These meringue roses remind me of fine porcelain china, dainty and ultra feminine. Perfect on an occasion that requires something spectacular, even a bit over-the-top. Mother’s Day is one such time. It is the day when we give thanks to the women who raised us. I have been blessed with more than my fair share of extraordinary women, who have influenced how I walk through this world. They have shown me great generosity, shared their wisdom and loved me unconditionally. I only hope to possess these same qualities as I now raise my own children. I wanted to create something as unique and beautiful as these women, to reflect my deep appreciation, so lemon meringue cake it is.
Due to too many miles I can’t be with my mom on Mother’s Day, but if I were, this is the cake I would present to her. She would love the tart layers of lemon sponge cake and lemon curd, balanced with the sweet meringue icing; to toast or not to toast is the question? Who am I kidding, I always toast, if for no other reason, I love my blow torch.
Lemon Meringue Cake
1 cup cake flour, sifted 3 times
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon zest of lemon
5 large eggs, room temperature
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¾ cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1 cup egg whites
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Baking the Lemon Sponge:
Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in center of the oven. Line a Baking Sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper.
Beat the sugar, zest, and eggs in a stand mixer using the whip attachment, on high speed for about 5 minutes. The eggs will be light in color and very thick.
Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold it in carefully with a rubber spatula.
Pour into the prepared pan and quickly spread it out evenly.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
To make the Lemon Curd:
In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice, salt and zest. Place the bowl over a medium sized sauce pot that has an inch of simmering water in it. Using a tempered rubber spatula stir the lemon mixture over the heat until it thickens. This can take 5 to 10 minutes. As the lemon curd thickens it should cling to the rubber spatula. It will be thick like a pudding.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Strain the curd into a container and cover with plastic. Put in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the curd is cold but not frozen. Remove and place in refrigerator until ready to use. It will be good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To assemble the cake:
Cut the cake in 3 equal pieces along the long side of the cake. Place one layer of the cake on a platter. Spread 1/3 cup preserves on the cake, followed by 1/3 cup lemon curd. Repeat with the next layer of cake, preserves and lemon curd.
Finally, top with the last layer of cake.
To make the meringue:
Whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Rest the bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the sugar is off the sides of the bowl. Continue to stir the mixture until all the sugar is melted into the eggs and you no longer feel any graininess when rubbed between your fingers, about 3-5 minutes.
Place the bowl onto your mixer, add the vanilla, whisk on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bowl is just warmer than room temperature, about 8 minutes.
Here is the equipment you will need to decorate the cake:
Large Rose Decorating Tip 128
Extra Large Flower Nail – this is to pipe the rose on
Large Leaf Tip
Watch my short video to see how to create the meringue roses:
To decorate the base of the cake:
Use a large rose tip, to make the flowers and to pipe the striped base. Starting at the top edge of the cake with the narrow end of the rose tip facing up, pipe a continuous spiral all the way down the cake, being careful to overlap the previous stripe.
You can leave the meringue pristine and white.
Or, you can toast the meringue with a Self-Igniting Blow Torch, which gives it more flavor and the drama of the burnt edges.
Either way you and your mother will love it!
Here is a version I did for the Cooking Channel. It is made in 8-inch round cake pans.
Happy Mother’s Day!
If there is any cake left over, just stick a few skewers in the cake and then drape plastic wrap over them, this way you will not destroy the piped flowers.