This cake was vegan before I slathered it with Italian meringue and stuffed it with Lemon Curd. Thankfully you can now easily make vegan meringue at home, so everyone can enjoy the delights of a lemon-meringue concoction 🙂
It was tart, sweet, with a rich crumb and… I couldn’t think of a joke to do with the ‘tart, sweet and rich’ comment so perhaps you will have to imagine your own, I’m a little tired today 😀
I tried to do an ombre effect in the icing but I didn’t have food colouring and only used some leftover curd. It just thinned out the icing so it wasn’t very successful, so hopefully I will have another opportunity to try it again 🙂
It makes a damn big cake, so maybe half the recipe if you are baking for the sake of it 🙂
Lemon Meringue Gateau
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp vinegar
6 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
3 egg whites
We begin with the lemon curd filling! Over low heat, mix the sugar and lemon juice until dissolved. When it has reduced slightly, mix in the egg yolks and lemon zest, and continue to stir over low heat until thickened further. When the curd coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line (or a smiley face!) without the curd filling it back in. Pour into a bowl or container and cool completely, then chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease two 20cm diameter cake tins.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and lemon zest until combined. Make a well in the centre and pour in the lemon juice, vinegar and oil. Pour the water on top and whisk or mix until there are no lumps left. Pour, divided as evenly as possible, into the tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.
Before you make the icing, you need to have everything ready! Cut the cakes into two layers and spread some lemon curd in between. Place the bottom layer on your cake serving plate or stand.
For the meringue, place your egg whites in a super clean bowl, either separate or as part of your mixer. Now in a saucepan, gently heat the sugar and water until 118 degrees Celsius, making sure there are no sugar crystals on the sides. When almost at the right temperature, start to whisk the egg whites until frothy. When the sugar syrup is ready to go, beat the egg whites on high and incorporate the sugar syrup in a thin stream at the side of the bowl. Continue to whip on high for a few more minutes until cooled. On top of the first layer of cake, spread a layer of meringue and place the other layer on top.
Working quickly, dump most of the meringue frosting on the top of the cake and start to spread it down the sides of the cake. I added a little bit of lemon curd to the rest of the frosting and spread it down the bottom of the cake, giving a bit of an ombre effect. This is optional, and for a more intense effect, use food colouring. Otherwise, the frosting becomes too liquid-y.
Leave to set and serve! It’s best eaten on the day it’s made, because the frosting can become sticky. Makes a large cake.