The Musette: lemon cream

It’s not just my beloved who believes no meal is complete without dessert, all my French friends are of similar minds. They don’t necessarily want something hearty, often preferring something small, yet rich and decadent. This fits the bill.

I love this dessert because I can prepare it well in advance. It tastes delicious 15 minutes after it has come out of the oven, when it’s still warm and the centre a bit runny. Equally, about half an hour later, when it’s cooler and set but still soft and cloud-like. Or, the next day which, after a night in the fridge, means it’s deeply set, thick and fudgy. Yes, that’s three desserts for the price of one!

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 3 organic lemons, zested and juiced (6 tbsp)
  • 275g (10 oz) golden caster sugar
  • 6 medium organic eggs
  • 250g (9 oz) mascapone or double-cream
  • pinch sea salt


1. Finely grate the lemon zest, then juice the lemons and add both to the sugar. Typically, I’ll peel the zest and mix with the sugar in my food processor before adding the juice.

2. Beat the room-temperature eggs, pinch of salt and marscapone together, ensuring there are no lumps.

3. Combine the contents of both bowls, mix to thoroughly combine, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in the fridge for up to two days.

4. Preheat oven to 150°C/130°C fan/(300°F/265°F fan)/gas mark 2 and boil the kettle. Pour the mixture into 8 ramekins or similar small dishes, put the dishes onto a paper towel in a larger roasting tin and pour in the hot (not boiling) water until it comes half-way up the pots.

5. Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until they are just set but still have a bit of a wobble in the middle. They will set more as they cool.

6. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, or leave them for a couple of hours.

7. If you make them in advance, take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

8. I would typically serve these with a small buttery (shortbread) or crunchy (florentine) biscuit.

Sculpture Saturday #32

Today’s sculpture is by Picasso which is exhibited in the Picasso Museum, Paris. It was created in 1950 while he was in Vallauris. It’s of a girl skipping and is made from a mixture of materials including wood, ceramic, iron and plaster.

This challenge is kindly hosted by Susan Kelly over at Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition.

Share a photo of a statue or sculpture – go on, give it a go, you know you want to!

How coronavirus spreads

After my latest post on the Covid situation in France, I had quite a lively discussion with a number of you. This prompted me to look out an article which best explains how the virus is transmitted through the air, particularly indoors. Sadly, there’s too much information out there, much of it misinformation.

This excellent article (link also below) from the Spanish newspaper El Pais (albeit in English) beautifully illustrates the issue using the example of a living room, a bar and a classroom. While the coronovirus is not as infectious as measles, scientists now openly acknowledge the role played by the transmission of aerosols – tiny contagious particles exhaled by an infected person that remain suspended in the air of an indoor environment for up to nine hours – yes, that long!

How does the transmission work? And, more importantly, how can we stop it?


To end on a more lighthearted note, here’s a cartoon from one of my (many) cycling friends, which makes the same point.