I don’t know where to begin. This past week has been chalk full of activity! The market, a bonfire, a trip to Antigonish, a cocktail party … and baking for all of it!
It was ridiculously DE-LIC-IOUS (and adorable, non?)
You saw my post on the lime-blueberry cheesecake cupcakes … this is what they looked liked when all was said and done.
These were the first goodies to go.
The lemon-lime cupcakes (filled with lemon-lime curd and topped with lime cream cheese frosting) were also super popular. A little labour intensive (piping and filling on the spot) … but oh so wonderful.
Since the entire theme was based on that bon appétit magazine (“lime juice is the new salt”) – we swapped out Jenna’s usual lemon meringue tarts for some lime raspberry meringue tarts (the bon appétit recipe used blackberries – but since they aren’t in season, we used raspberries).
And then … the pièce de résistance … cranberry-lemon-lime-white chocolate mousse squares.
Yes … and … yes.
Another bon appétit recipe (from their desserts cookbook), only, we played around with it to make it work for our purposes.
We wanted squares.
We wanted a graham cracker base.
We wanted to switch the layers around.
It was a S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
Tart and fresh. Not too heavy (the white chocolate mousse was a nice surprise), the addition of chinese five spice to the cranberry compote was pretty spot-on, and my graham cracker base was epic (Jenna’s words, not mine).
Since this is a layer dessert, you’ll probably expect me to tell you it isn’t difficult, but it does take a little bit of time. Don’t worry – you can basically make everything in one go, and then just assemble in stages … in the end, not overly labour or time intensive, and oh so worth it. Seriously … I can’t wait to whip these up again!
cranberry-lemon-lime-white chocolate mousse squares
(based on bon appétit’s cranberry-lime tart)
graham cracker base
*this is completely unmeasured … I used two sleeves of graham crackers (the large ones) and pulsed them in a food processor. I then melted (about) 1/2 cup of butter, and slowly poured it into the food processor and blended everything together. You want the base to hold together when you pinch it together … but not get so saturated in butter that after you bake the base it would harden because of all the excess fat.
zest of 1 lemon and 2 limes
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon & 2 limes)
1/2 c. sugar
6 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tsp cornstartch
2/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp chinese five-spice powder
1 12-ounce bag (3 cups) fresh or partially thawed frozen cranberries
white chocolate mousse
5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Once you get all those ingredients together … it’s time to start baking!
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray.
Press the graham cracker base into your prepared pan.
Trick of the day (thank you Jenna): in order to get an even base, press the graham cracker base with the base of a measuring cup … you’ll see that by pressing the base of the cup across the top of the crust you’ll get a pretty perfect graham cracker base.
Bake for about 12 – 17 minutes. You want the crust to be firm. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack in the pan.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the lemon – lime juices, lemon – lime zest, sugar and butter.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. When the butter has melted in the saucepan, whisk some of the warm liquid into the beaten eggs, whisking constantly while you pour (this prevents the eggs from curdling). Once done, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan (that is still over low heat). Cook, whisking constantly, the curd will start to thicken – don’t let it start to boil. Remove from heat.
Place a strainer over a medium bowl.
Pour the curd into the strainer – this will remove any little bits, and make for a silky smooth curd. Allow to cool slightly, then pour into the pre-baked graham cracker base.
Bake in the oven (again, at 325 F) until set – about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (stick it in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap to speed up the process).