Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lemon meringue cake

This is the cake I made for the Shelter cake sale. It turned in to a bit of a weekend project, as I did spend the best part of Sunday making the various components. However, it was definitely worth it. I'm not sure a cake could taste any more lemony or have such a pleasing combinations of textures.

It is a lemon sponge with a meringue topping decorated with lemon icing and filled with cream and fresh lemon curd. There's also a beautiful sticky lemon drizzle in the lower layer.
Lemon meringue cake
3 eggs
6oz plain flour
6oz butter
6oz caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
Zest of two lemons
Juice of a lemon
100ml double cream
Meringue topping:
2 egg white
2oz caster sugar
3tbsp lemon juice
1.5tbsp golden syrup
Lemon curd filling (makes enough for about 2 jam jars):
12oz caster sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
Grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
4oz butter
Lemon icing:
1dsp lemon juice
6dsp icing sugar

1. Cream together the butter and sugar.
2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until combined. Add some of the flour after each egg to prevent the mixture splitting.
3. Beat in the lemon zest and juice.
4. Sift in the remaining flour and fold until combined.
5. Divide the cake mixture between two 8" greased and lined cake tins. Put slightly more mix in one of the tins.
6. Whisk the two egg whites. Once stiff, gradually add in the sugar until smooth and shiny. [If the egg white don't want to whisk try adding a touch of cream of tartar to help the process.]
7. Spread the meringue over the cake batter which is the smaller of the two.
8. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until the sponge is cooked (the top will spring back and the sides will have come away from the sides of the tin). Leave the cake with the meringue topping in the oven and cook for a further 20minutes.
9. Pierce holes in the top of the first cake removed from the oven with a skewer. Warm the lemon juice and golden syrup together and slowly spoon over the cake until absorbed by the sponge. Remove from the tin once the cake has cooled.
10. Whilst the cakes are cooling make the lemon curd. Place the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and suspend over a saucepan containing hot water. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes.
11. To construct the cake, spread lemon curd over the drizzled cake. Whip the cream and spread over. Sandwich with the meringue topped cake.
12. To decorate with lemon icing warm the lemon juice and then add enough icing sugar to make a smooth thick icing. Drizzle over the cake.

Note: I've entered this into the Tesco Food Club Bake Off competition. The winners and runners up with the most original and appealing recipe will be picked out by the competition judge on Monday 19th April and notified within 21 days...

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