Louise Cake

I’m a little over slice, to be honest. So this will be the last one I will post about for a while. Plus I’ve decided I am going to be slightly more inventive in 2012! Kitchen-wise anyway. I was gifted by my lovely sister a subscription to the award-winning Cuisine magazine for Christmas so I can’t wait to see what treats turn up in my letterbox each month. I’m certainly looking forward to it and for a whole 12 months….exciting!

Now Louise Cake is something that I wasn’t too familiar with pre-December. I always thought it looked very beautiful in all its meringue-laden glory. And we all know that beautiful looking food often takes time to make said food so beautiful.

Well, I surprised myself. This slice is one of the easiest I’ve ever made and it is pretty darn good! Along with Ginger Slice, Louise Cake is another New Zealand favourite consisting of a thin layer of cake topped with raspberry jam, coconut meringue and then baked in the oven. Who’d say no to that?

It was everything I’d imagined and more..thanks to Mr. Simon Holst for the recipe!

Louise Cake

For the base:
100g softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup standard (plain) flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup good-quality raspberry jam (I used Anathoth Raspberry Jam and highly recommend)

For the topping:
2 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut shreds

Heat oven to 160 degrees, with the rack just below the middle of the oven. Line the sides and bottom of a pan about 18x28cm with baking paper, allowing enough extra paper on the sides for lifting the cooked slice out, or spray a 23cm square loose-bottomed pan.

For the base, put the softened butter and sugar in a food processor or large bowl. Separate two eggs, adding the yolks to this mixture (and put the whites in a clean medium-sized bowl to use for the topping). Add the vanilla essence, mix the egg yolks through the softened butter and sugar, then add the two flours and mix again until evenly crumbly. Tip crumbly mixture into prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.

For the topping, beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy, then add the sugar and beat until the tips of peaks turn over when the beater is lifted from them. Then fold half a cup of the coconut evenly through the meringue.

Spread the jam over the warm shortcake. Drop the meringue in spoonfuls on top, then spread evenly with a knife. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Bake for about 15 minutes at 160C (150C for fan bake) or until the meringue feels crisp and is evenly and lightly coloured. Cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Lemon Meringue Pie is actually a pretty stunning dessert. Mini lemon meringue pies are even better! I can’t remember ever having had lemon meringue pie because I usually always choose cheesecake over other desserts. There is something about cheesecake, I am never left dissatisfied. Amen.

I borrowed this recipe from New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and it was relatively easy to follow. Last Sunday night I was feeling a little bit creative and decided to make mini lemon meringue pies. I was really reeeeeally happy with the way these turned out – the serving size was just perfect and paired with a spoonful of natural yoghurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream….you have yourself a dessert made in heaven!

The lemon filling is very similar to lemon curd so you could just as easily pre-make lemon curd and use when needed. Time saving tips for busy December

Have fun with these little bundles of lemony sweet joy!

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

  • 300g sweet short pastry
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup water
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 15g butter
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Roll out pastry to 3mm thick and use to line a 12-hole muffin pan. Prick the base of each pastry shell with a fork and then chill for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C. Line each pastry case with baking paper or foil and fill with baking beans (or rice like me!) to blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove paper and beans/rice and return pastry cases to the oven for a further five minutes to dry out. Remove to cool.

Place the egg yolks, water, lemon juice and zest, sugar, butter and cornflour into a saucepan. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring continuously until mixture thickens like custard. Remove to cool.

Spread lemon custard mixture into cooked pastry case. Place egg whites in a bowl and with an electric mixer, beat until stiff. Slowly add caster sugar a little at a time, beating well until thick meringue is formed.

Spread meringue over custard to cover completely. Bake at 200°C for 10 to 15 minutes, just until tips of meringue are lightly browned. Dust with icing sugar and slice to serve.