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Lemon Meringue Cake or Strawberry?

Asked by PoppyCoco. Answered on 23rd July 2012

Full question

Hello NIgella Team, I have both Forever Summer and Feast and am attempting 10 or so desserts for a friends wedding at the end of the month. I want to make the Lemon Meringue cake from Feast and then found the Strawberry version in Forever Summer, both recipes are slightly different, with the amount of butter and flour. I wondered if one had been derived after the other and had a better finish? I'll freeze both cakes until the day. Very many thanks, Sam

Our answer

The Lemon Meringue Cake from Feast does have slightly less flour and butter (plus some extra leavening in the form of bicarbonate of soda) which gives a slightly more egg-rich and tender cake, in contrast with the airy meringue next to it. As the introduction in Feast mentions, the Lemon Meringue Cake is derived from the the Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake with a few tweaks.

The main issue is which filling you want to use. The strawberry version needs a slightly more robst cake to hold together with the strawberry filling, hence the slightly different ratios of flour and butter.

For ease, on the day of the wedding, we feel the lemon meringue version will be quicker to assemble. Also it is made in a food processor which speeds things up slightly (though can be made by the creaming method too). If you are freezing the cakes wrap them in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil. Make sure they are clearly lavbelled and don't stack anything on top of the cakes as it will crush the meringue layers. Unwrap and thaw the cake layers on a wire rack at room temperature for about 3 hours. It is best to unwrap the cakes to thaw them as any ice crystals trapped in the wrapping could cause the meringue to become a little soft as they thaw.

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