Searching for my lost shaker of salt…
What do you get when you combine limes, tequila, orange liqueur, and whipped cream? Either a really bad hang-over or a very tasty dessert…
About 15 years ago I decided to make an authentic, Mexican dinner for Cinqo de Mayo. I selected easy yet tasty, Mexican food recipes for my menu, but the quest for a tasty dessert was not an easy one. Mexico is not renowned for its dessert – I didn’t want to deep fry anything and I’m not a huge fan of flan. I searched through many recipe books and magazines…then I found it. It wasn’t a traditional Mexican dessert, but it was based on something traditionally Mexican – The Margarita.
This dessert was the crowning glory of my Mexican food fiesta. It takes a bit of time to make, as does any fresh Mexican dish – I never juiced and zested so many limes as I did for that meal – but this cake is worth it. It is a cocktail and dessert all rolled into one. What’s not to love about that?!
Anyone game for a trip to Margaritaville? Throw on your sombreros and let’s get started…
Margarita Mousse Cake
1 ¼ cups Graham cracker crumbs (300 ml)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (75 ml)
1 ½ envelopes of unflavoured gelatin
3 tbsp cold water (50 ml)
3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups granulated sugar (375 ml)
1 cup fresh lime juice (250 ml)
1 tbsp freshly grated lime peel (15 ml)
1/3 cup tequila (75 ml)
1/3 cup orange liqueur (75 ml)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (75 ml)
1 cup whipping cream (250 ml)
1 cup whipping cream (250 ml)
Optional for decor – 4 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate (125 g)
The How To:
- Cut a circle out of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Place in pan.
- Combined crumbs with butter and Pat into bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate.
- In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water. Allowed to rest for five minutes. Heat gently until gelatin dissolves.
- In a large saucepan, beat eggs with egg yolks. Whisk in sugar and beat until lemony and light. Whisk in lime juice and peel .Cook gently, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
- Add dissolved gelatin and liqueurs. Cook just until well combined.
- Add butter and cook just until melted. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
- Whip cream until light. Fold into custard mixture. Spoon gently into prepared pan. Refrigerate.
- For the topping, whip cream until firm. Pipe or spoon around the edge of the cake. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Decorate the cake with chocolate cacti. To do this melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Transfer to a clean plastic squeeze bottle. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Carefully “pipe” chocolate into cactus shapes on baking sheet. Refrigerate until they harden. Remove gently and place on cake.
- Serve it on rimmed glass plates as you would if it were a cocktail. To do this, rub a lime around the edge of the plate and rim with sugar before plating.
When something goes wrong…
On occasion we all get distracted or don’t follow the instructions closely enough. When this happens it can spell disaster especially in baking. If for some reason your Mousse cake does not set properly and is more like a pudding, fear not. This happened to me once – I blame the relaxed state I was in, which was rendered by the drinking I did whilst I made the cake, on tequila…one shot for me one for the cake… something like that…
In any case, you can salvage a sloppy mousse cake and it will still taste great. Simply get some sponge cake, drizzle a bit with orange liqueur and layer with your margarita pudding-like mousse and whipped cream. Repeat layers and top with more whipped cream. You now have a Mexican Trifle!
Alternatively you could just give everyone shots of tequila before serving dessert and no one will care how bad it looks. 😉
Photos by Lyndsay Jenkinson
N.B. I always like to give credit where credit is due, but unfortunately the recipe I have was hand written, copied from a magazine. I don’t know who concocted this recipe originally, but I believe I found it in Canadian House and Home Magazine, 15 years ago.