In these busy weeks I tend to bake with whatever I have available in the fridge. Doing with what you have available is, I believe, a great skill. It also forces me to “keep it simple”. Sometimes I find recipes that make me drool as soon as I see the picture but then I get to the list of ingredients only to discover that they require some weird ingredient or a long list of ingredients and/or steps to be made. In these days, I really have no time for complicated recipes so I put those in my wish-to-bake-soon list and I move ahead…not knowing if or when I will be able to make them.
When I stumbled upon this Lemon Sponge Pudding at Joy of Baking, the opposite happened. I fell in love with the concepts of the recipe and when I went to look at the ingredients list and method I could not believe how doable this recipe was with things that everybody always has at home! (p.s. I omitted the cream of tartar of the original recipe because I did not have it at home and everything still worked fine. So you see? Everybody will have all the other ingredients at home!)
On top of it, going through the post I read this sentence “What is so unique about this Lemon Sponge Pudding is what happens as it bakes - the batter separates into two layers. The top layer becomes a light and airy sponge cake, yet underneath is a deliciously tangy lemon sauce”. I knew I could not put this recipe in my list and forget about it. I had to make it! Immediately! So I did.
It was love at first sight. And at first bite!
I apologize if the pudding doesn’t look perfectly shaped but I had to unmold it and show you all this “underneath lemon sauce”. It created this juice layer that tasted just heaven in my mouth.
This dessert is a winner for all those who, like me, love lemon flavored desserts. If you are not a big lemon or citrus flavor fan, then this is not really for you…sorry J
Lemon Sponge Pudding
Makes 4 individual puddings
140 g (4.9 oz) sugar
30 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, separated
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
5 g (1 tsp) lemon zest
30 g (1.13 oz or ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
60 ml (2 fl oz or ¼ cup) fresh lemon juice
160 ml (5.4 fl oz or a bit less than ¾ cup) whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees F and butter 4 ramekins.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the sugar (minus two tbsp to be used to whip the egg whites) and the butter until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until they are well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and the lemon zest.
Add the flour and the salt and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and the milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until you obtain soft peaks, then gradually add the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and keep beating until you obtain stiff peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated. The batter will be very liquid. I was concerned I did something wrong but don’t get scared! It’s fine!
Carefully pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.
When ready, remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving. If you want to unmold them, let them cool completely before trying to do so.
Source: adapted from Joy of Baking