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Monday
Aug022010

HCB: Lemon Meringue Cake

 

“With this cake I thee wed.”

 Apparently all I needed to do for Tom to propose to me was to make this cake. 

This week’s Heavenly Cake Baker choice was the Lemon Meringue Cake.  Think lemon Meringue pie in form of a cake and you pretty much will have the idea of how this cake will end up tasting. My hat off to Rose for turning a popular pie to an AMA-Zing cake.

After a couple of weeks of chocolate overdrive, we were all waiting for this cake.  But, nobody was waiting for this cake more than Tom was.  Since he tasted the Baby Lemon Cheesecake, he is now on “red” alert every time something has the code world “lemon” in it.  So, when he saw my baking calendar (yes I do have one posted) and read what choice cake we had this week, he started the lemon cake shakedown:

Tues – “Did I read the choice correctly? It’s a Lemon cake, with the lemon curd that I like, this weekend choice right?”

Wed – “why don’t you do the cake tonight, it’s not that difficult right?”

Thursday – “I think you should really, really do the cake tonight, you are stressed out, so I know that you need to bake to relax”

Friday – “Look baby, I filled out the torch with the butane, if you bake the cake tonight we can test it out!”

Saturday – “what do you mean you are going to the beach? What happen to baking the cake?

Sunday – “so today is the day? I’m going to get to eat this by tonight right?

He was like a dog with a bone!

After reading the recipe, I knew that this cake was going to be an overload of lemon proportion, and we were going to be deep into “lemon-y tart” land.  Tom was the only one ready to live there.  I decided to half all of the component of this recipe in order to end up with a smaller 6” inch cake instead of the 2-tier 9  

Thank god for weight measurements which makes it a breeze to half recipes.

I also knew that the cake had four steps – The lemon curd, the batter for the cake, the syrup and then the meringue, so I needed to space them out, or I would totally talk my way out of not doing the whole thing – even under heavy cake shakedown.  

So after a great Saturday day at the beach with my mother, I came home all relaxed and set out to cook the Lemon curd first.  We have done this before, so I put it together pretty fast and was prepare to sit at the stove and stir, and stir until it thicken up, which to my surprise, happened pretty fast this time around, so in less than once hour the lemon curd was done and cooling off in the refrigerator.

On Sunday I set out to finish the rest of the componets and put this cake together once and for all, specially after I saw the puppy eyes that Tom gave me when I rolled out of bed around noon and was nowhere in the the vecinity of our kitchen.

The making of the cake went pretty smoothly.  I have no idea if it was the fact that I was using half of the ingredients, so it seemed that I was doing less work, (and less clean up too) but after 1.5 hours, I had the cake cooling off, the lemon syrup done and was ready to tackle the meringue, so I could frost the cake and play with fire.

The recipe calls for a quick baking of the meringue in a 400 degree oven, in order to toast it nicely, but I had other ideas.  For the past 5 years I had a kitchen torch that had been sitting in its original box silently shouting to be used.

And now it was the time to whip that puppy out and go to town.  I don’t know who was more excited, myself or Tom, because anything that involves me allowing him to use fire inside the house is a BIG day for him.

I had originally thought of doing a quick video of this, but by the time I had frosted the cake and was ready to go, it was dark and I was not feeling or looking “camera” ready, so I simply turned on the torch and got to work.

And boy did we have fun.  After a bit of a try-out with a spoon of meringue we set to work on the actual cake and the end results were spectacular.  

Who knew that burning something could be so liberating and taste so good?

Verdicts:

Tom: “Marry me! – Right NOW.  This is so good, I loved the baby cheesecake, but this – THIS is the ultimate lemon grouping.  It’s tart and not so sweet and the burned meringue gives is a sort of taste twist – seriously, marry me.”

Me:  When I took a small piece to taste my lips puckered up and my eyes watered up.  It was tart!  Unlike some of my fellow bakers, I did not find it overly sweet – but truly, overly tart.  Nevertheless, after taking another sample piece, I felt it had the right balance of tartness and sweetness and Tom was right, the small burn top on the meringue totally makes the cake super special.  Plus, this cake was not for me, but to please the man I love.  It’s just my luck that all it takes is some lemon and a bit of fire power.

Disclaimer: No recipes are shared in my Heavenly Cake Baker posts, due to restrictions in sharing the recipes by the publisher of Rose's Heavenly Cakes.  But, you can purchase the book here.

Reader Comments (13)

i love the shakedown! you were under such pressure to make this cake! as always, gorgeous photos. i love the blue behind the cake in the first shot. and seriously--did you just get engaged? that would be awesome.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterevilcakelady

Congratulations!!! Let me predict your wedding cake will definitely have lemon layers! What a beautiful write up and gorgeous pictures. I howled with laughter over "anything that involves me allowing him to use fire inside the house is BIG day for him." Boys and fire, like sugar and spice.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

So did you accept? Or was there a disclaimer like "Yes, I'll marry you but only if you don't make me make this cake once a month!"

I love the 1st picture. Good call using the blue background, it looks GORGEOUS! Also love the swirls on your cake. And the picture of the torch fire is AWESOME!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Guys.. not so fast.. Tom has not proposed (YET!)... we have talked about it, we have planned it, he just needs to get down on his knee and show me the bling! The shout out of marrige have been going on forever, since I made him a lasagna from scratch! Plus he knows that a proposal based on my food is NOT the way to go ;)

Vicki.. you are right, they never do grow up don't they?

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Awww..what a lovely story behind this cake!! And i love those little peaks on your meringue!!

You mean Tom didn't seriously mean it? I thought he really proposed to you! What's he waiting for? ;) I can't wait for the day he proposes and you blog about all about it ok?

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfaithy

ב''ה

He would be a lucky guy to get a baker like you. This would make a wonderful wedding cake I bet!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMendy

OMG.....you just blew me away with that incredible lemon creation!!!! I am speechless, it all flows together so well, what a taste sensation that must have been.....I have to learn to make meringue, just incredible(the torch was a great idea)......sigh.....I can see why you he wants to marry you!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChef Dennis

Jennifer: I was totally under pressure to make it; he was just so exited about it… and I was playing with him all week as well, keeping him in suspense. What can I say, we are weird that way – We let the crazy fly at our house.

Jenn: I’m totally going to use the disclaimer in the future. I had to get a picture of the torch in action, if you know what I mean.

Faithy: I totally promise you guys will get the play-by-play details of a proposal. Knowing him, he is cooking something totally up to throw me off.

Mendy: awwww, thank you! Yes, I see a Lemon cake as part of the wedding cake in my future, I'm going to make sure is the smaller one too!

Chef Dennis: If you like tart stuff, then this cake is for you. As Tom tells me is like eating Lemonhead candy -but better.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

lemonhead candy!! i loved those! also, if that is the crazy at your house, then it is the right kind of crazy.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterevilcakelady

What a great post, Monica. It was really funny how he kept asking you every day about the cake :o) Looking forward to hearing about the "real" proposal. And of course, your cake looks beautiful. Love the peaks on it!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHanaa

Beautiful cake and photos. You really had us going with the "proposal."

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLois B

Your cake and photography was marvelous...so glamorous - love the charred swirl tips. When Tom finally comes down onto his knee, the one he is not balancing cooking tools for you upon, to ask the question, we will all bake tiny wedding cakes.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Ahh Tom sure is a lucky man, he should get down on his knee soon if he knows what's good for him ;)
This cake looks fab, LOVE the torch pic!

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