light bright + airy pomelo-lime mousse

pomelo lime mousse

Two years ago, I had a dream about this recipe. [Like an awake sort-of dream. Why rely on my subconscious to dream up recipes when my conscious is all hey man how bout this schnazzy somethin’?] Pomelos had appeared in the exotic fruit section of the grocery store, and I was intrigued. I jotted some notes down, but by then I was too late – I had missed my chance to buy any of the mysterious fruit. Last year, I missed my chance again, because I was too busy acclimating to my new life in the woods. But this time around, I sprung into action.

Larger in diameter than grapefruit, but close to if not smaller in edible volume due to a thick spongy membrane, pomelos are juicy and mild tangy, and sweet-not-too-sweet. Shedding them of their thick outer skin is half the fun, though eating them is plenty good too.

pomelo lime mousse

I used to have a violin teacher who also worked in the real estate industry. One of his favorite pastimes during our lessons was debunking realtor slang for me. “Light, bright, and airy” was one of the ole standbys, used to make homes with small plain rooms sound welcoming, large, and nice. Bright and airy could refer to new large windows…. or perhaps old windows that were leaky and drafty.

In this instance, light, bright and airy connotes nothing but the best. This pomelo-lime mousse is creamy yet light, decadent though not cloying, fruity and fragrant but not overly laden with flavor. It is like a grass-is-growing flowers-are-sprouting bees-are-humming birds-are-singing sheer lacy dream in whipped cream+curd form.

Pomelo-Lime Mousse
Serves 8-10. Could be served as is, or as a component in a cake or trifle. Oooh, trifle. <–Look, my conscious just had another awesome idea.

++Ingredients:++

5 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
~3/4 c. pomelo juice (juice of one pomelo)
Zest from 1/2 a pomelo
Juice and zest from one lime
2 c. heavy cream
Additional pomelo and lime zest, to garnish

++Directions:++

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy, light, and slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes if using an electric mixer. Set aside. In a double boiler set over high heat, melt butter.  Add egg mixture, stirring very frequently over a lengthy time period until the mixture turns custard- or curd-like. It will likely take the better part of 20 minutes. Don’t leave the mixture attended, however, or gloopy over-thickened bits will form on the bottom of the pan. When custardy, remove from heat.

Stir in juices and zests, and let cool to room temp, 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, whip cream past the stiff peaks stage. Gently fold in the pomelo-limey mixture until just incorporated. Mow down immediately because it is delicious! …or chill 1-2 hours in the fridge first.

Store well-covered in the fridge for one day if you must, but the mousse will quickly lose its dream-like qualities if you abandon it for much longer. It will grow lonely and watery. Don’t let that happen.

pomelo-lime mousse

Everything has been nice lately. It’s wonderful to no longer be sick as a dog. Poor maligned dogs, I should say it’s wonderful to no longer be sick as a sicky. Now I’m just back to being me, scampering about in the woods and loving my incredible life.

Things I’m thinking about:
Gardening! the cute lil seeds that are sprouting in my cabin right now. Yesterday, it was Oregon Spring tomatoes and Heshiko bunching onions. What will it be today??
Activity! after 5 weeks of doing nothing, I feel like a soggy potato without any starch, aka a wimp with no muscles. I’m getting back into my pushup/squat/insert other fitness here routine. I’ve taken to doing quick rounds of tabata youtube videos, sometimes even in the pre-dawn moments before work when I can wake myself up early enough. And last weekend, we went downhill skiing. I’d only been once before, when I lived in France in 2007. This time was much much much better, as I knew beforehand not to solely rely on “the snowplow” to get me down a steep hill.
Material goods! i have had the same face for the past five years. And so, after much contemplation, I have decided to get a facelift! JK, I just have a new pair of glasses on the way. JUST a new pair of glasses you say, beautiful glasses, gorgeous trendy in-your-face, heck, in-my-face new glasses I reply. My face is going to be a new face! A face all my own and yet nothing like me! I am pleased as punch.
A car! every since we broke the last one, I’ve missed having a car. Only having my truck is inefficient and fuel stupid. A car is on horizon – I hope.
– The Treats Sheet in the bottom photo! two pounds of mallowy goodness. Today my boss asked if I could eat the whole thing, and after prefacing with “I don’t even really like Rice Krispie treats,” I hypothesized that yes, I could easily eat all of this. Especially if sectioned off and stacked, to create a rarely-seen triple decker treat (TDT).

fernskiingtreatsapizza

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whipped chocolate bundt cake with blood orange curd

Up in this northern hinterland, it’s dark a lot of the time. I can’t imagine living any further north – have they even heard of Vitamin D? Lately, we’ve been receiving a bounteous amount of snow, which helps a bit to negate the darkness during the evenings.

But nothing helps quite like bacon. When we last left off, I had gone hog-wild over incorporating bacon-infused ganache into chocolate macarons. Luckily, the amount of ganache I had made was enough for the macarons, a severe case of spoon licking, and another to-be-determined item.

That item proved to be Whipped Chocolate Bundt Cake With Blood Orange Curd, featuring a heavy dose of Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache, and Candied Blood Orange Slices to boot. Oof, mouthful.

You may recall that around this time last year, I made a Blood Orange Meringue Pie that was amazing and delicious. It seems that at this potentially dreary time of year, blood oranges have a way of adding a very welcome zest to my days. The flavor strikes me as so different from other citrus fruits – it is herby, reminiscent of something savory, and powerfully intense.

My craving for chocolate is dwarfed by my craving for bacon, but it is still omnipresent during my wakeful hours. However, I hesitate when it comes to making and eating chocolate cakes. They often seem boring, and dry.

Not so with this cake. Its fantastic inclusions consist of meringued egg whites, plenty of unsweetened cacao, and generous coffee dregs that would have otherwise been ditched down the drain. It is light and fresh, combining perfectly with the incorporated blood orange curd and bacon-y chocolate ganache.

No matter what a certain chocolate blogger and notorious hater of the orange-chocolate combination-taste-sensation might say, this cake is wondrous.

 

The cake recipe is adapted from Marjorie Johnson, aka The Really Little Old Woman Who Has Appeared on Many Talk Shows and Who I Find Minorly Irritating but Who Has Won Bajillions of Blue Ribbons and Hence Knows Her Stuff.

I tried to add the blood orange curd after pouring half of the cake batter into the bundt pan, but it still sank to the bottom (or the top, really) and proved difficult to remove from the pan. This wasn’t really a problem, as I was able to patch the cake up with bits and bobs of curd and cake, and I subsequently covered the top in ganache and candied orange slices.

However, one could slice a layer into the cake after it has cooled, and spread blood orange curd onto it then. If I make this cake again, I will likely choose this option.

Whipped Chocolate Bundt Cake With Blood Orange Curd

Cake adapted from The Road to Blue Ribbon Baking with Marjorie

++Ingredients:++

2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1 1/2 c (300 g) sugar
1 3/4 c (175 g) cake flour
3/4 tsp (3.75 g) baking soda
3/4 tsp (3.75 g) salt
1/3 c plus 2 tbsp (48 g plus 18 g) vegetable oil
1 c (240 mL) buttermilk
6 tbsp (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp (15 mL) coffee dregs

++Directions:++

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease a 12-cup bundt pan, and sift cocoa powder into it to coat the surface (in lieu of flour).

Beat egg whites until frothy, and gradually beat in 1/2 cup of sugar until stiff and glossy; set aside.

Mix cocoa powder and 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a small bowl, and set aside.

Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Adding 1/3 cup of oil and half of buttermilk, beat until incorporated. Add remaining buttermilk, egg yolks, cocoa-oil mixture, and coffee. Mix well.

Fold in meringue-y egg white mixture, and pour batter into prepared pan. Add Blood Orange Curd (recipe below) before or after baking, at your discretion.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cake appears cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool ten minutes before attempting to unmold.

Top with Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache (will take 2/3rds of the recipe here), and Candied Blood Orange Slices (recipe below).

Blood Orange Curd

Original recipe. Makes a small amount, perfect for one cake.

++Ingredients:++

1/4 c (50 g) sugar
1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp (9.5 g + 0.8 g) cornstarch
1 tbsp (7.5 g) flour
1/4 tsp (1.25 g) salt
1/2 c (120 mL) water
1/4 c freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about one blood orange)
Zest of one blood orange
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp (14 g) butter

++Directions:++

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring with a whisk until thick. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk with blood orange juice and zest.

Gradually temper eggs with the sugar mixture, drizzling the hot mixture in very slowly. Return saucepan to heat and, whisking continuously, stream in the blood orange mixture. When thoroughly mixed, add in butter and cook over medium-high heat for another 3 minutes.

Cool.

Candied Blood Orange Slices

These are quite sour – which I love, but others may [understandably] not. To sweeten these up, cut off the rind prior to sugaring.

++Ingredients:++

2 blood oranges, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices
1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1 1/2 c (360 mL) water

++Directions:++

Bring sugar-water mixture to a boil in a large skillet. Add blood orange slices. Cook over medium heat for around 20 minutes, flipping slices occasionally, until the liquid has become syrup-like and the slices appear slightly translucent. Decrease heat to medium low and cook five to ten minutes more.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Poor any excess syrup on top of slices.

As with any bundt, this makes a generous amount of cake. This particular bundt is so full of flavors, all of which complement one another and create a delightful herby orange coffee bacon chocolate medley.

Enjoy !