For some reason, I think this cake looks kind of macho. And that’s why this was my husband’s birthday cake. Maybe because of the mountains of whipped meringue, or the toasted marshmallow waves, or the rustic feel of this cake. I just thought it would be a great cake for men.
The lemon curd. Not as macho as it sounds. But it is sweet, tangy and delicious. My suggestion is to whip up a batch, store in the refrigerator for ANYTHING. Toast, cracker, tart filling, scone…Oh! Have you tried this? Mix a spoonful in your yogurt. Heaven!
Ingredients (5-inch 3-layer cake):Vanilla Sponge Cake 1 cup cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk, room temperature 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup home-made lemon curd Meringue Frosting 3/4 cup sugar 3 large egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 5-inch cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Mix milk, melted butter and vanilla in another bowl. Set aside.
Whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until pale, thick and ribbony. About 5 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Scoop 2 cups of cake batter and add it into the milk and butter mixture. Whisk until well combined. Then pour the mixture back into the remaining cake batter. Fold until well mixed.
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a greased baking sheet. Spread with half of the lemon curd. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with the remaining lemon curd. Place the last layer of cake on top. Refrigerate until you are ready to frost and serve, preferably on the same day.
To prepare frosting, in a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar and egg whites. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy for 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until the mixture is hot to touch.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and water, and continue whipping for another 10 minutes until stiff and glossy peaks form.
Smear the meringue frosting thickly on the top and sides of the cake. Using a small metal spatula to create swoops and peaks.
Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting.
Leave it at room temperature and serve the cake in the same day, as over time the frosting will become grainy.