Pudding cakes are, as the name implies, cake and pudding together. But you don't make the cake and the pudding separately and then combine the two. No, you actually make one batter and, through the magic of science, the batter separates as it bakes and you get two distinct layers in one cup: cake on top with pudding on the bottom. It's like a self-saucing cake! I'm not entirely sure how it works but I think it has something to do with the water bath.
And by the way, never bake when you're in a rush. I was in a bit of a rush so I didn't let my cakes get golden on top. They were still done, but just not golden brown done. So they look a bit anemic. Also, my pudding layer ended up being a little bit runnier than a pudding, custard or curd should be. I'm not sure if baking it a couple minutes longer would have firmed up the pudding layer. But even with these minor issues, the pudding cakes still tasted really good.
Lemon Pudding Cakes
(adapted from Donna Hay's Modern Classics Book 2)
2 tbsp (1 ounce) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup milk (lowfat or whole)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter 6 (6-8 fluid ounce capacity) ovenproof cups or ramekins.
Using a mixer or a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in lemon zest and egg yolks until mixture is smooth. Mix in flour and baking powder. Add lemon juice and milk and mix until mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Make sure your bowl and whisk are clean or the egg whites may not reach full volume.) Gently fold beaten egg whites into the lemon mixture.
Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins. Place ramekins in a 9x13 inch pan and fill the pan with enough warm water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 350F for 23-27 minutes until slightly golden on top. The top should spring back when lightly touched but leave a slight indentation. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.