Super exciting news: I’ve been chosen to compete in the Canadian Food Championships!! I think it’s going to be such great fun…I was looking at the other competitors and I got a bit nervous, because they’re all chefs and/or have competed before and/or just generally look intimidating, but I think even just going and competing will be awesome. Now comes the hard part…RECIPE TESTING. (Check out the website for CFC here).
I’m fairly convinced I’m going to make something with all of my favourite things (just like Maria): chocolate, bourbon, cherries, caramel. Next week official taste testing will begin, if anyone wants to volunteer for the job!
This week has actually been a very interesting week…as part of my blogging with Calgary is Awesome, I’m getting involved with some media stuff for poutine week (that’s right, poutine week; talk about the best week ever!), and someone suggested they loan me a new Mustang for blogging purposes, a la Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. Watch out, Guy Fieri, I’m coming for you!
In other news, school is almost officially done for the summer, and summer is almost actually here, so I’m looking to revamp the blog a bit. Hopefully start adding some more cocktails :) basically I’m just looking for a legitimate way to introduce alcohol into daily life. Whatever, no judgment.
So, what better way to usher in summer than with a lemon meringue cake? I am so proud of myself for making this…I used a recipe from Nigella’s FEAST, a book I bought totally by happenstance almost 10 years ago: I was walking by Chapters and saw that she was doing a signing and luckily was the last one allowed in line! It was kind of crazy. It’s ended up being one of my most loved cookbooks (and I have probably…5 shelves of cookbooks. It’s a problem) and so I’ve tagged probably at least a third of the recipes as things that I want to try. So basically I’ve been wanting to make this cake for almost a decade but the whole meringue thing threw me off, plus I never had any idea where to find lemon curd.
As you may recall, I actually made my own lemon curd in January with the Meyer lemons (I completely flubbed it and forgot to add the butter but it ended up tasting okay so I preserved a small jar just in case), and it was sort of nearing its expiration date so the cake was basically now or never. The cake was pretty good but pretty sweet too; almost too sweet. But I willI say, I am so so impressed with Nigella’s recipe for meringue…it came out perfect, crunchy on the outside but still soft and billowy on the inside. Even after days of being in the fridge! My friend completely FREAKED OUT when she heard I made lemon meringue cake because it’s her favourite. You can find the whole recipe here, but I’ve put the recipe below for the sponge + meringue portion because it was just awesome, and I think you could add anything to it and it would be amazing: jams, other types of curd, maybe even chocolate and/or caramel. The sky’s the limit when it comes to a good meringue! (Do you see what I did there? Hehe)
Nigella’s Lemon Meringue
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup and 1/2 cup sugar, separated
4/5 cup flour
1/5 cup corn flour (I only had cornmeal so I put 1/5 cup cornmeal in a coffee grinder and ground it up)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Zest from a whole lemon
Juice from a lemon
2 tsp milk
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two tins (I used my 8 inch tins but you could use whatever tins of the same size you wanted; although note that if they are much smaller than 8 inch, the cake and meringue will be deeper and therefore will need to cook for longer).
2. In your food processor, put the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, the butter and the lemon zest. Whiz very briefly to combine. Add the flour, cornflour, baking powder and soda, and whiz to combine. Add lemon juice and milk and whiz again; the batter will be pretty thick.
3. Scoop the batter evenly between the 2 tins. It will be difficult to spread and very sticky. Persevere.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until thick. Add in the remaining sugar (3/4 cup) and whisk until soft peaks form (do yourself a favour and use a beater).
5. Spread the egg whites (almost a meringue!) over the cake batter, dividing evenly between the tins. Nigella suggest to ‘peak’ one of the tops, although I tried and mine just looked like this (I don’t think it’s crucial).
Have a lovely weekend folks, stay delicious!