Delizia al limone (lemon cream-filled domes)

Makes 8 Desserts and puddings

IMG 1725 Amalfi


For the lemon curd

  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 2 egg yolks

For the custard

  • 250ml milk
  • seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla pod
  • 4 egg yolks
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 20g cornflour

For the lemon syrup

  • 100ml limoncello
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon

For the sponge domes

  • 125g ‘00’ or plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • seeds 1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest 1⁄2 orange (optional)
  • 60g salted butter, melted,plus extra to grease
  • a little finely grated lemon zest (optional), to decorate

For the cream filling

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 30g golden caster sugar
  • 80–100ml milk


Start by making the lemon curd. Put the sugar, butter and lemon zest and juice in a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.

Add the egg yolks and keep stirring until the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming.

To make the custard, heat the milk with the vanilla in a medium pan until warm. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, sugar and cornflour. Whisk a little of the warmed milk into the egg mixture, then pour this mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film and allow to cool.

To make the lemon syrup, put all the ingredients with 100ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

To make the sponge domes, preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Grease 8 semi-spherical moulds measuring 8cm in diameter and 4cm deep or 8 ovenproof cappuccino cups, then dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Sprinkle the sugar on the prepared baking tray and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.

Put the eggs in a large bowl and whisk for 1 minute with a handheld electric mixer. Pour in the warmed sugar and continue to whisk, adding the vanilla and orange zest, if using, until it leaves a ribbon trail on the surface. To check you’ve whisked enough, turn off the mixer and make a circle with the beaters over the bowl – the mixture should sit on the surface before sinking in. If there is no trail, continue to whisk.

Sift the flour into the bowl and gently fold in, then mix in the melted butter. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared moulds or cups and smooth the surface.

Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown and a metal skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out on to a wire rack. With the domes flat-side up on the rack, prick the surface with a cocktail stick and brush with half the lemon syrup. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.

In a bowl, mix the lemon curd and custard together. In a separate bowl, whisk the whipping cream and sugar for the cream filling together to form soft peaks and fold this into the lemon curd and custard mixture.

Put the mixture into a piping bag, then use the tip of the nozzle to make a small holein the base of the domes and fill with cream. Transfer the remaining cream into a bowl and mix with the milk so that it becomes the consistency of runny custard.

Put the filled domes, rounded side up, on the wire rack. Drizzle the remaining lemon syrup over to moisten the sponge, then pour the loosened cream over the domes to cover them. Decorate with grated lemon zest, if using, to serve.

This recipe featured in the July 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe, click here.

Recipes and photographs taken from The Amalfi Coast by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, photography by Helen Cathcart (Hardie Grant, £16.99).
IMG 1725 Amalfi
Recipes and photographs taken from The Amalfi Coast by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, photography by Helen Cathcart (Hardie Grant, £16.99).


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