A delicious, savoury twist on a classic dessert. This Lemon Rosemary Meringue Cake is a winning combination.
Last week we went for dinner at a new restaurant in town that I have been super excited to try. They are known for their small sharing plates and delicious cocktails - two of my favourite things. The meal was delicious - it started with a cheese board and ended with a lemon rosemary dessert that came in a jar. As soon as I had my first bite of dessert, I knew that I wanted to recreate something similar. I decided to use the same flavours - the lemon, the rosemary and a meringue but change up the actual dessert and create a cake instead.
I love the combination of the lemon with the rosemary. The rosemary brings a fresh unexpected twist to these otherwise classic flavours. I think its fun to use something typically savoury and turn it into a dessert. It adds a level of complexity to the flavours.
We have to talk about the lemon curd filling. I considered making it its own post because its just that good. I could go on and on and on about it. But I will keep it short. Make it. Put it on everything (or eat it with a spoon). You can thank me later. It has the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the tart of the lemon and the egg yolks give it a beautiful yellow hue. Not only is it delicious but helps to keep this cake super moist.
The meringue frosting is quick and easy to make. It whips up to a beautiful glossy shine and browns up nicely under a boiler (or you can use a kitchen torch - which I really need to invest in!). To brown the top of my cake using the oven, I preheated my oven to the broiler setting. I filled, stacked and frosted the cake on a piece of parchment paper and transferred the cake to a clean baking tray. The meringue will brown quickly in the oven, so be sure to keep a close eye on it! It will only take a minute or two for the meringue to brown.
Lemon Rosemary Meringue Cake
Makes: One 6 inch cake
For the Cake
1 c sugar
Zest, from 1 lemon
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
1 ½ c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ c butter, at room temperature
½ c milk
For the Lemon Curd
3 egg yolks
¾ c sugar
¼ c water
¼ lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
Zest from lemon
¼ c butter, cut into cubes
For the Frosting
3 egg whites
1 c sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 6 inch round baking pan, set aside. In a food processor, pulse together the sugar, lemon zest and rosemary, until just combined and the rosemary is broken down into smaller pieces. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium-high speed cream together butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Slowly alternate adding in the milk and flour mixture, ending with the dry. Mix until just incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Lemond Curd - In a saucepan combine egg yolks, sugar, water, lemon juice and zest. Simmer over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture starts to thicken and boil. Allow mixture to boil for 2-3 minutes then stir in butter. Boil for an additional 1-2 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool completely
To make the frosting - Over a double boiler heat together the egg white and sugar for 5 -7 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer mixture to a clean kitchenaid mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high for 5 - 7 minutes or until stiff glossy peaks form.
To assemble the cake - Torte cake into three even layers. Place your bottom layer on parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of meringue followed by a generous layer of lemon curd. Top with your second layer of cake, repeat filling process and top with your final layer of cake. Using an off set spatula, frost cake with an even layer of meringue. If desired, brown meringue using a kitchen torch or oven broiler. If using the broiler, transfer your cake to a baking tray. Place in oven for 1-2 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.