Recently there have been complaints from the cake-eating department in our house that there have only been ‘healthy cakes’ on offer for like - Ever! You know, the kind that are made from dates, cashew nuts and have Absolutely. No. Sugar in them.
This request to the cooking department came in just the right time as there was a glut of eggs and lemons in the fridge - the perfect combination for a proper, sugar filled cake of deliciousness!
Interestingly, it is gluten free - but don’t worry. This is true naughty cake stuff - the real deal!
And you know, every now and then I do believe there is a place for a proper cake full of all the things that would make your dieticians roll their eyes in despair.
You’re going to need a glut of 4 eggs and at least 2 large or 3 medium lemons for this recipe.
You are also going to need to know how to separate an egg. (if you were asleep in your home-economics class at school when they taught this oh so important skill, fret not) We now have google - so go check it out.
With the egg whites, you are going to make 3 crunchy meringue bases that will be stacked on top of one another.
With the egg yellows, you are going to make a large amount of lemon curd.
For those who’ve never heard of this before, it’s a kind of thick lemon sauce. This recipe creates more than you’ll need for your cake and a good thing that is, too.
Because this curd can be used for so many things and lasts at least a month in your fridge.
I usually spread it on toast or crackers, but it can also be used to fill lemon tarts, or sandwich all kinds of cakes or muffins. Believe me - this is a very. useful. thing.
I realize I don’t usually mention timings when writing up recipes but just to say, you’ll need about half an hour to make the curd and the meringue and another hour and half or so for cooking and then a bit more time for proper cooling.
I usually make everything the day before I need the cake then quickly throw it together when eating time comes around.
So, let’s get baking!
LEMON CURD INGREDIENTS
4 egg yolks
200 g caster sugar
juice of 2 large lemons / 3 medium lemons
grated lemon peel of 2 large / 3 medium lemons
300ml boiling water
50 grams cornflour (I think this is called cornstarch in some places - anyway - it’s the thing you use to thicken your sauces - arrowroot will also work)
LEMON CURD METHOD
- Prepare one large jam jar by sterilizing with boiling water.
- Place egg yolks with sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and boiling water in a saucepan and mix well.
- Blend the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the lemon egg mixture.
- Bring to the boil and allow to thicken.
- Pour into jam jar. (this is for use another day - in oh so many deIicious things)
- Put the remainder in a bowl and allow to cool. It’s going to create the yummy filling for your cake.
PAVLOVA CAKE INGREDIENTS
4 egg whites at room temperature
2 pinches of cream of tartar (if you can find it - I usually use baking powder and all works out fine)
225 grams caster sugar
plus a 200ml tub of whipping cream ( or a mixture of 1/2 whipping cream and 1/2 Greek yoghurt)
Some pretty fruit to decorate - I chose autumnal black berries but anything fruity will work just find)
PAVLOVA CAKE METHOD
- First, get two baking trays and cover them with non-stick parchment.
- Draw 3 circles each around 20 cm in diameter.(You’ll have one tray with 2 circles and the other one with 1)
- Heat oven to 120 degrees C.
- Put egg whites in very clean bowl (this is important - any hint of fat or oil and your eggs are not going to go all lovely and white a fluffy - you have been warned)
- Whisk with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds until foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar if you have it ( or baking powder)
- Whisk again until the whites form soft peaks when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.
- Now, whisk in 4 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, continuing to whisk.
- A thick, glossy meringue will form after about a minute where the peaks stand on the their own.
- Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the mixture and fold in very carefully with a metal spoon.
- Now, spoon a third of the mixture on each circle and spread around to make even disc shapes.
- Now, pop in your pre-heated oven and bake for one hour.
- After one hour, check - your circles should be crisp and dry.
- If they are still a little sticky or soft, bake for another 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven off.
- Leave the discs in the oven until it has cooled.
- Whip up the cream until thick
- Fold in Greek yoghurt if using.
- Sandwich all the pavlova circles with first a layer of lemon curd then cream.
- I usually put a nice dollop of cream on the very top then add fruit, some mint leaves and sprinkle with icing sugar.
- This is the creative part - so feel free and enjoy!
That’s it folks!
Enjoy and until next time,