Killer Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

There are certain things you’ve just got to learn in life. I have now learnt, for example, that when my boyfriend’s football team (of the soccer variety) does badly, there is no point in my offering optimistic words of comfort – these he rejects as harshly as a studs-up tackle. It’s the misery every football fan relishes. Nowadays, I just shrug and blithely suggest that his team will be relegated, the best players sold and his manager imprisoned for tax evasion, and this seems to cheer him up no end.

Another thing I’ve learnt lately is that the only way to stop my cat from whining and circling the breakfast table every morning is to pull up a chair of her own so that she can join us, nicely. (Better still if I just lay a place for her and fill it with fresh prawns, but I’m not that indulgent.) And another thing I’ve learnt over the years is that, as much as I adore cheesecake, I rarely eat the soggy biscuit base that inevitably comes with it. I mean, what’s the point? You wouldn’t slather butter on your Digestives, now, would you? (Oh God, would you?) It’s just empty calories and the texture rarely stays crisp.

So when I decided to make a cheesecake this Easter, I opted out of the base bit, which is why I'm calling this a mousse. Having scoured my cookery books and the web for recipes, I was somewhat underwhelmed by all the fancy varieties: I mean, white chocolate with lemon cheesecake? Puh-leese. In the end, I decided to do my own thing. I just mixed up a tub of mascarpone and some cream cheese with sugar, lemon juice and zest.

But then I added my killer ingredient: the Italian lemon-based liqueur Limoncello.  (It’s also the killer ingredient in my much sought-after lemon meringue mess, which I’ll have to post here another time).   Limoncello is one of those things you’re given at the end of a meal in an Italian or Provencal restaurant – usually by the point when you really, really don’t need it.  Or you buy a bottle on holiday, remember to serve it once at a dinner party and then forget all about it, so that it sits, gathering dust, at the back of your cupboard, along with that bottle of sweet sherry your auntie gave you one Christmas. 

So if you, too, have a bottle of Limoncello gathering dust somewhere, this is the recipe for you!

You will need:

150g / 5oz cream cheese

250g / 9oz mascarpone

80ml / 3fl oz sugar

the juice of one lemon

the peel of two lemons – finely grated

a good slosh of Limoncello (alternatively, the juice of your second lemon)


Mix all together and spoon into pretty dishes. Makes four large portions or six smaller ones. I covered mine in cling film and refrigerated them overnight. Decorate with some grated lemon peel if you like. Ridiculously easy and deliciously sinful – just how I like things.

Now here’s my confession. I mentioned to the boyfriend (in-between slagging off his football team) that we could have bought some elegant thin biscuits to serve with it, and he remembered that we still had a packet of French ‘breakfast biscuits’ made of fruit and muesli. We tried them and – what do you know? – they were a perfect match.

On the side, though, not as a soggy base.

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Comments 3 comments

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio

That sounds wonderful.


Eileen Goodall profile image

Eileen Goodall 5 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

This sounds gorgeous, no odd bottle lurking in any cupboards though so may have to go buy one, well you have to don't you.


Riviera Rose profile image

Riviera Rose 5 years ago from South of France Author

Hi Eileen, absolutely you do, and the odd slurp while making or eating doesn't hurt, either!!

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