Maida Heatter celebrated her 100th birthday in the beginning of the month and I just had to acknowledge her. I do not know her, but after reading her cookbook and owning it for over 20 years, I feel like I do. Her cookbook, New Book of Great Desserts, was the first dessert cookbook I bought for myself back in 1982. I had other cookbooks but none solely dedicated to desserts. I believe her book was the first cookbook that I read front to back. Her anecdotes before each recipe are personal, thoughtful, funny, informative, and always friendly. She is a great teacher and her recipes are clear and easy to follow.
I did not realize it at that time but her cookbook started my preference for cookbooks with a personal narrative. These types cookbooks are instructive and give me a personal sense about the author. Sometimes, it reads like we are friends, forming a friendship based on mutual enjoyment from cooking together. Thank you Maida Heatter for your wonderful dessert recipes that continues to instruct and inspire me and generations to come. Happy Belated 100th Birthday Maida.
As a kid, I believed chocolate mousse was “the” supreme fancy French dessert. It was my go to dessert when my parents took us out to dinner on special occasions. Chocolate mousse was very popular in the 70’s and it was very rich and chocolaty and I loved it. In Maida Heatter’s cookbook, New Book of Great Desserts, there is not one chocolate mousse recipe, but there are several other mousse recipes that are made with fruit. From the beginning of owning her cookbook, the lemon mousse recipe caught my attention and I have made it several times. This is a special lemon mousse recipe. Despite the heavy cream, it is as light as air and has a clean lemon flavor that is not too sweet.
“This is food for angles, it is like eating a sweet lemon flavored cloud, like a glass of delicious nothingness”
Maida Heatter, New Book of Great Desserts
It is hard to top Maida’s own description. This lemon mousse is a luscious lemon cloud to float away on. Enjoy!
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