Lemon Sponge Surpriselets
Lemon Sponge Surpriselets
What is 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.
This separation takes place because of the high proportion of liquid (milk) to the flour and eggs.
A Lemon Sponge Pudding can be made in individual ramekins or in one large souffle dish.
It does, however, need to be baked in a water bath to provide temperature protection so the eggs do not curdle during baking.
To make a water bath, first place the ramekins (or souffle dish) in a larger baking pan
(or any size pan that will fit the ramekins and leave about 1 inch (2.54 cm) around the edges)
and then carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
You can serve this pudding warm from the oven or at room temperature.
I often dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners (icing or powdered) sugar and garnish with a dollop of softly whipped cream.
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon (4 grams) lemon zest
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk steeped with a vanilla pod
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Bring the milk to a gentle simmer with a vanilla pod, then set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/Gas 3 and place the rack in the centre of the oven.
Butter six 1-cup (250ml) ramekins.
Set aside 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites.
Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the remaining sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated.
Beat in the lemon zest.
Add the flour and salt and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and 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 frothy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins.
(The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan (or any size pan that will fit the ramekins and leave about 1 inch (2.54 cm) around the edges).
Prepare a water bath.
(A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)
Carefully 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.
Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.
This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature.
Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit (optional).
Note: You can also make this dessert in a 2 quart (4 cups) (960 ml) souffle dish. Baking time is about 60 minutes.