Phew, I survived series three! For my favourite series/season of the show those were not my favourite bakes. From Treacle Tart and Creme Caramel to Fondant Fancies my patience and skill was pushed to the limit. But there were some real winners too. That Rum Baba was to die for and even the multi step Fraisier cake has earned a place in my heart. But it’s time to move one. Time to forget James and his sweater vests and prepare for such treats as; floating islands, nuns made of choux and pretzels!
Series 4 kicks things off with angel food cake. Which I can almost guarantee I will call angle food at least half a dozen times throughout this post.
Not even one bake in and I’m already face to face with my citrus nemesis. 4 lemons! Really Mary? Can we try another flavour? Lime would be lovely, or grapefruit? Well, one benefit of baking with lemons constantly is I’ve gotten quite good at juicing the things. I don’t have any fancy gadget but thanks to Pinterest scrolling I found this “hack”.
And it worked, that is after a few errant squirts!
With my lemons reduced to empty shells of themselves, I was ready to begin whipping my egg whites. All 10 of them! My mixer made quick work of the whites and in less than a minute I was ready to add in my zest, juice, cream of tartar and sugar. Lately, I have been investing in the real deal caster sugar from the Bulk Barn to be as authentic as possible. And in a recipe like this, I think it helps a lot. The meringue wasn’t grainy at all. How do I know this you ask? Because I tasted it! Yup, raw eggs and all. Yum! It also firmed up faster than I thought it would, not sure if this was because of the sugar dissolving quickly or not, but that’s what I’m going with.
Folding in the flour was no easy feat. Similar to the genoise, as soon as I thought it had been incorporated I would unearth another streak of dry flour. So as gently as I could I continued to mix until there was no flour left. I plopped (yes plopped is the most appropriate word for this action) the mixture into the pan and ran a knife through the centre to get any lurking air pockets. To be honest the knife thing seemed silly and I don’t think it really did anything but I did it anyway.
Post-stabbing I put the cake in the oven to bake and started on my curd.
While I appreciate Mary’s attempt at being helpful by providing a use for the 10 egg yolks I found myself staring at I was a little sad I wasn’t left with any extras. It being ice cream season and all egg yolks are never hard to use up in my house. I do know I could have halved the recipe and saved some yolks but, math.
I’ve actually made Mary’s curd in the past, although I made orange curd instead of lemon (shocker) so I was feeling quite confident with this step. I put the yolks etc into the pot and got comfortable in my usual pot watching slouch. It took about ten minutes and I had a passably thick mixture. Then I dumped in a ton of butter.
I used to live in a world where curd was a fruity spread/filling that you could eat at breakfast and not think twice about it. Sadly I now live in a world where I realize you can’t turn fruit juice into a silky creamy thing without all of the fat. But hey, everything in moderation!
This recipe also required that I buy (slash request that my husband buy) passion fruit. Based on GBBO I can’t help but assume passion fruit is rampant in the UK, it seems like every other week someone is using it as a flavour in a bake. But I’ve never bought one or eaten one in my life and they are expensive! Almost $2 for 1 and this is all it produced.
So far I am not sold on the merits of passion fruit. Either way I mixed the measly pulp in with some of my cooled curd. I should mention that whilst I have been lamenting the hidden fat in curd and my general fruit budget my cake finished baking, I set it upside down to cool
I whipped up some cream. I used coconut extract to flavour the cream because I was out of vanilla. And I generally got ready for assembly.
I lost some of the nice golden bits of the cake to the pan but nothing a whole pile of cream couldn’t fix/hide.
The cake ended up as a perfect tropical treat. A usual coconut hater, even I had to admit the tastes all worked together. The lemon was nice too, she says through gritted teeth. But the real star was the cake. It was heavenly, light as a cloud even! Aptly named oh dessert naming gods! So knock on wood but Series 4 might not be so bad!