There is something about lychees that is lyrical. Perhaps because they make such a short lived appearance every year. Or perhaps it’s because their fragrance is so delicate. Like a melody, wafting on the periphery of your memory.
Lychees in syrup 1 tin (I took the easy way out)* see notes below
Mascarpone 1 500g tub
Sugar 3/4 cup or more
Gelatine 1 1/2 tbsps (optional, for a firmer set)* see notes below
Oreo cookies, about 2 packs
Butter 60-90 g
Pomegranate seeds to top the mousses
6 straight sided glasses, or, 6 three inch dessert rings if you are feeling adventurous.
Food grade acetate sheets, cut to line the ring (optional)
Drain the lychees and set aside in a colander to drip off.
Take 1/2 cup of the lychee syrup and sprinkle the gelatine over the surface. Leave to bloom for a few minutes.
Grind the Oreos until you have cookie crumbs. They don’t have to be too fine.
Melt butter in a glass bowl, large enough to hold all the cookie crumbs.
Once the butter is melted, pour in the Oreo crumbs and mix well to form a crumbly mixture.
If you are using the glasses, pour some of the cookie mixture into each glass and tamp down to form a layer.
If you want to make a spectacular looking dessert, line the inside of the dessert rings with the acetate sheet. Leave the sheet taller than the ring for easy unmoulding.
Place the 6 rings on a small tray and pour the cookie crumb mixture into each ring. Hold the ring in place and tamp down the cookie layer into the bottom.
Melt the gelatine in a double boiler, until liquid. Don’t let it boil though.
Blend the lychees, until smooth. Beat the mascarpone and sugar, then mix in the lychee purée.
Fold in the gelatine, mixing until it is thoroughly incorporated.
Pour this into each glass, or each ring. Rap the glasses gently on a towel to level the mousse. Or, rap the tray gently until the lychee mousse settles neatly into the rings.
Refrigerate to set, at least 4-5 hours.
Top the mousses with some pomegranate seeds.
Prepare a dessert dish with a swirl of strawberry/ raspberry sauce and carefully move the mousse onto the dish with a wide spatula. To unmould the rings, hold the top of the acetate sheet firmly, and slide the ring loose. Once the ring comes off, gently peel off the acetate.
Top with the jeweled pomegranate and sit back and enjoy the compliments!
* I used tinned lychees, because they are available throughout the year, and taste as good as fresh lychees, without the work involved, of peeling and seeding them.
* If you would rather make these without gelatine, the mousse will be softer, and setting them in a glass would be ideal.