Friday, 29 March 2013

Forever Nigella - Easter: Lemon - no, Passionfruit - Meringue Cake

Feast is probably my favourite Nigella tome. I love How to be a Domestic Goddess (for the cinammon bun recipe alone), but there's something about Feast that really gets me. It's all about spending a little time creating really special food, and it has never disappointed. The curry feast has stood me in good stead on a couple of raucous dinner party occasions - particularly good for the cook ahead nature of the whole thing, but on its own, the Mughlai chicken recipe is one that the kids are very keen on. True, I have never been tempted to cook the sweet potato with marshmallow topping, but there's a whole section on chocolate cakes from the bog standard old fashioned chocolate cake to the more sophisticated Rococoa Cake - and of course a Chocolate Malteser cake long before later pretenders to the  Domestic Goddess throne.

I love that the book covers different food cultures and meals for different occasions in those cultures. If I refer to a book during Christmas preparations it is almost always to Feast that I turn, and she has revolutionised my Yorkshire pudding. 

And if I haven't convinced you enough that this would be the one Nigella volume to take to your desert island and torture yourself with while you survived on all that fish you would spear (just think sashimi, Dahling), and coconuts, let me tell you that you must have the sake steak at least once before you die. Honestly - it is divine.

So naturally, as the theme for the Forever Nigella challenge this month is Easter, Feast was the volume I turned to. We were going to a  lunch party on Palm Sunday, and I offered pudding (of course I did - Palm Sunday wasn't a fast day!). I dithered over what to make, but in the end, it had to be the Lemon Meringue Cake. Happily for everyone concerned, it's on her website, so you can find the recipe here if you want to have a go yourself.

It's classic Nigella, with lots of little asides and comment littered about the recipe. This is why I love Nigella so much: "Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. You will think you don't even have enough to cover the bottom of the tins but don't panic. Spread calmly with a rubber spatula until smooth."

calmly spread...

There was also a suggestion about swapping the lemon curd filling for passion fruit. Given that it was Palm Sunday and all that, I decided to go with it.

So the day before Palm Sunday we had friends for dinner which turned into a rather more riotous session than anticipated and our guests left at just after 2 in the morning. I can't remember the last time I was voluntarily up at 2 a.m. It was great fun but faced with operation clear up and then cake baking before lunch, I almost cracked. I think if I hadn't already made the curd, I might have done. In the end,  I managed to pull myself together, and actually it's a fairly straightforward recipe. You make a lemon sponge and smooth that into 2 tins (see above), then cover the sponge batter with meringue (one smoothed, one 'peaked' with the back of a spoon) before baking.

smoothed....                                peaked
I wasn't concentrating completely, and I slightly overcooked them so that the top of the peaked meringue caught slightly, but sandwiched together (flat meringue down, peaked meringue on top) with the passion fruit curd and some whipped cream, it was a reasonable offering to take along to our lunch,

Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes is hosting Forever Nigella this month for Sarah at Maison Cupcake .


  1. Either way, this looks delicious!

  2. I love meringue cakes - yours looks perfectly stick and fluffy!

  3. A lovely looking cake and the tangy passionfruit filling against the sweet meringue sounds delicious. Thanks for entering into Forever Nigella


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