The Lemon Meringue Cake Crisis

 

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A lemon meringue cake, that was the brief. Decorate it however you want mama…

No problem what so ever kiddo, of course I can do that. With three obvious components to the recipe, this should be an easy one, and not something to be worried about at all right?

Right??

Cake, done and dusted. I made that the day before. Curd? Yep, being the efficient person I can be, I made that one two days before. On the celebratory day, it’s just a simple Italian meringue and assemble the thing. Easy peasy.

I was using a new candy thermometre, which I thought was particularly adult of me, instead of the usual guess work that I normally do to get to hardball stage. The thermometre didn’t seem to work out so well though.  I burnt the sugar syrup before it had even gotten close to the magic temperature it needed to get to. Which as I’m sure you can image, burnt sugar is a pure joy to clean off.

Start again, new eggs, new sugar, clean pan. I didn’t move a muscle, no distractions what so ever. Just my full attention in the pot, and yet it seemed to be heading in the exact same damn direction as the first failed lot. Why oh why? No time to wonder, I had to slap this all together quick sticks and make do with what I had.

And it’s at this point, where a good cake, that had lots of potential just began to look sadder and sadder. Three upturned waffle cones, with piped (slightly burnt tinged, but we can ignore that) italian meringue with pretty cachous and rock sugar sprinkled throughout sounds like a good idea.

Well turns out it looks like a snow-capped earthship. Even the smallest declared I might have put a bit too much ‘icing on’. I kept adding to it, hoping it would get better.

It didn’t.

I added tall beautiful beeswax candles, that did help a little as a distraction technique, and then all we had to do was cut into it.

All was ok again once more, it really did taste great.

Lemon and olive oil cake with lemon curd and italian meringue is a combination that works, that part is definitely tried and true. It’s the decorating bit that needs an overhaul, unless you are wanting a snow capped earthship building cake of course, and then hey, I’ve got you covered.

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Lemon and Olive Oil Cake recipe here.

Three Blue Ducks Lemon Curd recipe

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Breakfast Black Rice Pudding with Rhubarb and Lemon Curd

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That’s a triumphant jar of lemon curd right there I tell you. I’d tried making it a handful of times and, failed the same number of times. Turns out I was following the wrong recipes. I settled on a recipe from Three Blue Ducks cookbook, (they haven’t failed me yet) and a little nervously began whisking away.

Not long later, done and set. It’s creamy, lemony, doesn’t have lumps and is quite troublesome with a lone teaspoon. Now why had it been so hard beforehand?

Never mind, I had it now, but what to do with those golden jars of goodness?

Apart from the convenient jar with a teaspoon situation, I also played around with some black rice pudding. While I wouldn’t say it’s a tried and true recipe, it is evolving and I will definitely be playing with a few variations over the winter months. If they are flavours you like, have a tinker around with your ingredients and make it to your own tastebuds.

A really easy winter breakfast.

Breakfast Black Rice Pudding with Rhubarb and Lemon Curd

1 cup of black rice

2 tbls coconut oil

2 x pureed soft pears

1 bunch of rhubarb

coconut milk/ or natural yogurt

1 tsp of vanilla essence

lemon curd (recipe found here)

Overnight soak your black rice with cups of water. In the morning, cook the rice up, adding 2 pureed pears to sweeten it a little when you start cooking. Cook it as you normally would rice using the absorption method. Once it’s cooked, stir through two tablespoons of coconut oil.

At the same time and in another pot add your rhubarb. Cut into 1 cm pieces and cook until soft. Turn off and add either half a scraping of a vanilla pod or tsp of vanilla essence.

Serve with coconut milk, (or natural yogurt) fresh fruit and lemon curd. The curd gives it a little zesty sweet kick.

sunshine, lemons and a whispering curd

A rush of lemons.

Limoncello is now on the go, but it took three lots of lemons before I was happy with the quality that was to be used.

So what do I have? A whole lot of lemons. Lucky for me, I love lemons.

Limoncello, lemon cordial, and lemon curd have all been fiddled with in the kitchen this week. Limoncello will wait for another day as it’s not ready yet, but the cordial and curd? Cordial bottle nearly empty and there is now a large jar of curd whispering to me from the fridge. That’s right, she whispers. Sings to me from a closed door. Letting me know she is there and waiting.

Just a little taste as you walk on by, come on…you can do it. Leave the carrots, it’s me you really want. Where’s your teaspoon honey?…

It’s hard. It really is. Husky voiced, the lemon curd allures and entices you with her whispered sing song voice. Just a little teaspoon indeed.

It’s the Lauren Bacall of the fridge. Refined, sultry tones and probably wearing a beautifully cut Chanel type pants suit too. All that in a jar of old fashioned lemon curd…who knew?

Lemon Curd

1 cup of lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 tbls cornflour

In a pot add the juice and sugar. Bring to the boil, turn down a little and simmer for about 5 minutes. All sugar should be dissolved. In a bowl whisk your eggs and cornflour together. Slowly drizzle this mixture into the juice and sugar mixture, whisking quickly as you do. Keep at a simmer until the curd thickens.

Lemon Cordial

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Equal parts strained lemon juice, sugar and water. Juice the lemons, strain the juice. In a pot add the sugar and water and bring to a rapid boil. Boil until it thickens slightly. (For me this took six minutes, depends on the amount you are using and also the pot though. Then add your lemon juice.

Store in a bottle and leave in the fridge. Serve with mineral water, ice and a couple of sprigs of mint, or perhaps a little vodka… or just good old tap water.