When I made the meringue for my High Hat chocolate cupcakes, I didn't realise how much meringue I would have left. Since I messed it up when I made it the first time, it didn't really get a chance to show me its full potential. Anyway I decided to use up that beautiful meringue in making yet another cake inspired by Bakerella's blog: www.bakerella.com
I made that wonderful yellow cake in 3 pans as directed by Bakerella but I thought I could push it a bit further and make it a 6 layer cake. Originally the plan was to make 2 different cakes both using Lemon Curd but the plan changed when my little dinosaur started teething.
So I looked in my fridge and what did I find a mandarin and an orange and since I am in my crud mania and went for a 3 crud cake covered in meringue and coconut. Here is a picture:
Moist Yellow Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-rising flour
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring ( I don't actually use this)
Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Grease and flour (3) 8 20 cm cake pans.
Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles (that is really hard to do when you have a sleeping baby so I skipped that and the cake turned out ok). This will help you have a more level cake.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.
I didn't actually wrap the layers in plastic wrap but I will make sure I try that next time. There were no complaints about the cake not being moist enough though since the layers were slathered in curd and covered in meringue.
For the curds (from Joy of Baking):
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
The zest and juice of a lemon (or one mandarin or the zest of an orange and half its juice)
2 tablespoons of butter (at room temp.)
In a heatproof bowl place the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and the eggs and whisk enough to have the mixture come together.
Place it on a pan of already boiling water making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water itself.
Whisk for about 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken. As soon as this is done, take the bowl off the pan and strain the mixture into a clean bowl. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Place a plastic wrap over the mixture touching it to avoid getting a skin once it's cooled. Leave to cool completely.
I have actually let the curds rest in the fridge overnight to make sure they would be thick enough and in terms of taste it felt they were more flavorsome the next day (but that's only my opinion).
Assemble the cake by spreading a different curd flavor every slice of cake. I started with lemon then orange and then mandarin and again lemon... I put some curd on the last tier (the top of the cake) because I wanted to pip the meringue on the top.
I then spread the meringue on the side of the cake. Added the coconut by gently tipping and throwing the coconut onto the meringue (there could be a better way but I was in a rush to have delivered) and then pip the top with the 2M (I think) Wilton tip and a disposable pipping bag.
My next dilemma was to torch or not to torch. Well it wasn't really a dilemma I hadn't played with my faithful little torch for what seemed to be forever so I torched. I took a picture before so you be the judge. Happy Baking :)