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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.

Tasting impression:
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!


  1. So i'm not alone, i too find this cake too sweet for my liking! And i have already half the syrup. But beautiful cake and lovely photos!

  2. Jenn, I love that third photo!! It really plays up how tall your meringue is, plus I love that knife edge! I also made a half recipe. Baking is fascinating--thanks for pointing out the simple difference between a genoise and a biscuit. I never thought about that before.

  3. Even though it was too looks delicious!!

  4. beautiful swirls and gorgeous pictures!

  5. I must ditto the other comments about your cake and also say that I love your plate.

  6. I'm loving how tall your meringue is! I wanted to pile it on, but I was all "NO way to much, to much"... Nevertheless Tom LOOOOVEEE the cake.

    I'm loving your close up pictures!

  7. Wow, that's a nice thick layer of meringue you got there. Nice!! Sorry to hear it didn't suit your taste buds. If that were to happen to me, I know I can always count on my hungry coworkers to "help me out" :o)

  8. what a beautiful cake....thats is some seriious meringue!! I wish I could try it, it looks delicious!!


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