites to soft peaks, add the sugar and beat them to stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of whites into the above mixture. Add the butter and the rest of the whites. Work carefully to incorporate the 2 mixtures without deflating them.our the batter into the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed.

For the lemon mousse
4 g gelatin powder
cold water for the gelatin
310ml milk (either whole or skim or part skim)
1 vanilla bean
3 large egg yolks (50-60 g)
50 g brown sugar
40 g GF certified cornstarch
60 ml lemon juice (I used 2 lemons for this)
250 ml whipped cream

In a small bowl put the gelatin and water and let it bloom until you prepare the rest.
Place the milk and the vanilla bean on medium heat and bring to a boil. In the meantime mix the egg yolks and the sugar. Add the cornstarch and mix well. When the milk is boiling, take it off the heat, remove the bean and scrape the seeds in the milk. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking continuously. Return to low heat and cook until it thickens. At this point add in the lemon juice and cook another 30 seconds or so. Melt the gelatin (in the microwave on LOW or over a pot of boiling water) and immediately add it to the milk – lemon mixture. Let it cool to room temperature, and when cool enough add the whipped cream.

For the blackberry sauce
350 g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
65 g brown sugar (you can use more or less depending on your taste)
100 ml water
10 g GF certified cornstarch
3 g powdered gelatin
cold water for the gelatin

In a small bowl put the gelatin and water and let it bloom until you prepare the rest. Place the fruits, water and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Cook until all sugar is dissolved. Mix the cornstarch with a few drops of cold water and add it to the fruit. Cook until slightly thickened. Melt the gelatin and add it to the fruit mixture.

For the syrup

I made a syrup from lemon juice, water and sugar – use proportions according to taste. I used half lemon and half water.

To assemble

If you decide to make smaller cakes, cut your genoise according to the size of your molds. Brush the genoise with syrup. Add blackberry sauce and pipe mousse over. Place in the fridge to set. If time allows you, you can place the cake in the fridge after adding the fruit and then pipe the mousse.

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