One year of Kosher Blogging (and a cake recipe too)

One year ago today I posted my first Kosher Blogger post (chicken soup, of course). Hard to believe it, but time certainly flies when you’re having fun. And the past year has been truly fun, sharing my recipes with you, getting your feedback, “meeting” fellow food bloggers, doing lots of cooking and photographing my food.

This one-year milestone is a time to look back on the highlights of the year (thanks to WordPress’ great stats feature) and share some of them with you.

Global followers: The diversity of nations that pop up onto my stats page every day never ceases to amaze me. While most people using my site come from the US, Israel, South Africa and Canada, I love the fact that I have visits from people living in countries such as Bagladesh, Zambia, Qatar, Jamaica, Brunei, and more.

Popular posts: My most popular post was Israeli Flag Cupcakes for Yom Ha’atzmaut, followed by Brisket for Pesach and then Oven Baked Potato Latkes. Clearly, chaggim bring out the cooks in you! Next in line was the Israeli stuffed vegetables.

Sharing the spotlight: One of the nicest aspects of writing a blog is experiencing the generosity of the food blogging community out there. There’s no place for competition here, instead, there’s the warm embrace of fellow bloggers who are happy to share my link and whose links I love having on mine. Sending the most visits to my blog is the wonderful Jewish Hostess. Not only is Marlene so generous in giving me space on her wonderful blog, she’s also inspires me to come up with my own creative table ideas. This being the case, I am so pleased that the Jewish Hostess is the Number 1 destination that my users visit from my blog roll.

Lemon Mousse Cake (the last piece barely saved for a photo)

OK, so enough with the reminiscing and the statistics – time for a recipe! You can’t celebrate without a cake, and for this special day, I wanted to share one of my favorite cakes with you, which, fortunately, can easily be parev. I love lemon desserts. A sweet and tangy light note is a great way to finish a meal. When I first saw this recipe, I was a little intimidated as it seemed a little complex, using more than one bowl, gelatin and with the goal of being alight, mousse cake. I in fact it’s a lot less intimidating than it seems, and it has never failed. I once again have to stress that gelatin is not difficult to use. Just follow my instructions, and you’ll have in in the bag (or bowl). My biggest problem with this cake is saving a slice to photograph. It really does fly off the plate because it’s light and delicious – a great dessert combo and a wonderful way to celebrate a special day.

LEMON MOUSSE CAKE

Ingredients

Crust

1½ packets of Petite Beurre biscuits crushed (about 2 cups crumbs)

100 g (3.5 oz) melted butter or margarine

Mousse

2 teaspoon gelatin powder

3 tablespoons room temperature water

½ cup fresh lemon juice

¾ cup sugar

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup sweet cream or non-dairy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or powdered sugar (do not use if using non-dairy cream, which is sweetened already)

How to do it

Crumb base

Crust

1. Line the bottom of a 28 cm (11 inch) spring form pan with baking paper

2. Mix the crumbs and the melted butter and evenly line the bottom of the pan (I use the bottom of a cup measure to flatten the crumbs). Place in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the mousse.

Mousse

Fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture so no white shows

3. Mix the gelatin and the water in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir constantly until all the gelatin granules dissolve (a few minutes). Set aside to cool.

4. In a small saucepan, whisk the lemon juice, ¾ cup sugar and yolks together until combined. Bring to a low boil (very small bubbles) over medium heat while constantly stirring (about 5 minutes), making sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to thicken up a little – about 5 minutes. Add the gelatin, mix well, strain into a separate bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. (Note: By straining this mixture, you will remove all those hard bits of egg that aren’t pleasant to bite into, so it’s worth the little bit of extra effort.)

5. In a mixer, whisk the egg whites, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt until you reach very stiff peaks. On the lowest beating speed, add the lemon mixture and mix till just combined. Remove from the mixer and fold the mixture gently until there is no more egg white showing.

6. Pour the mousse over the crumbs, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Mousse ready for refrigeration

7. Beat the cream and vanilla/powdered sugar (use sugar for dairy version only) and spread over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until serving.

Tip: Use a knife dipped in boiling water to cut the cake for a smooth slice. Serves about 12-14

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