An entire lemon was used in the cake – peel and all. Combined with the intense flavour of the lemon curd filling, this cake is really made for a lemon lover (like me).
It all starts off with simmering some lemons.
The lemons are then blended (with the blender placed on the floor where there was actually light) and used in the sponge.
Meanwhile a super intensely lemon-y curd is prepared as a filling.
I refrigerated my cake layers as I was too lazy to make and decorate the cake on the same day. I also pointed a knife threateningly at them.
The curd was put in its place by a border of mellow, marshmallow-y swiss meringue.
The remaining meringue was then torched…
Or baked to create crispy meringue kisses which not only provided texture but also helped hide that ugly little border where cake met plate.
The end result was a very bright, refreshing cake and a very happy me.
The cake recipe was from the Queen herself, Mary Berry. I used the same lemon curd recipe I used in my Lemon Curd Ice Cream, and the same Swiss meringue frosting I used in my Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting.
Ingredients (makes a 2 thick-layered 6″ cake or a normal 2-layered 8″ cake I guess)
- 1 small thin-skinned lemon (see notes)
- 275g softened butter
- 275g caster sugar
- 275g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 medium eggs
Swiss meringue frosting/meringue kisses
- 3 large egg whites
- 160g granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 100g sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- The zest from the lemons you used
- 57g melted butter
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Place the lemon in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 20 mins, or until soft and tender. Drain, cut the lemons in half, and remove any pips (like with a fork or something since the lemons are still hot).
- Place the lemons (everything – including the skin) into a food processor and process until smoothish but still chunky. Set aside.
- Mix the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Then add the other ingredients in and mix. Stir in the lemon pulp until incorporated.
- Butter and line two tins. Fill the tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 30 mins, or until golden brown and shrinking from the edge of the tins. If a knife is inserted it should come out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Leave to cool for five mins before turning the cakes out on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Place the egg whites into a double boiler. Whisk with an electric whisk until the egg whites are foamy, then add the sugar and salt. Whisk until you cannot feel the sugar grains in the egg whites any more (should take about 3 mins).
- Remove the bowl from heat, and whisk until the meringue is cool and you achieve stiff peaks. Mix in vanilla.
- Mix the yolks with the sugar vigorously. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
- Microwave on medium-high for 1.5 mins. Stir.
- Repeat on medium or medium-high at 1 mins interval, stirring every time after you heat until the curd is thick.
- Sieve the curd.
- Level the cake layers. Smear a little bit of meringue onto the plate (to stop the cake from sliding, hopefully) and place your first cake layer on top.
- Pipe a border of swiss meringue around the perimeter of the cake. Then fill in the middle with the lemon curd. Don’t go too overboard or your cake layers will slide around.
- Place your second cake layer on top. Cover the whole thing with meringue and torch it. Then place in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, place your remaining meringue into a piping bag and pipe little meringue kisses onto some baking paper.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 140ºC for about 40 mins. You should be able to lift the meringue kiss off the baking paper. When fresh out of the oven it’d still feel spongy but let it sit for a while and it’d turn crispy.
- Decorate your cake with the meringue kisses.
- The cake was a little close-textured, not sure if it was supposed to be that way or if I made it wrong. Still tasted good.
- You’d probably end up with extra lemon curd. But I served the extra lemon curd to guests for them to dollop extra onto their slice. Can’t have too much of that curd, man.
- The meringue kisses won’t survive for more than a day probably, and will become soft and spongy unless you keep them in an airtight container.
- The recipe said to boil 1 lemon but the first picture shows me boiling 2 lemons. Yeah, that’s because I only ended up using half of my lemon puree anyway.
- It’s really important to use thin-skinned lemons (when you press it the skin should give easily) or your cake layers will be bitter.
- If making your cake layers in advance, wait for them to cool completely before wrapping tightly in cling film and, if you’re feeling real paranoid, placing it in a wrapped cake in a ziplock bag. You can either store at room temperature for about a day if you live in a cool dry area or in the fridge.