Clotted cream and lemon curd mousse with cardamom shortbread

Ingredients to serve 6-7

For the mousse

finely grated zest and juice of 3 unwaxed lemons
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lime
1 x 300g tub full-fat soft cream cheese
1 x 397g can condensed milk
1 x 227g tub clotted cream
150g good-quality lemon curd

For the shortbread

225g plain flour
115g cornflour
225g unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar
55g icing sugar, sieved
8 green cardamom seeds, crushed and made into a fine powder

To serve

85g bitter chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa solids, melted
sherbet powder

Creamy mousses usually need some sort of setting agent, gelatine being the most popular. Here, the reaction between the acid of the fruit and the cream and condensed milk makes a great setting. A word of warning though: this mousse will set in seconds, so work swiftly to get it from the bowl into the mould or dish.

To make the shortbread, sieve the flour and cornflour together. Beat the butter and sugars together in a bowl until soft and fluffy. Add the cardamom powder to the butter and sugar mixture along with the flour and cornflour, and then knead well to make a dough. Shape into a ball then flatten and wrap in clingfilm. Chill well, for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease two baking sheets.

Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick, then use a 7cm diameter cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place on the baking sheets, and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

To make the mousse, start off with the citrus juice. It is most important that the total amount of the lemon and lime juice is 250ml or the mousse will not set well.

Whisk the cream cheese, condensed milk and clotted cream together until thick and very creamy. The longer you whisk, the lighter the mousse will be. Add the lemon curd, juices and zests and whip for a few seconds only, as the mixture will tighten very quickly. Immediately spoon into small dishes or a large trifle bowl, then chill until set, ideally overnight.

To serve, spoon the mousse into bowls or eat from individual dishes. Drizzle a little melted bitter chocolate over the shortbread and serve separately. Dust with sherbet powder.

From 'Favourite Food' by Phil Vickery (Mitchell Beazley, £14.99).

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