It was Alastair’s birthday in late March, and as per tradition for the past seven years, there was birthday lasagne to celebrate.
A LOT of birthday lasagne. Like… four litres of bolognaise sauce a lot. (Go big, right?!)
Of course, it wasn’t just us eating birthday lasagne. I invited a few people over and naturally there had to be birthday cake. Not for Alastair, because he doesn’t like cake that much, but for everyone else since it’s “not a birthday without birthday cake”.
I was flipping through magazines at the supermarket and came across this lemon curd meringue cake. The sole reason I decided that I would make it is because I had a container of lemon curd sitting in the fridge wanting to be used.
(Who just has lemon curd sitting in their fridge? Me, apparently. And for some reason I thought making a lemon tart would be too time consuming. I know, I know, it would’ve been the same amount of effort.)
The cake is a meringue base, topped with lemon curd and double cream. I jazzed it up by decorating the top with spun sugar, which was really fun to make, though the sugar didn’t cope very well in the fridge.
It’s definitely an interesting cake. It’s not a pavlova style meringue – the meringue bakes fairly hard and crunchy, and with the inclusion of almonds and chocolate, it’s a bit like eating a Ferrero Rocher. I think it would be nicer as a softer style meringue, but everyone seemed happy with it. The star of the night was birthday lasagne anyway.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup (150g) almond kernels
- 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
- 125g dark chocolate, coarsely grated
- 1 & 1/4 cups (300ml) double cream
- 250g cold butter, chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 additional egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (160ml) lemon juice
- 1 & 1/3 cups (400g) caster sugar
- Make the lemon curd by placing the butter in a medium saucepan.
- Strain the eggs into the pan and add the lemon juice and sugar.
- Stir on low heat, without letting it boil, for about 10 minutes or until the curd thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Transfer curd to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until completely cold.
- Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 24cm springform pan. Insert the base upside down (for easier removal) and line the base with baking paper.
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for about 12 minutes or until the skins split. Allow to cool and then chop them finely.
- Beat the egg whites and ¼ cup of sugar in an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and beat on high speed for about five minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.
- Gently fold the grated chocolate and chopped nuts into the meringue mixture.
- Spread the meringue into your prepared pan.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes and leave to cool in the pan.
- Beat the double cream until soft peaks form and fold in the cooled lemon curd.
- Spoon the curd mixture on top of the completely cool meringue and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Decorate with spun sugar if desired.
Adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly