Confession time. I am a fake. I have never confronted the darkness within myself. The trenches are dug with battles yet to be fought…but the truth is I feckin’ hate baking, and this needs to be overcome.
I have never made bread or pasta. Rarely dough of any sort. I don’t know, it could be a major dysfunction in my life. Some deep set trauma from a childish pastry incident from which I have never recovered. Or maybe it’s because I am still a child and don’t respond to following specific instructions and prefer to create my own set of rules. Fortunately the recipe today is easy and forgiving, perfect for dipping the toe into the dough and testing out the water.
If etymology is the origin of words, I don’t know a comparable for capturing the origin of a recipe, so to simplify it I have now christened the word the recipmology. This recipe is an old one, the recipmology unknown and there are many variations and alternative names.
I was expecting when I cooked this to get a little sponge cake, but look closely at the photo. When this cooks the batter separates into two layers when it bakes. A light airy sponge with a puffy browned top, that you cut into and find a tangy lemon custard at the bottom. It appears to be baffling – because you mix the ingredients together and spoon them combined into the ramekin. But the laws of physics dictate that the heavier liquid sinks to the bottom to create the sauce and the light, soufflé like flour and egg whites rise to the top.
The lemon sponge soufflés are made in individual ramekins and need to be baked in a water bath to prevent the eggs from curdling during baking. You can serve this pudding warm from the oven or at room temperature. I made 6 of them, and covered some with clingfilm and ate them over the course of a week. I love the lip puckering tang of lemon, but you can help to smooth out the lemony intensity with a good dollop of whipped cream.
Lemon Sponge Soufflé Pudding
Preheat your oven to a lowish setting (170degrees). Separate the yolks and whites from 3 eggs. Grate the zest from 1 lemon, squeeze all the juice from the lemon and keep aside.
In a large bowl add 40grams of butter with 200grams of sugar and then with a hand whisk or electric mixer cream the ingredients together until light and fluffy. Add the 3 egg yolks and continue to whisk until fully incorporated. Add 50grams of flour and pour in the lemon juice and zest and a pinch of salt. Pour in 125ml of milk and on a low speed mix until all the ingredients are combined and set aside while you beat the egg whites
In a clean bowl beat the 3 egg whites until frothy. Add 25grams of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Try not to over-stir as you want to keep a much air as possible in the batter.
Butter the inside of 4 ramekins or other heatproof bowls. Carefully pour (or ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. The batter does rise a little so don’t fill them all the way to the top. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and leave room around the edges. Carefully pour in enough hot water so the water fills the pan halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for about 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let them cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.