The boys and I are prolific bakers of immense proportions …. Modesty was never our strongest point ! Ahem ! And the Great British Bake Off is a must in our house … even when it’s not on the TV we watch reruns .. notebook in hand !! Oh gawd … I sound desperate !!! So when Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps announced our very own GBBO .. I jumped at the chance !
The premise is that each week we will bake something to fit in with the theme of the programme ! This week was cake .. very fortunate for someone who owns their own cake business ( Who Me ?? !!) and the categories to choose from were :
Angel Food cake
Chocolate Showstopper !
As luck would have it my sister wanted a cake for her husband who is leaving the country for the Middle East next week for the forseeable .. and so the Lemon Meringue (Sandwich) cake was born …. (Now it may seem a little lengthy but definitely worth the toil)
Lemon Meringue Cake
250g Lemon Curd ( Homemade or from the shop it matters not)
4 medium eggs (room temp)
120g caster sugar
120g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Juice & finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 medium egg whites (room temp)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (Find it in the baking ailse)
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp water
300g caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (160 fan/gas Mark 4).
Grease and line 2 8″ tins.
Sponges :Whisk the eggs until they are frothy.. add the sugar and whisk again for around 5 minutes until the mixture before you looks “mousse like” .. stop whisking when the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk out ! Now sift in a third of the flour and fold in gently with a big metal spoon. Add the rest of the flour in 2 batches and stop folding when the flour can no longer be seen.
Divide the mixture equally into the two tins and bake in the oven for 17 minutes !
When baked turn the cakes out immediately onto wire cooling racks that you have lined with greaseproof paper sprinkled with sugar ! carefully remove the cake lining paper and leave the sponges to go cold ( this doesn’t take long)
Syrup: Now make the lemon syrup . Put the sugar , lemon juice and zest into a small pan stirring frequently util all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. take off the heat but keep the syrup warm.
Place one sponge ( upside down) onto a cake board/plate/platter etc and brush liberally with the syrup. Brush the second half with the rest of the syrup still upside down , on the rack . Leave for an hour ! Now smother the bottom layer with lemon curd ….set the second sponge on top ( syrup side down) . Cover gently with cling film and pop the cake in the fridge for a few hours ( I told you it was lengthy) .
When its meringue time here’s what to do !
Meringue : Put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and beat with a handheld mixer for a minute or two. Now pop the bowl over a pan of simmering water ( you now the rules .. Don’t let the bowl touch the water .. baking suicide) and whisk for all you’re worth for at least 7 minutes ..the meringue should be thick and glossy by now. remove from the heat and whisk again for another 5 minutes. Now grab your cake out the fridge and smother that mother with meringue frosting as soon and as quickly as you possibly can creating a masterpiece of sugary swirls and peaks … You get the picture !! ( Use a palette knife if you’ve got one … if you haven’t then a round bladed knife will work admirably). Now for the the piece de resistance … if you’ve got a blow torch ( as you do) switch that scarily hot and frightening critter on and lightly brown the meringue. Now leave the cake uncovered in a cool place to firm up !
Next day ( seriously ) .. eat that tangy sugary spongey goodness and never look back … !!
Now to fit in with GBBO guidelines .. forget all the hanging about and fridging sponges for hours etc .. just bake cool , syrup , sandwich , meringue and blowtorch !! But whatever you do …
Fancy joining in with The Great Bloggers Bake Off ??? Head on over and visit Helen Hollywood at http://www.thecrazykitchen.co.uk/p/the-great-bloggers-bake-off.html and/or Jenny Berry at http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/category/gbbo