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Lemon Mousse Help

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I tried to make a lemon mousse today. I had one bowl with cream whipped to soft peaks with gelatine dissolved in water folded in. I had another bowl with yolks beaten with sugar and lemon juice and zest. I had a third bowl with whipped egg whites.

I folded it all together with a metal spoon, tasted it (yum) and put it in the fridge.

When I came back a couple of hours later, there was a top layer of beautiful mousse floating on top of a lemon soup type thing.

Does anyone know what I did wrong?

Thanks :)
post #2 of 8
Elesea, just moved your question to the pastry forum where it will get more attention.
post #3 of 8
It's hard to say for sure with out seeing your recipe, but it sounds like perhaps the egg whites were over whipped.

Also, did you melt the gelatin after hydrating it in water?

Try cooking the whites with sugar before whipping (swiss meringue); this will give them much more stability. Also, if you do the same with the yolks (sabayon), you'll get better volume in the end, since the yolks will be more stable.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have another go on Sunday :)

With the gelatine, I did dissolve it in water by gently heating, and I made sure it was fully dissolved by stirring it so I had a slightly thick liquid.

The exact recipe I used was:

4 medium free-range eggs, separated
250g/8oz caster sugar
3 lemons, zest and juice only
5 tbsp cold water
15g/½oz powdered gelatine
300ml/½ pint double cream
small handful blanched toasted almonds, finely chopped

1. Using an electric whisk, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened a little. (If you do not have an electric whisk, whisk by hand in a glass bowl set over a pan of hot water. When the mixture has thickened, remove the bowl from the pan and whisk until cool.)
2. Place the cold water into a heavy-based saucepan, sprinkle in the gelatine and place over a gentle heat, without stirring, until the gelatine has melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3. In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Stir the melted gelatine into the cream and fold into the egg yolk mixture.
4. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl with an electric hand-whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk isremoved.
5. Place the bowl with the egg yolks inside a bigger bowl filled with ice-cold water. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a metal spoon. Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken, then pour into a glass bowl and refrigerate for one hour, or until set.
6. Sprinkle the toasted chopped almonds over the top of the mousse and serve.
post #5 of 8
That recipe is generally sound for mix and serve immediately but there are several ways of making it more stable for long-term storage (IMO). This is more off the top of my head than through rigorous scientific experimentation... but I think it'll help.

I like to mix the melted gelatin into the unwhipped cream so that it doesn't get thinned out by the addition of the liquid. (not a real biggie)

When you're mixing the egg yolks you want to make a stable foam (like a sabayon). Whip/whisk it until the mixture is ribbony, very pale yellow (almost white) and about tripled in volume. That will yield you a very stable foam that won't break up. Also, I would use about half that amount for the egg yolks... for using the rest of the sugar I'll explain later.

Similarly, a basic egg white foam is also very unstable. Using the other half of the sugar reserved from the egg yolks add a bit of water and put on the stove and heat up until it reaches the thread stage (around 230 F). While your egg whites are almost at a soft peak stage pour your syrup into the whites while continue beating. Beat until your whites are glossy and hit a medium peak stage and allow for it to cool.

These three steps should greatly help stabilize your mousse and if it doesn't I'll try it out my self and see what more can be done.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas. I'm going to have another go on Sunday, and I'll let you know how it turns out :)
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help :)

I tried it again and *almost* succeeded.

Your suggestions worked really well, I made my first ever sabayon and it was great, so were the egg whites. Both I could tell were so much more stable and were wonderful when folded together.

I fell down on the whipped cream/gelatine mixture. I made it first and stored it in the fridge while I made the other mixtures, and of course it overset and when I tried to fold it in it made the mousse lumpy, and I could only remove the lumps by beating out all the air. So the mousse halved in volume and ended up a sabayon-ish thing. Tasted great though.

I guess that's how you learn :) Next time I'm going to make the whipped cream gelatine bit right at the end and fold it in directly.

Cheers :)
post #8 of 8
Glad to hear it *almost* worked out. Third time's the charm.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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