You know that perfect lemon pudding or soufflé cakethat is:
- so ridiculously easy and very quick to make,
- emphatically lemony,
- neither too sweet nor too tart,
- relatively low in fat but tastes like it contains tons of it,
- self-separated into three delicious layers of spongy cake on top, custard in the middle, and thick, creamy, lemony sauce at the bottom?
Search no more. That recipe is right here.
The recipe is for the most part fuss-free and amateur-friendly. There are only three things which I can think of that would ruin this pudding cake: failure to whip the egg whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks, failure to use the right pan size, and failure to employ the hot-water baking method properly. Experienced bakers, please ignore me. Not-so-experienced bakers, the following tips may be helpful to you.
The most important thing is to use a clean, completelygrease-free bowl and beater and there is no trace of egg yolks in your whites, failure to achieve fluffy egg whites with stiff peaks is highly unlikely even if you beat the whites by hand with a whisk.The second factor is the pan size. The recipe specifies a 1 1/2-quart baking dish, and that’s exactly what you should be using. A pan that’s too large or wide would completely ruin the desired separations.
The last factor is the method of baking in a bain marie. While all experienced bakers know how to do this, I’ve just come to realize many people, including a friend of mine who turned the term into something dirty involving a fictional woman named Marie, are not familiar with it.It’s simply a way of using hot water to make sure what you’re baking is baked gently and at a fixed temperature. This is great for baked goods with custardy texture. Just be sure that the water you pour into the outer pan is boiling hot, and, for safety, put the pan inside the oven before you pour the hot water into it. That’s easier to do than carrying the whole thing — boiling water and all — from your kitchen counter to the oven.
Other than that, the recipe works just as it is. No tweaks are needed. For this batch, however, I experimented with increasing the lemon juice to 1/2 cup and doubling the amount of flour to keep the starch:liquid ratio. This resulted in a more lemony, but a bit less saucy cake. I like it this way as well.