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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lemon Meringue Lamington

Lemon Meringue Lamington
Rose's Heavenly Génoise:
from Rose's Heavenly Cakes
50 grams clarified butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs at room temperature (250 grams)
125 grams superfine sugar
66 grams cake flour
60 grams cornstarch

Coat a 10" tube pan with cooking spray and flour then set aside. Set a rack in the lower third of your oven and allow it to thoroughly preheat to 350°F.

Microwave the butter until it is almost hot (roughly 110-120°F), add the vanilla and cover to keep warm.

Bring a sauce pan of water to a simmer and in your mixer's bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. With a whisk, stir the mixture in the bowl sitting over the pan of simmering water (not in the water) until just lukewarm to the touch.

Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed for a minimum of 5 minutes until it has more than quadrupled in volume.

While the eggs are beating sift together the flour and cornstarch. Remove 1 cup of the egg mixture and whisk it into the bowl with the melted butter and vanilla and set aside once again.

Working quickly with a balloon whisk or a silicone spatula fold in half of the flour into the egg mixture and once it is incorporated, fold in the remaining flour.

Scrape down the bowl to insure all the flour has been incorporated and then fold in the butter mixture. Fold in, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the flour has been moistened (but not so much that you deflate the eggs) and immediately pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sides begin to slightly pull away from the pan. Avoid jostling the pan while baking or opening and closing the door too often as it could cause light delicate cake to fall.

While baking, spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and have a small offset spatula handy. Once the cake is done it should be removed from the pan immediately. Slip an offset spatula around the sides of the pan and unmold the pan onto the rack.

Allow to cool completely.

Cut the cake into 2.5" cubes (or more efficient wedges) and arrange them together onto a baking sheet. Now they are ready for the lemon syrup.

Simple Lemon Syrup:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

In a pan over medium low heat, stir the sugar with a heat safe spatula until sugar has dissolved. Don't allow this mixture to boil. Allow the syrup to cool before using.

Take your cake squares and give them a generous coating with the lemon syrup, allowing it to absorb into the cake. This both moistens and flavors the genoise.

Lemon curd coated Lamington and bottle of lemon syrup

Not So Humble Lemon Curd:
Adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes
1/2 cup egg yolks
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 teaspoons butter, melted and cooled.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup + one tablespoon lemon juice
pinch salt
zest of one large lemon

Place the lemon zest into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer on top.

In a medium sauce pan add the eggs, sugar and butter and whisk together until combined. Add the lemon juice and salt and sift in the cornstarch whisking well. Swap your whisk for a silicone spatula and cook the curd over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook the mixture gently, or the eggs will curdle. If the mixture starts to give off steam, remove from heat for 20 seconds to allow the mixture to cool slightly and then return to the heat. Do not allow it to boil. In roughly 10-15 minutes the curd will have thickened and should coat the back of your spatula like a hollandaise. Pour this mixture into the bowl of zest using the strainer.

Mix then chill the curd for roughly an hour until completely cool.

Once ready, you can start assembling your Lamingtons.

Start by applying a thick layer of curd to the top of the of the génoise pieces and sandwich another on top. Spread the curd on the top and sides of the cube and then sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Coated with coconut

This could be a reasonable stopping point for this Lamington (it is delicious, we ate a bunch like this) but I am not a very reasonable person. I decided I wanted a billowy, spike covered Lamington and if you do too, preheat the oven to 375°F and start the meringue.

Basic Meringue:
6 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine the eggs, cream of tartar and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer (making sure it is very clean, as a trace of oil can ruin a meringue). Beat the eggs with your whisk attachment until soft foamy peaks form and then slowly begin adding the sugar, beating until you have stiff but not dry peaks.

Arrange the Lamingtons on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and either pipe on the meringue or apply with a small spatula. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes until golden brown and serve immediately.

Alternatively you can whip out your kitchen torch to toast your meringue with the flame. I did this with several Lamingtons and while playing with fire is oodles of fun, I ended up preferring the look of the baked meringues.

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