The story below is from our July/August 2015 issue. For the full story download our FREE iOS app or view our digital edition for FREE today!
Black Hen's Linda West shares her recipe for lemon pudding cakes with blood orange sauce. It's a perfect summer dessert!
Linda and Cunninghame West are first and foremost a team. As the proprieters and chefs of The Black Hen & Bar Blue in Blacksburg, they balance one another out well: Linda is detail-oriented, focusing on sweets, while Cunninghame sees the big picture, with his strengths gearing towards savory.
You might know the couple through their first restaurant, The Bank in Pearisburg. After selling that in 2009, they opened Black Hen. While only eight months old, the restaurant is thriving thanks to the supportive community and fantastic food.
Cunninghame is a Giles County native, with over 26 years of experience in the kitchen. He’s worked for James Beard-celebrated chefs in San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Houston.
Linda, a Seattle native, graduated from the London Cordon Bleu and landed a job as pastry chef back in her hometown. It was there she met her future husband and business partner.
Linda is lactose intolerant and uses that to her advantage. Patrons know she takes dietary needs seriously and she’s passionate about incorporating gluten-free items into her desserts. She’d like to eventually add more vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free products to the menu.
Their two boys, ages 7 and 9, even have their own space downstairs where they are able to do their homework and play video games. Though, Linda admits, they might sneak up to the kitchen for a piece of chocolate every so often!
In their spare time, Cunninghame enjoys pottery and ceramic art. Linda loves to ski and hike, as well as travel whenever possible.
Lemon Pudding Cakes with Blood Orange Sauce
- softened butter for ramekins
- zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped
- ¾ cup granulated sugar plus additional for ramekins
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Grease 8 4-oz ramekins with butter and coat with sugar.
- Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and egg yolks in mixing bowl.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
- Whip egg whites in third bowl until soft peaks form.
- Whisk dry ingredients with buttermilk mixture; fold in egg whites gently, a third at a time.
- Ladle batter into ramekins and place in a roasting pan (pour warm water around them until halfway up sides).
- Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes; remove foil, rotate pan, and bake additional 20-25 minutes until pudding is golden.