September 2, 2009

Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes with Blueberry Compote

Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes with Blueberry Compote

I attempted to make a pudding cake (and it just so happened to be lemon) a long time ago, and I thought I'd failed the recipe disastrously. I was expecting a soft, moist, rich lemon cake...but instead I got a cake that, while tasted good, seemed to go texture crazy somewhere during the baking process. The top layer of the cake was light and fluffy, spongy even...while the bottom of the cake was, well, pudding. It was unbaked, almost like batter. I ended up throwing the entire thing away!

Fast forward to today with my stellar baking skills, and I've got a delicious, amazing, and interestingly textured dessert. Oh, had I only known back then that this is how a lemon cake is supposed to be! Two layers: one like a light chiffon cake; and underneath it, warm, luscious, custard-like pudding. And the lemon flavor is out of this world! It's got the tartness and sweetness we would expect, but the cake textures give it some subtlety. The cake on top is feather-light, almost like a foam that melts as soon as it hits your tongue. The pudding is where the lemony punch is, and it combines with the cake to give you something you wouldn't imagine. Topped with a quick and easy blueberry compote (oh yes, blueberry and lemon go SO well together), this is one dessert you will want to make time and time again.

The prep is simple, but could be lengthy. Beating egg whites and sugar to form a meringue (that will be folded into the "cake" batter) can take a while, so I'd suggest putting those beaters on high as soon as possible to shave down some minutes. A note about the baking time: the recipe suggests 25-30 minutes, but I found mine needed almost a full hour. Maybe it was the water bath, and I used too much water? Regardless, it was well worth the wait! Each cake is individually served in its own 6-ounce ramekin, making this the perfect amount for a dessert.

Make again? Definitely. I'd consider this a winter dessert due to its being served warm, but to have summer fruits in the cold is quite a treat! (Actually it's good served chilled too, and leftovers keep well for at least a couple days!)

Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes with Blueberry Compote
Vegetarian Times, January 2006

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