Here’s my next attempt at a recipe from the Great British Bake Off Everyday baking book and to date is the most extravagant cake I’ve baked.
For the lemon curd –
70g unsalted butter, diced
125g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 3 medium unwaxed lemons
100ml lemon juice
2 medium eggs + 2 egg yolks at room temperature
For the whisked sponges –
4 medium eggs at room temperature
120g caster sugar
120g plain flour
pinch of salt
For the lemon syrup –
75g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 1 medium unwaxed lemon
For the meringue frosting –
2 medium egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
good pinch of salt
4 tablespoons water
300g caster sugar
Making the lemon curd
This is quite easy to make as it’s a case of chuck it all in the bowl and heat over a simmering pan of water. Not the best thing to make when you’re as impatient as me, as I was dying to turn the hob up as it was quite a slow process for the curd to thicken. The recipe warns against turning the heat up as can cause it to make scrambled egg instead. As it started to thicken, bubbles appeared and I panicked a little as I thought I could see lumps, so took it off the hob. As I poured it into the jar, it seemed a little runny so I think maybe it wasn’t egg lumps but the curd thickening more.
This was quite easy; eggs into the bowl and whisk until frothy and then fold in the flour in thirds with a metal spoon – I don’t why its a metal spoon? It’s an extremely light frothy almost mousse like mixture. Whilst the sponges are cooking, I was supposed to sprinkle some caster sugar on some baking paper – I didn’t have any so had to use foil, when the cakes come out of the oven the idea is to turn them out on the paper. This didn’t work so well, the sugar didn’t stick so seemed totally pointless. I would skip this step in future.
Next up, make the lemon syrup which is soaked into the sponge. I’m not sure if I heated this too long but it wasn’t liquid enough to tip over the sponge so I ended up chucking some more lemon juice into the pan. When it’s cooled for an hour, spread over your pre-made lemon curd and chill for a couple of hours.
Now for the fun part, the meringue frosting! All the ingredients went into a large bowl and whisked for a minute, then place over a simmering pan of water and whisk for 7 minutes; this makes it all glossy and cooks it. Remove from the pan and whisk for a further 5 minutes until the meringue is cold. It was whilst making the meringue I realised I could probably do with a deeper heatproof dish and not make do with a casserole dish as it was flicking everywhere! Hee hee
Next, paste on the meringue onto the cakes, the recipe said work quickly as I assume it would harden, I didn’t have a problem here. It was a really warm day and the meringue stayed quite pliable enough for me the cover the cake. Also, you’re then supposed to use a kitchen blow torch to brown off but I don’t have one so I just put it under the grill for a few seconds. It just meant that the sides were left white.
Ta dah! The finished Lemon Meringue Cake
Until next time bakers….