I don’t often make big cakes, but I do try to make this a few times a year. I love the contrast of the soft sponge and the crunchy meringue and the filling is pretty yummy too. I also love that it’s not too tricky to make although getting the cake out of the tins without cracking the meringue it pretty much impossible, but that’s where the icing sugar comes in. It hides a multitude of sins! Plus I like the home-made look that you end up with.
3 unwaxed lemons
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour (sifted)
6 tbsp. milk
2 medium egg whites
100g caster sugar
250g tub mascarpone
Half a 450g jar of lemon curd
2 tbsp sifted icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
Preheat the oven to 160C (gas mark 3), or 140C for fan assisted ovens and line two 20cm round cake tins with greaseproof paper. I line the sides too so they don’t stick.
1. the zest from the lemons and put in a bowl with the other cake ingredients. Beat together with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy before popping them into the tins and smoothing out the tops.
2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then gradually whisk in the sugar. Share the meringue evenly between the two cake tins leaving a 2cm edge round the side. Swirl the meringue with the tip of a knife.
3. Bake the cakes for 35 minutes until the meringue is crisp and golden and the cake firm. I test mine be inserting a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s ready.
4. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes or so before trying to remove them. This is the tricky bit! Use a tea towel to lightly tip the cakes out, or if you’ve used a loose-bottom tin pop it on top of a can and gently push down. Once out, leave them to cool completely.
5. For the filling beat together the mascarpone and sugar. Pour spoonfuls of the lemon curd over the mascarpone and swirl together gently.
6. Set one cake on a serving plate and spread with the filling. Layer the second cake on top and lightly dust with the extra icing sugar.
Now put the kettle on, cut a big slice and enjoy a tea and cake break!