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Lemon Meringue Cake

Lemon Meringue Cake

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 225 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 220 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 185 g sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted

Lemon curd

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 125ml lemon juice
  • 150g cold unsalted butter, chopped

Italian meringue

  • 200g sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C Lightly grease 2x 23 cm spring from tins. Line bottom with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar with the lemon zest and rub together with your fingertips. Whisk in the sour cream, eggs and the lemon juice until well blended.
  4. Using a spatula, add the wet mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just to blend. Fold in the melted butter. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin, smoothing the top.
  5. Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown, the edge pulls away from the side of the tin, and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean - around 30mins.

Lemon curd

Makes 1½ cups.

  1. Place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and gradually add the butter, 3 pieces at a time, stirring continuously until melted.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, for 4-6 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Strain immediately into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.

Tip: You can store this lemon curd in an airtight container or sterilised jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Italian Meringue

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, stop stirring.
  2. Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 115°C on an instant-read or candy thermometer. Be cautious not to stir during this process. If sugar crystals appear on the sides of the pot, use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush them down into the syrup.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine egg whites and cream of tartar.
  4. Set the mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form. This means that when you lift the mixer's whisk, the peaks in the egg whites should gently form and slowly collapse back into themselves. This process should take about 2 minutes.
  5. With the mixer still running, carefully and slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg white mixture. Safety note: Hot sugar can cause severe burns, so exercise caution while doing this step.
  6. After adding all the sugar syrup, increase the mixer speed to high and whip the mixture until stiff peaks form. This should take a few minutes. You'll notice that the mixture becomes glossy and holds its shape when the whisk is lifted.

Assemble:

  1. Place one cake onto a cake stand:
    • Start by placing one of the cake layers onto your cake stand or serving platter.
  2. Spread lemon curd over the cake:
    • Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a generous layer of lemon curd evenly over the top of the first cake layer.
  3. Place the second cake on top:
    • Gently place the second cake layer on top of the lemon curd-covered first layer. This creates the cake's base structure.
  4. Spread Italian meringue over the top:
    • Carefully spread a thick layer of Italian meringue over the top cake layer. Use a spatula to create swirls and peaks in the meringue. This not only adds a decorative touch but also allows the meringue to caramelize beautifully.
  5. Torch the meringue:
    • Using a kitchen torch, evenly torch the meringue all over. Hold the blow torch about an 3cm or so away from the meringue and move it in a circular motion until you achieve a golden brown, caramelised finish.
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