Lemon Curd and Cream Filling
Torched Italian Meringue
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC FF. Place a 14cm round x 4cm high ring mould on a baking tray and line with baking paper.
- For the Sponge, place the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until tripled in volume. Remove bowl from the mixer. Add the lemon zest and sift the flours over the egg mixture. Fold the flour in very gently with a silicone spatula, making sure there are no tiny pockets of flour trapped in the mix. Pour into the prepared tin and bake until golden and the middle of the cake springs back when gently pressed, about 18-20 minutes. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack, remove the baking paper and cool completely before assembly.
- For the Lemon Curd and Cream Filling, place the butter in a medium heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave. Add remaining ingredients, except cream, and whisk until well combined.
- Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes, whisk well and cook for a further 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth and thick and if required, cook for a further minute until thickened.
- Pass the curd through a fine sieve into a shallow tray. Set aside on the bench to cool slightly then place into the fridge to chill. Remove from the fridge and transfer to a piping bag when ready to assemble the cake.
- Whisk cream to stiff peaks and place into a piping bag. Refrigerate until assembly.
- For the Torched Italian Meringue, place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a stand mixer.
- Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently with a spoon to combine, taking care not to cause the mixture to slosh up the side of the pan. Using a wet pastry brush, remove any sugar crystals from the inside of saucepan.
- While the sugar syrup is boiling, whisk the egg whites on low speed until foamy. Once syrup reaches 115C, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Continue to boil syrup until it thickens and the bubbles become large and sluggish. Immediately remove from the heat and drizzle a small steady stream into the egg white while the stand mixer is whisking on full speed, until all the syrup is incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and whisk until completely cooled, glossy and very thick. Transfer to a piping bag. Refrigerate until needed.
- To assemble the cake, slice the cooled cake horizontally into 3 even layers using a serrated knife.
- Snip a 7mm hole off the tip of the piping bags containing the cream and the curd. Place the first layer of sponge onto a serving plate or cake stand. Starting on the outer edge, pipe a circle of whipped cream onto the cut surface, then a circle of curd, alternating in concentric circles between the two, until you reach the centre. Repeat on the second layer then stack the 3 layers together. Cover the entire assembled cake with a very thin layer of cream.
- Lightly make some marks in the cream to divide the cake into 8 even wedges. Pipe Italian Meringue in a zig zag motion within the marked lines across the top of the cake and down the sides.
- Using a blow torch, use quick but deliberate actions to torch the meringue until mostly golden and a little charred, avoiding overheating the meringue and melting the cream underneath.
- Serve immediately.