I decided to have a go at some recipe development this weekend and put my favourite dessert, lemon roulade, into cake form. Three deliciously light lemon sponges filled with lemon buttercream, lemon curd and crushed meringue….and there was born lemon roulade cake.
I have a bit of a reputation for my lemon roulade as you may know from my lemon roulade post. It’s a family favourite, I even made it for my brothers wedding. But I wanted to take these flavours and use them in a cake. The combination of lemon curd and meringue is undeniably delicious and wrapped up in a cake with lemon buttercream, its even better! The presentation of my lemon roulade cake wasn’t as refined as I had hoped it would be but it tasted lovely. As always, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted it to look like and it didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped. On the plus side, I think I have finally got the hang of meringue kisses. I used The Meringue Girls recipe and method and I even got a little creative and added some decorations this time too.
I took some cake to the cinema for my girlfriends this week and the reaction was quite something. In between all the ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhhhs’, I heard a few of them say its the best cake I have ever made. Do you know what, I think I would have to agree. I can’t wait to make this cake again and hopefully next time I will be able execute the presentation a little better.
- 235 g baking spread
- 235 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 235 g self raising flour
- Pinch salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 4 egg yolks
- 170 g caster sugar
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 100 ml lemon juice
- 1 egg white 44g
- 88 g caster sugar
- Note: Weigh your egg white. You will need double the weight of caster sugar.
- 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 320 g icing sugar sifted
- Juice of half a lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
Firstly, you need to make the lemon sponges. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Line and grease 3x 7 inch sandwich tins.
Beat together the butter and caster sugar. A stand mixer is great for this but if not a hand held mixer will be fine. Beat until the mixture turns pale yellow and creamy, 4 or 5 minutes in a stand mixer should do it. Add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour each time to prevent the mixture curdling. Fold in the remaining flour, a pinch of salt and the lemon zest. The mixture should drop easily off a spoon, if not add a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon the mixture into the sandwich tins and bake for 25 minutes or until nicely risen and golden brown.
Leave in the tins for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a cooling rack. Peel off the grease proof paper and leave to cool completely.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until well combined but not frothy. Pour into a saucepan and add the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to simmering point over a medium-high heat (about five minutes), stirring constantly. As soon as bubbles appear, remove from heat, still stirring for a few minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Once your lemon curd has cooled, spoon into a piping bag. You do not need a nozzle in the bag for this.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pour the caster sugar onto the baking paper and heat it in the oven for 5 minutes until the edges of the sugar begin to caramelise slightly. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy, stable mixture.
Meanwhile whisk the egg white with a hand help mixer. At first whisk slowly allowing small stabilising bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg white forms stiff peaks. Take the sugar out of the oven and turn the oven down to 100 degrees C. With your mixer on full speed, very slowly spoon the hot sugar into the beaten egg white, making sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each addition of sugar. Once you have added all the sugar, continue to whisk on full speed until you have a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture. To check the meringue is ready, rub a little between your finger and thumb. If you can still feel grains of sugar it needs a little longer.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dab a little of the mixture into the corners of the tray to secure the parchment in place. Spoon the meringue into a disposable piping bag and snip off the end ( about the size of a 50 pence piece). Pipe out your kisses by keeping the bag tight, straight and directly above your baking tray. Squeeze from a 2cm height from the baking tray and then let go before pulling up to form the lovely peaks.
Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment paper clean.
To make the lemon buttercream, start by softening the butter in a stand mixer for 3 - 4 minutes or with a hand whisk for 5 minutes. This will make all the difference to the texture of your buttercream. Then add the sifted icing sugar, half at a time, beating thoroughly for a few minutes each time you add icing sugar. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Put all the buttercream into a piping bag. You do not need a nozzle in the bag for this.
To assemble your cake, place one of the sponges on a cake board or on a cake turntable. Pipe blobs of lemon buttercream all over the sponge, about half an inch in height. In between the buttercream, pipe blobs of lemon curd. This doesn't need to be really neat or organised as you are going to add a cake on top but try to make the ones on the edges look good as you may see these. Crush up 2/3 of the meringue kisses. Sprinkle half on top of the lemon buttercream and lemon curd.
Add the second sponge layer on top and do the same, blobbing lemon buttercream and lemon curd to cover the cake and adding the second half of crushed meringues. Add the third and final sponge. Place the last 1/3 of unbroken, meringue kisses on the cake, using a little buttercream to stick them on the cake. The use the remaining lemon buttercream and lemon curd to fill in the gaps with lovely blobs of deliciousness.
If you don't have time to make your own lemon curd, you can by a jar of lemon curd which is also delicious.