I’ve taken the zing of lemons to extreme in this sugar-free, light and lovely Fresh Lemon Mousse. In my book, if the clean, fresh, sour essence of lemon doesn’t acidify your tastebuds enough to stimulate a spontaneous squint in one eye, you’ve gone overboard with the sweetener!
What I love about this recipe is the contrast between citrussy aromatics and the soft gentleness of a creamy, light-as-air mousse. In fact it is so fluffy and cloud-like, it feels like you’ve inhaled this dessert rather than eaten it! Add to this the satisfying crunch of toasted almonds to further soothe the sharpness of lemon and it’s a positively sublime, melt-in-the-mouth finale to an Easter celebration lunch.
Sugar-Free Fresh Lemon Mousse is an unapologetic invitation to ‘scaredy-fat’ members of Weight Watchers, Slimmer’s World and all others still faithfully adhering to outmoded, anti-fat dietary guidelines, to do their research. Here’s a helpful link to get you started.
Once you’re persuaded that a low-carb, high-fat (ketogenic) diet can be a more efficient and enjoyable strategy for a healthier, slimmer body than calorie counting and low-fat can ever be, I imagine you’ll be happy to grab yourself a long handled spoon and dive in. After counting calories, syns, food points or whatever else low-fat propagandists have people do, this seductive, Sugar-Free Fresh Lemon Mousse makes for eye-opening, lip-smacking, diet ‘liberation’ that makes the heart sing.
What a perfect way to celebrate new beginnings.
Sugar-Free Fresh Lemon Mousse (Serves 4)
¼-½ tsp pure monk fruit powder
2 large organic lemons
3 tbsp organic Greek yogurt
125ml organic double cream
⅛ tsp cream of tartar
A handful of organic flaked almonds
Grate the zest from the lemons and juice them - you should end up with about 80ml juice and 1 heaped tablespoon of zest.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and reduce the heat so that it is barely simmering.
To create a stove top bain-marie (double boiler) select a stainless steel mixing bowl to fit on top of the pan without the base of the bowl coming into contact with the water. There should be at least an inch of space between the water and the bottom of the bowl.
Now separate the eggs. Place the egg yolks into the bowl you’ve selected for the bain marie and the egg whites into a separate, scrupulously clean, metal bowl. Set the egg whites aside.
Add the erythritol and monk fruit powder to the egg yolks and whisk for about 2 minutes until pale and thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and yogurt.
Now place the bowl with the egg and lemon mixture on top of the pan of simmering water and whilst whisking constantly, cook the mixture for about 10-15 minutes, until it thickens into lemon curd. It’s ready when it’s the consistency of mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce.
Immediately plunge the base of the bowl in cold water and keep stirring the lemon curd until completely cooled. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks just start to form, then stir or gently whisk into the lemon curd so it’s evenly combined. Set aside.
Using a clean electric whisk, beat the egg whites for 1½ minutes until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and keep whisking until stiff peaks form and the mixture has increased fourfold - takes about 2 minutes.
Using a metal tablespoon, very gently fold the egg whites into the lemon curd cream in roughly 3 parts, making sure that you don’t deflate the meringue and it’s evenly incorporated.
Spoon the lemon mousse into 4 individual dessert bowls or glasses.
Chill for 2 hours or until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, toast the flaked almonds in a small, dry, frying pan until lightly golden, turning occasionally to make sure they don’t scorch. Watch carefully and take off the heat as soon as they’re toasted, then allow to cool down completely before using.
Immediately before serving, sprinkle the toasted almond flakes on top of the mousse.
I’m still a bit dubious about using excessive amounts of sugar alcohols as sugar alternative sweeteners in Primal Plate recipes so I’ve supplemented erythritol with pure monk fruit powder to get the equivalent intensity of sweetness I wanted, naturally. Don’t be put off by the price of pure monk fruit powder, it’s actually very economical because only the tiniest amount is needed for it to work its magic.
Monk fruit powder is 300 times sweeter than cane sugar but not because it contains natural sugars like most other fruits do. Its incredible sweetness is due to the presence of mogrosides, which are powerful antioxidants. Consequently, monk fruit powder is metabolised differently to fructose and glucose by the body and has a negligible effect on blood sugar. Very useful in food and drinks when you’re trying to lose weight.
Because I’ve not used gelatine to stabilise this mousse, you need to make Sugar-Free Fresh Lemon Mousse on the day you intend to eat it. If it’s left in the refrigerator to chill for more than a couple of hours or so, it may start to separate. Not a culinary disaster, just not quite so visually appealing!
Fat 22g Protein 6g Carbohydrate 3g - per serving