If you ask me, nothing says Spring and Easter flavours like chocolate and lemon! It's a tangy bittersweet taste of heaven that leaves you wantig MORE!! Whoever came up with the idea of combining these two ingredients was a genius!
Truthfully, I'd serve this dessert any time of year but there is something about this combo that just says fresh and satisfying! It feels like a Spring treat! And, after the winter that we have all just been through - every bit of Spring feeling helps!
With this recipe, I used the same Brownie base that I used for my Cherry Brownie Dream recipe which I posted back in February. I knew I wanted the second layer to be lusciously smooth and lemony! Believe it or not, it was created completely off the cuff! I just looked through my pantry, fridge and freezer to see what ingredients I had and what might work well together! Thankfully, I made notes as I went along and the mixture worked beautifully on the first try!
As with the cherry version, please don't skimp on the quality of chocolate used! A poor quality can totally ruin an otherwise great recipe! I've been buying my white chocolate from Morden's of Winnipeg for many years and always use it in my Christmas baking. You can find good quality bittersweet chocolate at most bulk food stores.
As usual, I offered samples of this dessert to several friends and the reviews were all positive! Everyone loved it and thought it was a perfect combination of flavours!
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we have!
Lemon Dream Supreme
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light/reduced fat sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted
Second layer and garnishes
2 medium lemons
6 ounces white chocolate, divided
1 8oz/250g light cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 can light sweetened condensed milk
1 4 serving instant lemon pudding mix (not light)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
yellow food colouring, if desired
1 litre/4 cups container light whipped topping, divided
1 ounce bittersweet or dark chocolate, grated
Prepare a 9 or 10 inch Spring-form pan by ensuring the base and ring are properly aligned and the lock is secure. Spray the inside of the assembled pan with a non stick coating such as Pam.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
Place the water and margarine in a microwave safe dish and heat on medium power to melt the margarine. Allow to cool slightly. While it is cooling combine the sour cream, egg and vanilla. Stir the water and margarine into the dry ingredients mixing to combine. Add in the sour cream, egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Stir in the toasted almonds and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared spring form pan and spread evenly.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes or till toothpick test shows done. (With my oven, it takes about 22 minutes.) Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before continuing. (at least 1 hour!).
When the brownie is cooled, zest the lemons and set aside 1-2 teaspoons of the zest for garnish. Juice the lemons and remove the seeds. You should have 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Note: I zest the lemons almost to the white pith which creates much more zest.
In a microwave safe dish, melt 3 ounces of the white chocolate on medium power (about 60-90 seconds). Stir to smooth and set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the softened cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk.
Add the instant pudding mix, lemon juice, lemon extract and the zest. Mix thoroughly. Add in the cooled melted white chocolate and combine till smooth. If desired, you can add a few drops of yellow food colouring at this point. (I added about 5-6 drops) Mix in thoroughly. Fold in about 2/3 of the whipped topping and blend completely. Note, that it is much easier to blend in the food colouring before adding the whipped topping. Adding the whipped topping lightens the colour considerably but adding colouring is purely cosmetic and I think adds to the overall look and appeal
Spread the lemon filling evenly over the cooled brownie - smoothing to the edges and across the top. Chill for 15 minutes.
While chilling, melt the remaining 3 ounces of white chocolate in the microwave and let cool slightly. Fold the cooled chocolate into the remaining 1/3 of the whipped topping. Then spread evenly on top of the lemon layer. Garnish with the reserved lemon zest and grated bittersweet/dark chocolate.
Chill at least 3 hours or overnight before removing the spring ring and transferring the dessert to a serving plate.
Cover any leftovers and store in fridge.
Makes about 14-16 servings