“Sweetness cloys. Tart fruit and tart women give life its saver”- George R R Martin
A few nights ago, we just felt like dessert on a weekday . There was a nip in the air that evening and , I wanted something soul warming and comforting . And unnaturally (to me of course!) instead of grabbing the bar of chocolate , I reached for a couple of bright and juicy lemons. And whipped up these lemon pudding cakes !
I am always wary when I do a citrus bake , as there’s a fine line between refreshing and too pucker-y . I thought the balance was pretty spot on in these little sponge puds . Just tart enough , just sweet enough. And if the lemon is too out there for you, just add a dollop of whipped cream to even it out .
Something amazing happens to this dessert as it bakes , the batter separates to form this self saucing pudding with a light sponge on top a lovely sauce underneath. My research ( read googling) tells me its because of the high proportion of liquid to dry ingredients.
With all the baking I do , I still don’t own a set of ramekins ! I baked them in dessert glasses , but me thinks they’d be far more elegant in some nice crockery . Get the original recipe from Food and wine , the only things I did different was using full fat milk and tuning down the lemon , which worked out perfect for our palates. But if you like a tart dessert , feel free to amp it up !
You’ ll need:
- 150 grams or 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 45 grams or 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, separated
- 28 grams or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 240 ml or 1 cup milk , at room temperature
- 3- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Makes : 6 pudding cakes
Time : 20 mins prep + 35 mins baking time
Lets get started :
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F . Grease your ramekins or glasses or any other oven safe cup ( approximately 3/4 cup capacity) lightly with oil. Also , heat up about a litre of water on the stove .
Whisk together the sugar and flour in a large bowl. Keep aside.
Separate your eggs. Whisk the yolks with the butter until smooth.
Add the lemon juice , zest and milk to the yolk-butter mixture and mix well.
Add this mixture to the flour and sugar and mix until smooth . This will be a thin liquid.
Whip up the egg whites in another bowl with the salt. Whip until you have firm peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon batter until smooth.
Divide the batter among your greased ramekins / bowls. Place the bowls in a roasting tray or any baking dish that they fit in. Pour hot water ( which you kept heating all this while) into the tray / dish so that the level of water is atleast half way up your ramekins/ bowls.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180 C / 350 F for 35 minutes. They will be puffy and golden on top. If you want a more golden colour , bake for 200 c / 400 F for the last five minutes. Remove the ramekins / bowls out of the water and let cool for about twenty minutes. Serve warm or cool with an optional side of whipped cream. You can also unmould by running a knife around the edge and upturning onto a plate.
- Since I used bigger glasses , I got 5 servings.
- These can be made ahead and refrigerated for upto 2 days. Rewarm or bring to room temperature before serving .
- Increase the lemon juice to 5 tbsp to increase the lemon flavour . But be careful , with four tablespoons it was pleasantly tart !
The top of the cake is a perfectly moist sponge , and the bottom while still spongy oozes out a thick lemony sweet sauce. Delicious . Rich yet light. The beautiful textures yields to a warming mouthful and the zing of the lemon hits you in just the right way. Lovely end to a wholesome meal on a cold winter night 🙂