This is another post related to my holiday gifts and how they keep on giving day after day. There lies the beauty of the holidays. And there lies the beauty of gift-giving, which is truly an art. Both the ingredient and the book used to make this recipe were gifts. The first one was a bagful of juicy, sweet and slightly tangy Florida tangerines from a lovely coworker who grows them organically in her backyard. The second one is the fabulous dessert cookbook I had coveted for a long time Chez Panisse, from which I made the richest, most decadent gâteau au chocolat a couple of days ago.
I knew I had to do something with those tangerines—not that finishing them would have been a problem—no, no, no. It’s because I knew they would taste fabulous in any dessert I attempted. Sometimes the quality of the ingredient totally makes the dish and certain recipes are only as good as the ingredients used to make them.
And I was right, dear reader. The tangerine made the mousse, infusing every fluffy spoonful with its wonderful aroma through the juice, zest and light orange color. Every foamy bit felt like aromatherapy as it lightly melted on my tongue. This is a wonderful dessert, a light treat, a “sweet nothing” to enjoy after a copious meal. Delightful!!
Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere
6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons cold water
1 ½ teaspoons gelatin
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Fresh lemon juice
Wash the tangerines and grate the peel finely into a bowl. Juice the tangerines and strain 2/3 cup of their juice into the same bowl. Place the water in a small saucepan and add the gelatin. Beat the eggs with the sugar using an electric mixer. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Dissolve the gelatin over low heat until melted (do not overheat the gelatin—temperature should not exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit). Slowly add the juice and peel mixture to the gelatin, stirring constantly.
Fold the whipped cream into the egg-sugar mixture. Slowly pour the juice-gelatin mixture into the cream mixture, whisking vigorously and continuously until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time until desired tartness is achieved (I used 2 tablespoons). Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, whisking occasionally during the first hour to prevent the mousse from separating. Serve the mousse cold in dessert cups or bowls on its own or garnished with some tangerine zest.