Posted on January 20 2012

Tartine Baking Project: #34 Lemon-Buttermilk Pudding Cake

This just sounds fake.  Some made up fictitious dessert that some kindergartener energetically spun as she told her class what she had for dinner last night.  “And then we had lemon-buttermilk-pudding-cake-brownie-popsicles.  They were, um, so good.”  That kid was onto something, though.

Turns out, baking this cake is a wee lesson in chemistry.  Part of what makes this work is the fact that it’s imperative to use full fat buttermilk, which is impossible to find.  I called around to different stores, and come to find out, it’s not a fluke.  Stores just don’t really carry it.  My friend Rosie works at the People’s Food Co-op, and when I called her there she mentioned making it myself.  That hadn’t even crossed my mind!

There are many ways to do this, but I’m sharing the route I took which proved to be quick, easy and a successful full fat buttercream substitute.  For every cup of whole milk you add 1 tablespoon white vinegar.  That’s it.  You let that concoction sit for ten minutes and you’re good to go.  Go find something to make with buttermilk so you can do this.


I’m improving my egg separating skills.  Not perfect, but no shells this time!

I am so in love with that zester. 

Light, airy…batter?  Not sure if that’s the right word.  Whatever it is, I used a ladle to accurately fill up the ramekins.

I was entirely stoked to use these ramekins!  Who doesn’t love these, y’know?  I could eat almost anything out of them.  Actually, no.  My brain is flooding with a million things I would never eat, even from a cute little ramekin. 

Relaxing in their water bath.

I was promised something that, through the alchemy of baking, would magically turn into a layer of cake floating atop a delicious pudding.  Even having it spelled out before me, it wasn’t until I sunk my fork in, that I realized it had really worked, and a spoon would actually be more useful.  There was a perfectly baked cake floating like some tectonic plate atop the molten lava of warm lemony pudding.  I had a couple of girlfriends over, and we stood in the kitchen and spent a few blissful minutes taking small bites and describing how this lemon-buttermilk pudding cake truly made us feel.  The words amazing, magical, unreal, and insane may or may not have been used.  I don’t remember really, we chased this amazing cake with some wine.

 

  1. lettye says:

    Where’s the recipe??

    • Emily says:

      Good question! Since I’m baking everything in the Tartine cookbook, I can’t provide the recipes for everything I bake due to copyright. Basically, this blog is a way of documenting my yearlong project. I do share recipes on occasion and often do giveaways of the cookbook! (Another one is coming soon – so stay tuned!!!) This recipe alone is worth owning this cookbook!

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  3. Wendy Stewart says:

    I make buttermilk with milk and lemon juice… It’s perfect for banana bread!

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