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!
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.