Lemon, Coconut & Berry Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

Lemon, Coconut & Berry Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue 1
Lemon, Coconut and Berry Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

Ingredients

Lemon, Coconut and Berry Cake

  • 300 g butter , softened
  • 2 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (330g)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups berries , tossed in a tablespoon of flour (frozen is fine. I used 1 cup raspberries and 1 cup blueberries).

Lemon Curd

  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons – just the outer yellow part , as anything below this will make it bitter.
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 250 g Philadelphia cream cheese , room temprature
  • 225 g butter , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
  • 4 cups icing sugar

Italian Meringue

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites – about 2 large egg whites , or 60g

To Assemble

  • Fresh berries
  • Toasted coconut
  • Lemon Curd and Buttercream (recipes below)
Lemon, Coconut and Berry Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

Instructions

Lemon, Coconut and Berry Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
  2. In a large mixing basin, cream together the butter and caster sugar using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or an electric hand mixer) until pale and creamy.
  3. One at a time, beat in the eggs until well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir briefly to blend.
  5. Toss in the desiccated coconut and buttermilk until combined, then fold in the berries carefully.
  6. Distribute the ingredients evenly among the three tins and smooth the tops.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool for half an hour before removing from tins and cooling thoroughly on wire racks.
  9. Make the lemon curd while the cakes are baking.

Lemon Curd

  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and butter over low heat.
  2. In a separate dish, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until foamy.
  3. Keep the heat low while adding the eggs to the lemon mixture. Whisk consistently for about 5 minutes, or until the curd begins to thicken. As this occurs, you may notice small bubbles emerge on the surface. It’s important to be cautious here because it might happen quickly.
  4. Set aside to chill the lemon curd in a separate bowl. If you want it super smooth, strain the curd through a sieve once it’s cooled, discarding any lumps and the zest.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. Cream the butter with an electric mixer (or the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer). Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla extract until well combined. Increase the mixer speed gradually and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  2. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar on low speed until completely incorporated.

Italian Meringue

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase to medium-high heat until the syrup boils.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy soft peaks form (mixer fitted with whisk attachment or hand beater).
  3. Cook until the syrup reaches 116°C (240°F) on a candy/sugar thermometer once it has reached a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly drip the syrup into the bowl while continually whisking the egg whites. Aim for a location near the whisk.
  4. Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch and the meringue is very thick, glossy, and sticky after all of the syrup has been added.
  5. Use right away or store refrigerated (covered) until ready to use (up to a day)

To assemble

  1. If the tops of the cakes have domed at all, use a serrated knife to chop the domes off so the cakes are perfectly flat.
  2. Slide strips of baking paper underneath the borders of one cake on a big plate or cake stand (to catch the icing drips – when you are finished you can remove these without making a mess of the plate or cake stand).
  3. Cover the cake in an equal layer of slightly under a third of the cream cheese buttercream. Pour a couple teaspoons of lemon curd over the top. Add a second cake on top.
  4. Rep the buttercream and lemon curd layering process. Top with the final cake.
  5. For a ‘naked’ look, spread the remaining cream cheese over the top of the cake and around the perimeter, scraping it over and then off the sides.
  6. To harden up, place in the fridge for an hour.
  7. Dollop the Italian meringue on top of the cake in whichever manner you like, twirling it a little. Brown the edges with a blow torch.
  8. Using berries, additional lemon curd, and toasted coconut, decorate the cake.
Lemon, Coconut and Berry Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

Source: The Brick Kitchen

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