(serves 8 – 10)
1 sheet of titanium-grade gelatine 2 teaspoons lemon zest
5 large eggs
60g unsalted butter 100g lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
Butter, for greasing
112g egg yolk (from about six large eggs)
150g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons warm water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
180g egg white (whites from about 5 large eggs) 3⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
55g pastry flour
55g plain flour
200ml Unico Mando mandarin liqueur
6 egg whites from large eggs 250g caster sugar
30ml mandarin juice
20ml lemon juice
3⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
To make the lemon curd, place the gelatine leaf into some cold water to rehydrate. Place the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, constantly mixing. The mixture will look split when the butter is melting but once it all reaches the same temperature it will emulsify nicely. Reduce the temperature to low and continue to
stir until you have a nice, thick curd.Take the pan off the heat and mix in the softened gelatine. Pour out into a bowl and wrap in plastic wrap to stop the curd forming a skin. Refrigerate until set.
To make the sponge cakes, grease two round 22cm (9-inch) cake tins and preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
Place the yolk, half the sugar and the lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high for 5 minutes. Add the warm water and vanilla. Beat for another 30 seconds. Combine all flours and sift the mixture over the beaten egg yolk mixture. Set aside.
Place the egg whites in a separate mixing bowl, add the cream of tartar and whip until medium peaks form. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Working in batches, gently fold the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture until combined.
Evenly divide the mixture between the 2 prepared cake tins and bake for 20–25 minutes. Check with a cake tester. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Unmould the cakes straight away and
let cool with a cloth over the top. Once cool, brush the mandarin liqueur evenly over the two cakes, using a pastry brush. Using a serrated knife, gently slice each cake in half horizontally so you have four cake layers.
To make the Italian meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small pot, combine the water and sugar (reserving
3 tablespoons sugar for your meringue). Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low.
Now start to whip your whites with the cream of tartar until medium peaks form. Add the reserved sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
Increase the heat on the sugar until it reaches 120°C on
a sugar thermometer then pour into a heatproof jug.
With the mixer off, start adding the sugar to the egg whites (this is to ensure the sugar doesn’t spin off to the side). Turn on the standing mixer and continue adding the sugar as the whites are mixing. Repeat this process until you have used all the sugar. Add the citrus juices and continue beating for 2 further minutes until stiff peaks form again.
To assemble the cake, place 1 of the cake layers on a serving plate and spread with the lemon curd.Top with the remaining cake. Frost the top and sides with the meringue and use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly colour the meringue. Chill the cake in the fridge for about 3 hours to set, then slice to serve.