Meyer-Lemon-Custard Cakes With Black-Sesame Crunch Dessert Recipe

Recipe adapted from Cynthia Wong, Empire State South, Atlanta

Meyer-Lemon-Custard Cakes With Black-Sesame Crunch
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Meyer-Lemon-Custard Cakes with Black-Sesame Crunch from Cynthia Wong, Empire State South, Atlanta
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 45 minutes
  • Black-Sesame Crunch
  • 1 stick / 4 ounces / 115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup / 5¼ ounces/ 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon / ½ ounces / 15 grams water
  • 1 tablespoon / 1½ ounces / 42 grams honey
  • ½ cup / 2½ ounces / 72 grams black sesame seeds
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 grams baking soda, sifted
  • Meyer-Lemon-Custard Cakes
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup / 8 ounces / 225 grams whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons /2¾ ounces / 78 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup / 7 ounces / 200 grams granulated sugar
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons / 1½ ounces / 45 grams Meyer lemon juice (or substitute 2 tablespoons / 1 ounce / 30 grams lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon / ½ ounce / 15 grams fresh orange juice)
  • 1 tablespoon / ¼ ounce/ 5 grams Meyer lemon zest (from about 1 medium Meyer lemon) or substitute zest from 1 medium lemon
  1. Make the Black-Sesame Crunch: In a large, deep saucepot set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Mix in the sugar, water and honey and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 300° on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds, salt and baking soda.
  2. Pour the sesame-seed mixture onto a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper and set aside at room temperature to cool until firm, 20 minutes. Use a knife to break the crunch up into small pieces and powder; store the pieces and powder in an airtight container until ready to use.
  3. Make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray six 4-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and place the ramekins in a high-sided baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and milk. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Gradually whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
  5. In a standing mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a large spatula to fold the egg whites into the batter in three equal additions, folding just until combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and pour hot water into the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the batter is puffed and lightly golden on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cakes sit in the baking dish until they are cool enough to handle. Run a paring knife or small offset spatula around the edge of each cake and invert onto serving plates. Serve warm or at room temperature alongside the sesame crunch.
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