Like most Christian countries, the Danes celebrate Easter with lamb, chicken and Easter eggs. In Spring, dawns marks the beginning of the days that will outlast the nights. At Easter all the small children in Denmark are busy writing letters to their families called “Gækkebrev” and are translated to a letter with a snowdrop in it. Using a scissor and piece of paper, the children cut a decorative pattern and write a little poem on it. If the person who receives the letter can’t guess who sent the letter, they are supposed to give the children a candy Easter egg. Of course, the grandparents and parents can guess who sent them, but they always act like they can’t. These “gækkebrev” are a Danish invention and date back to the 1600 when people send letters to each asking them to solve a puzzle. Many people believe that Hans Christian Andersen was the founder of this tradition, as his paper cuts were as fantastic as his fairy tales. He was not born until 1805 and the first gækkebrev dates back to 1600. At Easter time the Danes have 5 days free from their work and children have Easter break from school. Once again, luncheon with snaps and open-face sandwich is the one of the most popular ways, especially if the weather is still cold. And yes, it is still cold here in Denmark.
Lemon Mousse Cake
6 tbsp. sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
fresh lemon juice from 2-3 lemons, approx. 3/4 cup
1 tbsp. powdered gelatine
1½ cup (12 fl. oz.) heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
To make mousse, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Whisk in lemon zest and juice.
Pour 2 tbsp. of water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle in powdered gelatine. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously until gelatine has dissolved. Let it cool a little, then pour it into the lemon mixture. It should never be too hot.)
Beat egg whites and cream in two separate bowls. First, fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture, then half of the whipped cream. Pour mousse into four individual bowls. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.
To make cake, preheat oven 420°F and pisk eggs and sugar with a hand-mixer. Add flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Pour the batter on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the cake 7-8 minutes.
To assemble, when cool, cut 12 round circles with a cookie cutter (3 inches/7-8 cm). There should be 12 circles, 3 for each cake. Come 2-3 spoonfuls on lemon mousse between each cake piece, two layers of lemon mousse for three cake pieces. Refrigerate 3 hours before serving.
To serve, place the rest of the whipped cream on top of each cake and decorate with a few strips of grated lemon rind.