Vegan lemon mousse
Vegan lemon mousse
Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you’ve made some relaxing or stimulating (whichever you are in need of) plans for this weekend. I am hoping to hop on a bike tomorrow and go on a little trip into the unknown or to a nice lunch destination more like (yup, sounds more like me, doesn’t it?). Recipe wise, it’s been a while since I published a dessert recipe and so I made a Spring inspired dessert that you’ll (hopefully) love.
It’s light and airy, with a palate tingling lemon tang and makes for a fantastic end to a sumptuous meal. Even though I am firmly in the chocolate camp myself, I found this lemon beauty pretty irresistible. It’s not hard to make and there are quite a few ingredient swaps possible so let me talk you through that below…
MORE ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
CASHEWS – cashews form the base for this creamy dessert. They work perfectly as they contribute a rich base and nice mouthfeel yet their neutral flavour doesn’t take over. If you live in Australia, (locally grown) macadamia nuts work just as well – here, in the UK they cost so much that you would need to re-mortgage your house. Less good but viable alternatives would be coconut cream (separated from a tin of full fat coconut milk) or silken tofu. They will both work well in terms of texture, but they will contribute their own flavours making the lemon flavour less clean.
SUGAR – I used caster sugar but coconut sugar will work just as well flavourwise. Colourwise, coconut sugar is going to make this dessert a little less visually appealing.
LEMON ZEST – Lemon zest reinforces the flavour beautifully but I prefer not to add it in this context as I like my mousse it to be perfectly smooth.
VEGAN BUTTER – vegan butter (I use Naturli) helps with texture of this mousse, coconut oil is also a good option. Alternatively, you could use vegan white chocolate or cacao butter but it will add a little bit of white chocolate flavour and if using sweetened white chocolate, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar a touch (by 15 g / 1 tbsp approximately). Finally, I have used cashew butter in my raspberry mousse and it worked a treat so give it a go if you are seeking a healthier option.
TURMERIC – I’ve added a very small amount of turmeric to give this mousse a nice, pale yellow colour. It’s important to be very careful here as you certainly don’t want to be able to taste it in the finished product. Alternatively, you could use a few drops of vegan-friendly yellow food colouring.
AQUAFABA – I used aquafaba from homecooked chickpeas but you can also just use it from a tin or a jar of low-sodium (ideally) shop-bought chickpeas. Please be sure all your equipment and utensils are spotless before whipping aquafaba.
METHOD AT A GLANCE
Combine lemon juice and sugar in a pot over low heat to create lemon syrup. Melt vegan butter in the hot syrup and pour the liquid into a blender with drained cashews.
Add a touch of turmeric and blend the mixture until completely smooth. Next, whip aquafaba until you get stiff peaks, depending on your mixer it will take approximately 3-5 minutes.
Transfer cashew mixture to a mixing bowl and add half of the whipped aquafaba to it. Using very slow and gentle folding motion, combine cashew mixture with aquafaba until no white streaks are visible.
By the time you are done, the mousse should be airy and thick. Divide the mousse between four glasses, using a chopstick or a toothpick gently stir each mousse to level it out. Refrigerate overnight or until set.
This is what it looks like after it has set. Decorate and serve or enjoy as is 🙂 .
VEGAN LEMON MOUSSE
- 130 g / 1 cup raw cashews*
- 100 g / ½ cup white sugar or coconut sugar
- 150 ml / ½ cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice + (optionally) zest of 1 lemon
- 30 g / 2 tbsp vegan butter block or coconut oil*
- 1/8 tsp turmeric, optional
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- pinch of salt
- whipped coconut cream
- fresh raspberries
- Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes or overnight in cold water.
- Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small pot on a low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Take off the heat, add vegan butter and allow it to melt into the hot syrup, stirring from time to time.
- Put drained cashews, the lemon syrup, turmeric and lemon zest (if using) into a blender. If using an upright blender, pour lemon syrup to the bottom and then add the cashews. Blend until creamy and super smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place aquafaba in a clean (that’s very important as any grease residue will prevent the aquafaba from achieving stiff peaks) glass or metal bowl. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and salt. Whip it until you achieve stiff peaks – you should be able to invert the bowl and the whipped aquafaba should move at all. If it does it means that it hasn’t been whipped enough.
- Fold approximately half of the aquafaba into the lemon mixture. Use a slow folding motion so that you don’t knock too much air out – this will cause the mousse to deflate. Once incorporated, add the other half. By the time you are done, the mixture will be pale yellow, airy and thick – spoonable rather than pourable.
- Divide the mixture between 4 dessert glasses and using a chopstick, gently stir the mousse in each glass to even it out. Place the glasses in the fridge for 8 hours (or overnight) for the mousse to set.
- Once set, decorate with whipped coconut cream and raspberries. This dessert keeps in an airtight container for about 2 days.
*VEGAN BUTTER: see the blog post for possible replacements.
If you are after a different flavoured mousse, why not try:
Thanks again for your awesome recipes!
I was so excited when I saw this recipe come into my emails...:) I love lemony sweets, as I love that sweet, sour, tang combo.
Anyway.. I realised I didn't have enough cashews left, but I did have silken tofu in the fridge... so I thought Id try it with that...
I also usually always want to stick to unrefined sugars, but because I was going to be subbing a major ingredient (cashews for tofu), I decided to use the cheaper caster sugar instead of coconut sugar just incase it didn't work out!
I wasn't really concentrating making this... so I'm not sure if I was supposed to allow the syrup mixture to reduce and thicken..? So, mine was basically complete liquid, just with the sugar dissolved.
I mixed it with the tofu, and at first put the same amount of tofu in as it would have been cashews...
But I felt it was super runny... so I ended up putting in 300g of tofu (the full packet). Note; as I said, I really wasn't concentrating properly making this!
Anyway... the flavour was awesome... so I continued...
Whipped the aquafaba to stiff peaks, started combining the tofu lemon mix with the aquafaba, and I was expecting it to just deflafe... But it actually seemed like it was keeping its form!
So I put the mix in moulds and put it in the fridge to set overnight.
The next morning, the mousse looked amazing..and looked like it had set...and it had, but just at the very bottom, liquid was beginning to separate... But, the top two thirds of the pots, were beautifully lemony, light, tangy, sweet delicious!
I think... considering my complete lack of concentration making these.. this might be a pretty fool proof recipe, and I can't wait to make it with cashews...or perhaps reduce the syrup more so it is thicker, and try again with tofu (more cost effective)...
Thank you Ania, once again for another beautiful recipe!! X
I'm glad that all these ingredients did not go to waste and that you enjoyed the flavour and texture of this dessert in general, that makes me happy. The recipe has been designed with cashews so when replacing with tofu you are likely to have to make minor tweaks. For example, cashews blended with lemon syrup - which does not need reducing for the cashew version, btw - has at least 50% more volume than unblended cashews, which would explain why you needed more tofu (good call!!). You do not mention using vegan butter (or coconut oil) in conjunction with tofu - did you skip that ingredient? If so that's probably why your mousse was a bit watery at the bottom. The reason I added it to the recipe was to add fat to stabilise the mousse. Given that tofu has zero fat (cashews are fatty yet extra fat was needed) you'll probably need to add a small amount of fat to obtain consistent, creamy yet moussey texture. Hope the next attempt will be spot on. x Ania