Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lemon Mini Cakes with Berries

When you are passionate about food, when you cook a lot and experiment in the kitchen and constantly read about food, you develop imagination and the sixth culinary sense. And then, just by reading recipes, you can tell which dishes should be good, which combination of ingredients should work, and which are interesting and worth trying.

This is how I felt about today's dessert. Each time when I looked at this recipe in my secret notebook I knew that this dessert could be great. The idea of baking a cake in water sounded intriguing. Dessert prepared like this are always very delicate and this one seemed to be a fusion of cake and a pudding-like dessert. So when I made it last weekend I did not get disappointed. It was delicate and fluffy inside and creamy at the bottom, sweet but at the same explicitly tart and very refreshing--a perfect summer dessert.

These cakes are made separately in small ramekins. When they cool down it is best to take them out on serving plates. I would suggest to make the same day you intend to serve them as the soft, creamy top part may dry a bit the next day. Served with crème fraîche or lightly whipped cream and fresh berries these lemon cakes will satisfy and impress any palate.

Lemon Mini Cakes with Berries
(Makes eight portions)

5 tbsp room temperature butter plus extra 1 tbsp melted,
1 and 1/4 cup sugar,
5 eggs separated, at room temperature,
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk,
1 tsp grated lemon zest,
1/2 cup lemon juice,
1/2 cup all purpose flour,
1/2 cup crème fraîche or whipped cream for decoration,
1 cup of mix berries.

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Brush the bottom and walls of eight 5 oz ramekins with melted butter and dust with sugar.
3. Using an electric mixer beat butter with 1/2 cup sugar until pale.
4. Add egg yolks beating after each addition then fold in flour and lemon zest. Beat all the ingredients for about 2 minutes.
5. Pour into the mixture milk and lemon juice. Beat again until smooth.
6. In a large bowl beat the whites until soft peak. Add rest of the sugar and beat until whites become shiny. Using a spatula fold whites into the lemon batter. Divide among ramekins.
7. Place ramekins in a baking tin with taller walls. Add hot water up to the half of the heights of the ramekins and place the baking tin in the oven.

8. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tops of the cakes become set and slightly gold.
9. Cool cakes completely, then reverse on serving plates. Decorate and serve at room temperature.

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