Angel Cake Filled with Fresh Lemon Curd and Strawberries

An angel cake is an American fantasy. Ultra light and pure white, it can make a spectacular end to a special meal. As the cake is made with egg whites only I use the yolks to make a fresh lemon curd, which combines beautifully with strawberries in the filling. Alternatively make an orange curd using one large orange instead of the lemons.

Ingredients

  • 40 g/ oz self-raising flour
  • 15 g/½ oz cornflour
  • 150 g/5 oz caster sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 75 g/3 oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz lemon juice
  • 225-350 g/8-12 oz strawberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1. Line the base of 2 ungreased 18.5-20 cm/7½-8 in straight-sided sandwich tins with discs of baking parchment. Sift the flour and cornflour together several times to make them extra fine.

Sift the caster sugar and add 1 heaped tablespoon of it to the flours. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with the water, cream of tartar and salt until they stand in soft peaks. Using a large metal spoon, gradually fold in the remaining sugar. Fold in the sifted flours, a little at a time, sifting them directly on to the egg whites. Pour into the tins and bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for about 1½ hours, until well risen and springy. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins until almost cool.

While the cakes are cooking, prepare the lemon curd. Put the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Stir in the caster sugar, grated lemon rind and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, then leave until cold.

When the cakes are almost cool, loosen the sides carefully with a palette knife. Turn out and peel off the baking parchment, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Halve the strawberries if large. Put one cake on a large serving plate. Spread with the lemon curd, then arrange the strawberries evenly on the curd. Top with the second cake and sprinkle thickly with caster sugar. Eat within a day.

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