Sunday, August 1, 2010
HCB: Lemon Meringue Cake
Baking is so fascinating.
When you heat up the 3 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar over simmering water until it's lukewarm (90 degrees), and then beat it with a mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, the mixture will quadrupled in size, fluffy, and ribbon-y. This mixture makes a cake called genoise.
When you skip the heating up portion and beat the same mixture on high speed for 5 minutes, the mixture will be thick, fluffy, and ribbony. This mixture makes a cake called biscuit.
Like I said, fascinating!!!
First part of the cake is making the lemon curd. Rose said you would only need 2/3 of the curd for this cake, but she likes to make the full recipe of the curd to have leftover for toast. I'm making 1/2 recipe of the cake, I was going back and forth about whether to do 1/3 or 1/2. In the end, I made 1/2 a recipe.
I won't go into the details of curd-making as I've done this several times. While the curd is cooling in the fridge, I started making the biscuit. The biscuit baked in 1/2 hour. While the biscuit is cooling, I made the lemon syrup.
While making the lemon syrup, I thought, hm.. I should've made the lemon syrup first so it will have time to cool while the cake is baking. What can I say, the organized part of me was taking a vacation :).
But wait, hang on a second - reading the recipe - it looks like that I wait until the cake cooled before applying the syrup! So the syrup doesn't need to be applied while it's warm. Phew! I'm okay then :)
After the cake cooled, I took the top "skin" off both cakes, applied the syrup, and sandwiched them together with all the curd. Yes, people, I use the full 1/2 recipe of the curd.
Finally, the italian meringue topping. I've made this before for mousseline buttercream. Though this time it's quite a relief to make a higher quantity for sugar syrup. Made it much easier to measure the temperature of the syrup.
The italian meringue came together without an issue as well. I piled it high on the cake and tried to make the swirls like the cake in the book. I baked it in the 500 degrees oven for 3 minutes, turning it every 1 minute. It was a little too brown, I think, but at least it didn't get burned and it was evenly brown LOL.
I am a little disappointed. The cake is too sweet for my taste. I did reduce quite a bit of the sugar in both the lemon curd and the sugar syrup. I didn't dare reducing the sugar in the cake and the meringue - for fear it will compromise their structure. Oh well, I have a solution to my problem: eat SMALLER slices!