Lemon Chiffon Cake with Passion Fruit Mousse and Shaved White Chocolate

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 12h 55m

Serves 8

At the San Francisco restaurant Hawthorne Lane, Chef-Owner Anne Gingrass serves superb California Cuisine, blending European, Asian and American ingredients.


  • For the Ganache:
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • For the Mousse:
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 17 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit puree (reserve 4 tablespoons.), choose passion fruit that are very wrinkled
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • For the Passion Fruit Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 each mango, ripe, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup passion fruit puree
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • 1 pound white chocolate
  • 2 ounces vegetable oil
  • 2 each fresh passion fruit
  • 1/4 cup edible flowers


TO MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour two 10-inch springform pans. In the bowl of an electric mixer or clean bowl with a hand-held electric mixer and whip the egg whites on low speed until foamy. Increase the speed and continue to whip while slowly pouring in the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Beat the whites until they reach a moist, medium-firm peak. Combine the remaining cup of sugar with the flour and baking powder and sift together twice. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, peanut oil, water and vanilla extract and stir into the dry ingredients one cup at a time.

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter mixture in 3 separate additions and pour the batter evenly into the two prepared springform pans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes and remove them from the pans.

FOR THE LEMON SYRUP: In a medium pot, over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cool for 10 minutes and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside.

TO MAKE THE MOUSSE: In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy. Decrease the speed and slowly add the mascarpone cheese and then the passion fruit puree and whip until smooth. In another bowl whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar and whip to very stiff peaks but not dry. Fold the puree and cheese mixture into the whites, in 3 additions, until combined. In a small pot, bloom the gelatin in warm water. Drain and add the reserved 4 tablespoons of passion fruit puree and heat until the gelatin melts, about 1 minute. Fold gelatin mixture into the mousse above, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.

FOR THE PASSION FRUIT SAUCE: In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the wine, mirin and sugar. Heat to a simmer and reduce by half. Add the mango and the passion fruit puree and continue to simmer until the mango is soft. In a blender, puree and add the fresh lime juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKES: Slice each chiffon cake into two 1/2" thick layers evenly across the equator. Discard the remainder from the top. Place one layer into the bottom of a clean 10-inch springform pan and use a pastry brush to lightly soak the cake with the lemon syrup. Spoon roughly two cups of the mousse onto the cake and spread around evenly with a metal spatula. Repeat this process with the next two layers. Left over mousse will be used in the next step. Chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or large bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the surface of the water, and stir in the vegetable oil. Mix well and pour enough onto the flat surface of a wax paper lined baking sheets so that the chocolate forms a layer about 1/16-inch thick. Spread out evenly with an offset metal spatula and chill in the refrigerator until solid. When the chocolate hardens, cut it into 2-inch by 4-inch shingles and peel from the waxed paper. Spread a thin layer of mousse around the sides of the cake and stick the shingles to the mousse, shiny side out.

WHEN READY TO SERVE: with the remaining white chocolate, create chocolate shavings by running the blade of a knife across the surface of the chocolate or use a vegetable peeler. Fill the cake top with shavings of white chocolate and slice the cake into eight pieces. Place onto serving plates with two ounces of sauce and a few seeds from the fresh passion fruit. Garnish with fresh flower petals.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooks' Catalogue, Inc. All rights reserved.

RecID 4332

nutrition information per serving

1442 calories; 73g total fat; 328mg cholesterol; 281mg sodium; 178g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 20g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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