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It’s Time to Talk About Dessert!

April 06, 2012

 

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Yes those are jellybeans on the branches . . . they add the perfect touch of color and whimsy.

My favorite part of making a good meal is the dessert. Sometimes I know what’s for dessert before I’ve decided on the rest of the meal. Part of the fun is exploring recipes and imagining the tastes, I do the same thing in restaurants. Reading the dessert menu has no downside, there are no calories and it doesn’t cost anything. I can let my taste buds imagine the flavor of each dessert. Most of the time I can avoid indulging without feeling deprived.

This year I’ve surprised myself by wanting to repeat last years dessert, coconut macaroons and lemon mousse. Something about those two flavors feel perfect at this time of year.

The macaroons are delicious, very moist, not overly sweet and they store really well. The lemon mousse is a burst of flavor that can be served on its own or as a sauce over berries. No matter how much you image other desserts you can’t go wrong with these.

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Lemon Mousse

5 egg yolks (keep the egg whites to use with coconut macaroons recipe below)
1 cup sugar
4 lemons (zest and juice) makes 2/3 to 1 cup juice it should be tart
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

  • Put an inch of water in a pot
  • Place a metal bowl on top of the pan to make sure it does not touch the water and remove it for now
  • Zest the lemons, put one teaspoon aside for garnish
  • Juice the 4 lemons, remove the pulp and seeds, you should have about 2/3 of a cup of juice.
  • Use the metal bowl (on the counter) to combine the yolks with the sugar whisk until smooth
  • Bring the pot of water to a simmer so it is ready when you need it
  • Add the lemon juice and the zest to the yolk mixture whisk until smooth
  • When the water is simmering lower the heat put the bowl on top of the pan
  • Whisk continuously until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the lemon mixture cool to room temperature
  • With a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until it has firm peaks, do not over-beat the cream
  • Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the cooled lemon curd fold it in gently
  • Add the remaining whipped cream folding it in until it is combined.
  • Pour mixture into one large bowl or individual servings
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight
  • Before serving sprinkle a little lemon zest on top.

Lemon Mousse

Coconut Macaroons                  

5 medium egg whites (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour (to make them gluten free substitute flour for 1/2 cup of coconut)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups coconut (I used unsweetened that I bought at the health food store)

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Have egg whites at room temperature.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add coconut and mix until well combined. Gently fold into the egg whites, a little at a time, until it is well incorporated.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  • Scoop out rounded teaspoons onto the parchment keeping the mounds taller rather then wide so they stay moist.
  • Bake them in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. The tops will start to get brown. Don’t over cook them or they will dry out.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan with a spatula.

 

 

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