Lemon Delight

At Lo Stuzzichino we enjoyed a wonderful dessert that was simply called Lemon Delight, showing off the fantastic lemons from nearby Sorrento. It is layers of sponge cake with a lemon cream, garnished with lemon zest. I decided to make my own version and it turned out great. You could enhance it by adding some limoncello, but the virgin version is already great. It is of course important to use the best quality untreated lemons that you can find for this dessert.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

For the spong cake

4 eggs

90 grams flour

10 grams cornstarch

100 grams sugar

grated zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

butter and flour for the springform pan

For the lemon cream

250 grams mascarpone

4 eggs, separated

25 grams (2 Tbsp) sugar

60 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice

grated zest of 1 lemon

For serving

grated zest of 1 lemon

3 Tbsp limoncello (optional)

Instructions

The best way to get a fluffy sponge cake is my beating the eggs au bain marie. A simple alternative is to warm up the eggs (not cook them) by placing them in hot water (60C/140F at the start) for 10 minutes.

Select 6 tumblers with a diameter of about 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) and check that they fit in the springform pan you are using, to make sure that you will have enough sponge cake.

Grease two springform pans with a diameter of 24 cm (9.5″) with butter and dust with flour.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (not fan forced).

Combine 4 warm eggs, grated zest of 1 lemon, 100 grams sugar, and a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a balloon whisk (or a large bowl with a separate electric beater, or you could even whisk by hand if you are up for 10 minutes of vigorous whisking by hand).

Whisk at high speed…

…until the mixture is very fluffy and has increased quite a bit in volume.

Sift 90 grams flour and 10 grams cornstarch and add it to the egg mixture.

Carefully fold the flour and cornstarch into the eggs, working from below with a silicon spatula, trying to keep the mixture as airy as possible.

Make sure that you have incorporated all of the flour, then transfer the batter into the two prepared springform pans, leveling the top with the silicon spatula.

Bake at 180C/350F (not fan forced) until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow the two layers of sponge cake to cool completely. They should be about 1.5 to 2 centimeters (3/4 inch) high.

To make the lemon cream, combine 4 egg yolks, 250 grams mascarpone, 25 grams sugar, and the grated zest of 1 lemon in the bowl of a food processor.

Process until smooth.

Juice the lemons after zesting them.

Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the mascarpone mixture, and pulse a few times to incorporate it.

Beat 4 egg whites in a clean bowl with a clean balloon whisk until they are fluffy, then add 50 grams sugar with the motor running.

Keep beating until the meringue is like snow.

Add a quarter of the meringe to the mascarpone mixture, and stir to incorporate to loosen up the mixture.

Gently fold the remaining 3/4 of the meringue into the mixture in three parts with a silicon spatula, working from below, and trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

If your tumblers have a conic shape like mine, find a glass with the right diameter to cut out rounds of spong cake with. (If the tumblers are straight, you could also the tumblers themselves to cut out rounds.)

Cut out 6 rounds of spong cake, and place one on the bottom of each tumbler.

If using limoncello: place the sponge cake with the golden brown side down, and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of limoncello on each round of sponge cake.

Place a dollop of the lemon cream on top of the sponge cake, using about half of the lemon cream.

Cut six more rounds of sponge cake, and place them on top of the lemon cream in the tumblers.

If using limoncello: place the sponge cake with the golden brown side down, and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of limoncello on each round of sponge cake.

Finish by placing lemon cream on top of the sponge in each tumbler.

Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to firm up and allow the flavors to develop.

Take out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon zest.

Wine pairing

This is wonderful with Moscato d’Asti.

8 thoughts on “Lemon Delight

  1. This dessert looks amazingly delicious! I can almost smell the delicious lemon flavor. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to get your hands on lemons around here, but I’ll absolutely have to try this recipe with limes. 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish this had been posted while we were in Arizona where our dear friends always have an incredible lemon crop this time of year. Here, lemons (much like everything else) are ridiculous but as luck would have it, I buy lemons on sale and freeze their zest and juice for future use! I know this lovely dessert would be a huge hit at our dinner parties. Hope you and Kees have a happy and healthy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Vanilla was always expensive but for some reason, during COVID, it became ridiculous (Costco had pure vanilla extract 500 mL for $39.00 Canadian but now it’s back to normal, around $15.00 Canadian). Lemons are usually $1.00 each and the organic ones are more.

        Liked by 1 person

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