Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Twice (!) Baked, Not Quite Souffle, Lemon Mousse


The highlight of our dinner with Sis and MJ was supposed to be dessert. I know what you are thinking - after homemade pasta with rabbit sauce, it was the dessert that is the hightlight? But I was in the mood to impress.

Dessert did impress. But not for the right reasons! It was supposed to be lemon souffle. Not the easiest dessert to make (and definitely the hardest to photograph - apologies for the dodgy shots! They sank sooo quickly!) I got the recipe from a Commercial Cookery text book, and forgot that the cooking times would have been for an industrial fan-forced combi-oven. Basically, I should have doubled the cooking time for my home oven!
After we put them back in the oven - note spoonful missing!

I did make the mixture correctly, and had I cooked them for the appropriate time (24 minutes) I think they would have been great. Unfortunately I didn't realise my mistake until we had eaten them! I first took them out after 13 minutes, served them, and after 1 spoonful realised they were undercooked. Sis and I put ours back in the oven, but BF and MJ were enjoying their lemon "mousse" so much that they declined the extra cooking time! After 4 more minutes, Sis and I took ours back out - the edges where much more souffle-like, but the centres were still completely mousse-like. Ah well, we ate them anyway! And for warm lemon mousse, they were rather nice!
After the second bake!
I'll put the recipe here in case you are game enough to try them - you will need to cook for about 24 minutes, but I totally suggest a trial run if you don't want the same thing happening to you! All ovens are slightly different and souffles are fussy, so it may take a few tries to get the exact times for your oven.

Pastry Cream
3 egg yolks
60g castor sugar
20g plain flour
200mls milk
vanilla essence to taste

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until almost white, then mix in the flour. Bring milk to scald point (just before it boils), whisk it onto the egg mixture, return to a clean pan, and stir over medium heat until it thickens (it will start to look like custard). Add a few drops of vanilla and taste to check that the raw flour flavour is gone - if not, keep stirring over heat until it is. Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film, ensuring the cling film is pressed against the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming. If you are making this for a dinner party, you can prepare up to this point ahead of time.

zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
1 tsp castor sugar
4 egg whites
butter for greasing

Preheat oven to 200C.

Add the egg yolk, zest and lemon juice to your pastry cream. Grease 4 ramekins with butter, place in fridge for 5 minutes, then remove and grease again with butter. Ensure that you do not miss any spots of the mould (this will cause the souffle to rise unevenly). Sprinkle sugar into each mould and move the mould around to ensure every inch is covered with sugar (for the same reasons as above).

Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks (add a little sugar partway through). Fold the whites into your pastry cream in 2 stages, first 1/4 of the whites, then the rest, as this helps to ensure maximum air retention.

Place into greased moulds, smooth the tops and place in oven for approx 24 minutes. Cross fingers, toes, arms etc and if successful, impress the pants off your guests!

Ooh, don't worry if the top of your souffle gets quite brown whilst cooking - it is more important the the centre is cooked. If the top is too dark for your liking, dust with generous amounts of icing sugar and ta da!


  1. That still looks great and it's true, it would be delicious undercooked or correctly cooked. I like how some people said no to the second cooking-they must really have loved it as it is! :)

  2. I'm impressed with your lemon mousse Annie. Seriuosly, it's ever so pretty!
    Thank you for stopping by & for your comments. It's wonderful to meet someone from Sydney, a city I love! Cheers Deeba

  3. Jaime - yep! Just like real mousse!

    Lorraine - It was a compliment from the boys - usually they wouldn't hesitate with constructive criticism!

    Deeba - pity it was meant to be souffle!

  4. Annie I love eveything lemon, you just made my day! Thanks!!

  5. Hi Annie, the souffle looks pretty impressive. I've bookmarked so many recipes but haven't had the courage to give one a go yet. Bravo, you :)

  6. I love lemon desserts of any kind...this is calling my name. Great recipes Annie.

  7. Dee - thanks! I am trying to stop wishing I had made things and just giving in and making them. Inviting people over for dinner makes this easier!

    Pam - I'm the same, it's hard to go wrong with lemon!

  8. Nice work on handling the mishap and still getting something delicious!