I made this cake so long ago, that I can hardly remember anyhting about it besides that fact that it is TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME.
Like, super awesome.
Yes, it's time consuming. But man, is it totally worth the work.
I have nothing funny to say about this cake... because I can't remember my experience with it. I do remember that I made it with the full intention of bringing it to work, but for some reason I didn't, which meant that I had this bad boy in my fridge for a few days, which was so bad, because I just kept taking slivers. That's what I do. I take tiny slivers. So then, for me, it doesn't count in my calories. It makes me feel better about myself. But sometimes, I lose my willpower and instead of taking one sliver, I take 5. (See: Funfetti Cake Balls). But this cake REQUIRES you to cheat. Because it is damn delicious.
I never thought to combine lemon and caramel in a cake, but it totally makes sense. Creamy lemon curd, complex, sweet rich caramel nestled in between fluffy layers of chiffon cake and a luscious meringue topping that wows. This cake is a total showstopper.
The best part is torching it with a creme brulee torch. People love that stuff. It's like Beavis and Butthead "Fire, Fire... heh heh... Fire".
Ugh... can we just talk about Beavis and Butthead? I hated it in the 90s and I hate it now. Why must they be back in my life???
Check out this great step by step on Crumbly Cookie
Lemon Meringue Cake (from Tartine, by Elisabeth Pruett and Chad Robertson)
Makes a 10-inch round cake
I made ⅓ of this recipe and divided the batter between two 6-inch pans. I cut each layer in half to create 4 even layers. Mark has the recipe amounts for an 8-inch cake.
2¼ cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
10 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 325F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake or springform pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper cut to fit exactly; don’t grease the pan.
Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add 1¼ cups (8.75 ounces) of the sugar and the salt and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Make a well in the flour, add the yolk mixture, and then whisk thoroughly and quickly for about 1 minutes until very smooth.
In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Add the remaining ¼ cup (1.75 ounces) sugar slowly while beating on medium-high speed until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks. Add a third of the egg whites and fold into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites until just combined.
Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top if necessary. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once completely cool, run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake an then release and lift off the pan sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment.
⅔ cup heavy cream
¼ vanilla bean
1¼ cup (8.5 ounces) sugar
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pour the cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the milk. Place over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low to keep the cream warm.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then cook, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
The mixture will continue to cook off the heat and become darker, so make sure to have your cream close by. Carefully and slowly add the cream to the sugar syrup. The mixture will boil vigorously at first. Let the mixture simmer down, and then whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Cut the butter into 1-inch chunks and add to the caramel one at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Then whisk the caramel periodically as it continues to cool.
½ cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
¾ cup (6 ounces) sugar
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter
In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the lemon juice, eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk them together constantly until very thick, or 80°C (180°F) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and let it cool down until warm to touch (60°C or 140°F on a thermometer). Place the lemon cream in a blender and with the motor running, add the butter in small pieces. Allow to cool completely. (You may refrigerate it, but allow to come to cool room temperature before using.)
⅓ cup water
⅓ cup (2.5 ouncs) sugar
⅓ cup lemon juice
In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Transfer to a cool bowl, let cool for a bit, then chill for half an hour. Stir in the lemon juice.
Split the chiffon cake horizontally into four equal layers. Place one layer on your serving plate (which I lined with wax paper around to cake) and moisten evenly with ¼ of the lemon syrup. Spread ⅓ of the caramel over the cake, then ⅓ of the lemon cream. Repeat with 2 more layers, using up the remaining caramel and lemon cream. Top with the fourth cake layer and moisten with the remaining lemon syrup. Cover the cake completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
7 egg whites
1¾ cup (12.25 ounces) sugar
pinch of salt
In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt and whisk until the whites are hot to the touch, about 120F, about 5 minutes. Beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick and holds stiff, glossy peaks.
Unmold the cake and spread the meringue all over. Use a spatula or a spoon to create dramatic swirls. Using a propane torch if available, scorch the meringue, blackening the tips and swirls.