Sure we all love Louise Cake, but it's time for a twist!
Raspberry jam is a standard filling for this popular slice, but it’s so gorgeous with lemon curd that once you try it, you may never go back to raspberry jam again. Louise cake is quite a good keeper – up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Base 130g (4½ ounces) plain flour ½ tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 75g (just under 3 ounces) butter, softened 45g (1½ ounces) sugar 2 egg yolks ¾ cup lemon curd apricot jam or strawberry conserve Topping 2 egg whites 120g (about 7 ounces) sugar 60g (about 2 ounces) desiccated coconut
1 Sieve flour and baking powder together with a pinch of salt. Put butter in a smallish warmed bowl and beat with an electric beater until soft and loose. Gradually beat in sugar, and beat until light and creamy. Beat in egg yolks, then blend in dry ingredients. The mixture will be on the dry side and will be difficult to amalgamate, but this is how it should be, and it will form a stiff paste with a bit of elbow grease.
2 Press into a small Swiss roll tin (jelly roll pan) roughly 25cm x 16cm (10” by 6½”), lined with baking (parchment) paper and spread generously with lemon curd.
1 Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually and beat again until stiff and glossy. Carefully stir in coconut.
2 Spread coconut meringue topping evenly over curd layer making sure all the jam is covered.
3 Bake in an oven preheated to 160°C (320°F) for about 15 minutes, or until the coconut meringue is lightly coloured and the curd is bubbling underneath. Cut Louise cake into 24 slices while still warm, then transfer to a cooling track. Store in a container, separating the pieces with waxed paper.
This is also delicious filled with homemade apricot jam or strawberry conserve.
If you want to get some preparation done in advance, make the base, press it into the paper-lined tin and freeze. Once frozen, remove from the tin and transfer to a sealable freezer bag and freeze until required.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com