Recipe taken from Dairy-Free Delicious by Katy Salter, published by Quadrille, £18.99
- For the lemon curd:
- 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 100g dairy-free sunflower spread
- grated zest of 2 lemons, plus the juice of 3 lemons
- 175g golden caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- For the cake:
- 250g dairy-free sunflower spread
- 250g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour, sifted
- grated zest 2 lemons (long strands are preferable)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp soya or almond milk
- 75g ground almonds
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- For the filling and top:
- 4 egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- You will need:
- 20cm round, deep cake tin, greased and lined with greaseproof paper
- piping bag, fitted with a plain nozzle
- kitchen blowtorch
For the lemon curd: Beat the whole eggs, yolks and cornflour together in a large bowl and place to one side. Put the dairy-free spread in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to melt. Add the lemon zest, juice, sugar and salt. Keep stirring constantly until the spread has all melted and the sugar has dissolved. Strain through a sieve into another pan or large bowl and return the strained liquid to the pan over a low-medium heat.
Pour in the beaten egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Keep whisking until the mixture has the consistency of thick custard.
Remove from the heat. Leave to cool completely then pour into a sterilised jar and seal. Store in the fridge (it will last for 1 week).
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Using an electric whisk, or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the dairy-free spread with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, alternating each with 1 tablespoon of the flour and whisking to combine. Mix in the lemon zest, juice and soya or almond milk. Fold in the remaining sifted flour, the ground almonds and baking powder using a large metal spoon.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour-1 hour15 minutes. To test whether the cake is cooked all the way through, pop a wooden stick (kebab stick is perfect!) into the centre and push all the way down. If it is sticky when removed then the cake will need more time, and if a few crumbs stick to the sides then the cake is ready to come out.
Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, cut horizontally into equal thirds using a bread knife (rounded tip is best) or a cake leveller.
For the filling, put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and whisk on a high speed, using a hand-held electric whisk, for 5–10 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy with stiff peaks.
Place one layer of the sponge on a plate or cake stand, spread with lemon curd, then a layer of the soft meringue. Place another layer of sponge on top, and repeat.
Add the final layer of sponge and using a piping bag, pipe small whirls of the soft meringue over the top until it is fully covered. Alternatively, you can use a palette knife to spread a layer of meringue of the top and create little peaks for texture. Using a kitchen blowtorch, lightly flame the peaks so that they colour on top.
If you don’t have time to make your own lemon curd, use 1 jar dairy free lemon curd instead