This kind of easy mousse may be made into a fancy parfait alternating with whipped cream and fruit in tall glasses or served as is with a small garnish of whipped cream or a few milk chocolate shavings.  Crisp cookies are always good with a creamy mousse…

This version, served on the weekly brunch buffet at the Storchen, Zurich, is one of my favorites.

Makes about 6 half-cup servings

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup water

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon juice, measured after straining

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Use a fork to stir the gelatin and water together in a small heatproof bowl; set aside.
  2. Whip the cream to a soft peak by hand or by machine; cover and refrigerate.
  3. Half fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice, and sugar together by hand in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly until the yolk mixture thickens slightly (it will not become very thick), about 2 minutes.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the mixer bowl and then place it on the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  5. To finish the mousse, set the gelatin in the hot water off the heat and wait until it is melted and clear. Remove the cream from the refrigerator and rewhip it if necessary.  Whisk the vanilla and gelatin into the egg mixture and then quickly fold in the cream.
  6. Portion the mousse into individual bowls or glasses and chill to set.

For orange mousse, use 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest and a tablespoon or orange liqueur instead of the vanilla.