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light dessert needed

I'm making a fairly heavy meal for a dinner party and would like a nice, light dessert at the end. Any ideas? I love lemon mousse, but I haven't checked recipes yet and am assuming it is made with cream.
thanks for any ideas.

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  1. What about a lemon tart, made with curd, instead of mousse? Unless you don't want to trade the cream in mousse for the butter in pastry :-)

      1. How about a pavlova? Nice crispy meringue, topped with whipped cream, fresh fruit and a sprinkle of shaved chocolate.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Pegmeister

            Second a pavlova. It's pretty, is so simple to make, impressive looking if it's tall and it can highlight delicious fruit. Be sure to allow enough time for it to bake and cool!

          2. Peel and slice some oranges, arrange on a plate. Drizzle with cointreau or rum. Make a caramel, drizzle on top lightly. Don't refrigerate, make only a few hours before serving.

            1. This lemon budino roughly replicates a mousse but is much lighter. Plus, the individual servings are elegant. I have made them in advance with great success, and without using meyers, just regular.


              2 Replies
              1. re: katecm

                That looks lovely. Did you bake them in advance, or just prepare the egg mixtures in advance and fold together before baking? I'm considering making these for a dinner party on Sunday, to end a rather heavy Pakistani banquet

                1. re: tavegyl

                  I baked them in advance. They hold fine and you don't have to worry about the eggs falling. I've never had them lose shape, and have served them both warm and cold. I found them more refreshing cold, more like a souffle warm.

              2. I just came across the Mandarin sorbet from Andre Nguyen:


                She served it with currant cookies which I can't find a link for but it's a butter cookie with 2T currants in the batter.

                1. Any sorbet or granita would be a natural -- some kind of fruit and herb concoction, or something boozy?

                  I've made panna cotta with cinnamon-spiced almond milk, served with fruit compote, and it's very light while still being a bit more... I dunno, substantial maybe than just sorbet.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: LauraGrace

                    I like to buy ready made phyllo shells and fill themw ith lemon curd and then top with a swirl of whipped cream or cool whip. I did this for a party recently and they are so pretty and everyone oohed and ahhed over them. You could serve a few on a small plate with berries...

                    1. re: LauraGrace

                      Your almond milk panna cotta sounds interesting. Is it like a buttermilk panna cotta with almond milk substituted? The ones with cream can get heavier than they look!

                      some of the panna cotta ideas on this thread are so pretty.

                      1. re: karykat

                        Truthfully, I can't remember what recipe I used. I think I just got a standard panna cotta recipe and subbed commercial almond milk (the unsweetened kind, which I then sweetened). It was something with lemon zest and vanilla, and the flavor combo was really nice.

                    2. I love zabaglione for a light dessert ... I make my with a good quality honey instead of sugar, which gives it a really lovely flavour which enhances the marsala

                      1. Panna Cotta. The picture shows one i made with a blackberry coulis, mint sprig for garnish and cornmeal madelines from Frank Stitt's Highland's grill cookbook. Light and lovely. I have also made a Chambord panna cotta and macerated red raspberries in Chambord to garnish.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Candy

                          So elegant looking. And a secondary use for martini glasses :) I think I need to make this. Soon.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Good! It could not be simpler and so light in the mouth and cool. Variations are infinite. In this picture is the Chambord version. I made it in a Bundt mold for a bridal shower. Somehow to call it cream jello sounds revolting, but the actual product is addicting. What makes a topping even easier are fruit coulis from France by Emmanuelle Baillard...Nectars de Bourgone. Cassis, Abricot, etc. You can probably Google for them if a local gourmet shop does not have them. Flavors are only limited by your imagination. Liqueurs, strained fruit purees The one above was a buttermilk panna cotta. When in doubt trot the panna cotta out. That with a delicate or not so delicate cookie, what more could one ask?

                            1. re: Candy

                              Our local kitchen shop has a small selection of 'fancy foods' and I have a coupon :) I'll check there but even Amazon might have them. And I'm trying to get to $25 to get free shipping :) A frugal CH. Thanks, Candy.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                You are welcome. If you cannot find the French fruit coulis they really are not difficult to make. It is basically pureeing fruit and adding sugar and other flavorings to suit your taste. The bottled sauces are a quick substitute. Not cheap but they are imported and made with impeccably fresh fruit. You could thin out a jam with a bit of liqueur or brandy, apple jack etc to make a coulis to top the panna cotta too.

                        2. afogato In a coffee cup, put a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and each person pours a shot of espresso over.

                          1. thanks for all the suggestions ... I ended up making the italian lemon pudding from epicurious. Heavenly!!!!