Large, airy cakes such as this one were extremely difficult to make in the temperamental ovens of the 19th century. They really tested the chef’s skill. In
Use the most beautiful, decorative tin that you have for this cake – the higher, the better – or use a kugelhopf tin. It’s important to follow the instructions using lard to grease the tin. When you’re using an intricate tin that doesn’t have a non-stick coating, this method will ensure the cake releases from the tin. Double the recipe for a larger tin.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until the egg whites are stiff and shiny. Add a teaspoon of the egg white mixture to the egg yolks, add the lemon zest and mix. Fold the egg yolks through the egg whites.
Sift the flour and cornflour over the mixture, add a pinch of salt and fold in, ensuring that the mixture is well mixed but retains its volume.
Spoon the batter into the tin and then place it in the bottom of the oven if you are using a high mould or in the middle if you are using a normal mould or tin.
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