When you want a break from chocolate (okay, maybe that doesn’t happen too often), These exquisite little cakes make an intensely satisfying dessert. The recipe needs no special ingredients. Simply mix the batter, pour into custard cups (or ramekins), and bake. About 20 minutes later, you’ll have a half-dozen light, springy, tart-and-sweet cakes–puffy on top with a pudding-like texture on the bottom. Add a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar and they’re ready for a dressy dinner party or a relaxed afternoon tea.
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for cups
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Bring water to boil. Line a large roasting pan or baking dish with a clean kitchen towel. Butter six 6-ounce custard cups and place in prepared pan or dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light; whisk in flour. Gradually whisk in lemon juice, then milk and zest.
- With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add to lemon batter and fold in gently with a whisk (batter will be quite liquidy).
- Divide batter among prepared cups; place prepared pan or dish in oven and carefully fill with boiling water to reach halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are puffed and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
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