After Christmas dinner last year I served a tray of assorted mini desserts to my guests and they loved them (click here to read about them). What my guests loved about the minis was that they could say “I’ll try one of each” and they would only be consuming the calories of one regular sized dessert, that they could eat one mini dessert and not feel too guilty about eating a dessert, and they loved having an assortment to choose from.
Recently it was my turn to host Bunco at my house. In my Bunco group the hostess is expected to serve dessert after the game. It was really hot that week, so I thought some refreshing minis would be the way to go. I’d wanted to make lemon mousse for a long time, so I used this opportunity to make it. Along with the mini lemon mousses, I made mini raspberry trifles using this recipe (click here) and I assembled the mini trifles in champagne glasses. I also served Trader Joe’s mango ice cream in some mini dessert glasses that I bought at Pier 1 Imports. I topped the mini ice cream desserts with a dollop of whipped cream and a Trader Joe’s coconut cookie.
Mini raspberry trifles made in small champagne glasses
Mango ice cream served in mini dessert glasses
Well, the Bunco group enjoyed the desserts, but they gave me some grief about setting the bar too high for the next Bunco hostess. No worries, she was happy to serve pies from Shari’s.
There are so many desserts that you can make as a minis. I recently had a mini tiramisu at a luncheon and mini tarts are always fun and easy to make.
Lemon mousse in mini dessert glasses
Below is the recipe I used to make the lemon mousse. If you make this recipe, you will actually be making lemon curd first and then will make whipping cream to fold into the curd to make the mousse. For the best flavor, be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice.
– Makes 6 regular sized servings or 12 mini servings
Ingredients for the lemon curd
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Zest of 4 lemons (zest the lemons before you juice)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (approximately five or six lemons)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, cut up into small pieces
- Ingredients for whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
To make the curd, you are going to use a double boiler improvised by using a medium pot filled with a few inches of water and a large glass bowl. Bring the water in the medium pot to a boil. Do not place the glass bowl on it yet.
Pour the three eggs and three egg yolks into the large glass bowl. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to the eggs and whisk.
Set the bowl over the pot with the boiling water. Fast and furiously whisk the contents of the bowl. Keep the mixture moving or it will turn into scrambled eggs. The mixture will become frothy and then creamy. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens. It will take about 10 or 11 minutes to get to this point.
Remove the bowl from the boiling water. Start adding handfuls of the small pieces of butter to the thickened lemon mixture. Keep adding the butter until it has all been mixed in. If any lumps remain, put the bowl back on the pot with the boiling water until melted.
Push the curd though a fine mesh sieve to remove the stray bits of scrambled egg that may have formed.
Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cool.
To make the whipped cream, beat the cream and sugar together in a medium bowl until soft peaks are formed. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the curd at a time. Take care that you don’t completely deflate the cream, so the mousse is somewhat fluffy when served.
To fill small dessert glasses, fill a corner of a gallon Ziplock bag with the mousse. Cut the tip off of the corner of the bag and pipe the mousse into the glasses.
Garnish with raspberries and thin strips of lemon peel.
Have fun with it. Your guests will love them!