Last night Reading’s CCC had a summer meet up! Our original theme was “Showstoppers” but with the lovely heat wave we've been lucky to have, our group leader/organizer Louise, said to make something we felt comfortable to make in this heat. So, the theme was more summery. We had a lot of lemon! Lemon is just a great representation of summer; it’s refreshing and bright!
Here’s what we all brought:
|Rose sponge with Strawberry & Elderflower compote|
It was a good night! We ate cake and talked, what is better then that? It's always fun getting to know people! I've only been to one other meeting so I still feel a bit like a newbie. Can't wait until the next meet up!!
I was originally going to do a belated 4th of July cake. One where when you cut into it looked like the American Flag, but because of the weather and what not I really didn't fancy baking a half of dozen cake layers and hoping the buttercream stood up to the test. So, I went something that still looked great, but took a little less effort and didn't involve buttercream!
Lemon Meringue Cake:
225g butter, room temp
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
zest of 2 lemons, unwaxed
225g self-rising flour
pinch of salt
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3. Line and grease x2 - 8in/20cm round tins
Beat the butter a few minutes then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. With the lightly beaten eggs in a jug (easier to pour) gradually add the eggs beating well after each addition. With the last bit of beaten egg add the lemon zest. If it curdles a little don’t worry just add a spoonful of the flour before adding all of the flour to the mixture. Add the ground almonds and lemon juice. Divide between the two prepared tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes. To make sure the cakes are done, just do the skewer test! The skewer should come out clean! Let the cakes cool before carefully removing them from the tins. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Juice of 1 lemon
75g caster sugar
In a small saucepan heat the ingredients together until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer until for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside until ready to use. This can be made while the cakes are baking.
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
3 tbsp water
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. [When whisking egg whites you always want to be sure that your bowl and whisk are clean and no signs of grease or the whites won’t fluff up. Also you have to be very careful not to break the yolk when separating your eggs as any yolk will stop the whites from fluffing.] Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a med/high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side and don’t stir it no matter what. We want it to get to the soft ball stage, 118C it will take a few minutes. Immediately remove from the heat, while the eggs are being whisk, gently pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl. If you don’t have a stand mixer you’ll need an extra pair of hands. Continue to whisk until the meringue cools to room temp. should be about 6-7 minutes.
4 tbsp Mackays Lemon Curd
Situate your cake wherever it’s going to stay and drizzle half of the lemon drizzle over the top. Leave it for a few minutes before spreading over the lemon curd. Place the other cake layer on top and drizzle over the rest of the lemon drizzle. I piped my meringue all over the top, but you could also use a spatula and create some interesting waves and such! Make it your own! Also it’s very handy to have a kitchen blowtorch! Torch it for a fancy finish!
notes: Find a Clandestine CakeClub near you! They are starting to spread all over the world so if there isn't one near you start your own!!; American Flag cakes (idea was suggested by Cupcake Kelly on Twitter); recipe adapted from John Whaite Bakes by John Whaite; #bakingwithmackays Mackays Lemon Curd