When I was about 7 or 8 and at the height of my Fimo Clay stage (before the water colour phase but after the decoupage stage, and concurrent with the make your own hair clips phase) my sister was at the height of her Martha Stewart phase.
I’m not sure an 11 year old has ever loved Martha like my sister.
So, when the Easter edition of the magazine came out that year with Peter Rabbits Garden cake on the cover, a simple carrot cake, with Oreo crumbs on top and carefully placed vegetables made out of marzipan in artful rows, we knew we had met our match.
Nina baked the cake and made the fondant white picket fence while I painstakingly dyed all the veggies (we couldn’t find paste food colouring so I would mix the colours really brightly and then let them dry out for a few hours and then go back to making them so the consistency would be better.) I painted the bottoms of cabbages a deep purple and let the edges stay a crisp green, I laboured for weeks on that cake.
When it was done we brought it over to our Aunt and Uncles house, and when it arrived to the table, my sister told them that she had done it all.
So I did what I always did in such occasions, I ran and locked myself in the bathroom crying hysterically and promising never to come out.
Which is all a long way of saying that every Easter after that my mom made a basic white cake in a cake mold shaped like a lamb and covered the whole thing with shredded coconut and called it a day.
So when I volunteered to bring desert for Easter dinner last week I had no idea what to bring. Was coconut cake traditional? There’s nothing fresh to make pies with, no fruits to fill layers of angel food cakes, no anything really. Until I realized of course that I have lemon curd in my fridge.
So it may not be overly festive but hot damn this cake was good.
It will last a day or two in the fridge so you can make it the day before and relax about it. It’s quite showy with the burnt edges but it’s really beautiful without, if you don’t have a blow torch, or the patience to do it all with a BBQ lighter. But most importantly, it’s fresh, and light, and not to sweet and not to heavy, so it makes a wonderful end to a big meal.
Lemon Meringue Layer Cake
Angel Food Cake- recipe follows
1 cup Lemon Curd- you can half this recipe for it.
Italian Meringue- Recipe follows
Angel Food cake
10 Egg whites
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup Pastry Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
Zest of 1 Lemon
Tip: when your seperating this many eggs at once, have 2 bowls for your whites and one for your yolks. As you separate them, put the yolks in the bowl and then transfer the whites over individually. That way if one of the yolks breaks and it gets in the white, you only lose one egg instead of the whole batch.
Preheat oven to 350F
Sift 1 cup of sugar with the pastry flour and the salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks.
Slowly add in the sugar teaspoon by teaspoon until all the sugar is incorporated and the when you bring the whisk up the egg stands at stiff peaks.
Carefully fold the flour into the meringue.
And pour it into an unlined ungreased 9 inch round pan without a detachable bottom.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until it has risen nicely and an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Immediately turn the cake upside down and let it cool completely inside the the cake pan, upside down. When cooled remove.
Cut the cake into 3 layers.
Spread a thick layer of curd in between each layer.
3 Egg Whites
1/2 cup Sugar
Over a small pot filled with an inch of simmering water whisk the egg whites and the sugar until it is quite hot to the touch. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this stage.)
Pour the mixture into the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until nearly cooled and very light and glossy.
Immediately smooth over cake.
Be generous in your icing and allow for lots of artful swoops.
Then carefully with a blow torch on medium or a BBQ lighter burn the edges of the cake.
And then eat!