1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
6 egg whites
Pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup sour cream
Crystallized rose petals or flowers for decorating (See Note Below) (optional)
Preheat an oven to 375°F/190°C.
Sift the flour onto a plate, then stir in the lemon zest and set aside.
Put the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar into a large bowl and whisk until stiff but moist-looking peaks form. Gradually whisk in the superfine sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue whisking for 1 to 2 minutes.
Gently fold in the flour mixture using a metal spoon and a swirling figure-of-eight motion. Pour into an 8-inch deep or 9-inch shallow nonstick angel food cake pan (there is no need to grease it first). Bake until the cake is well risen and golden and the top springs back when pressed with a fingertip, 25 to 30 minutes.
Turn the cake, still in its pan, upside down onto a cooling rack and let cool. As it cools, it will fall out of the pan.
To make the frosting, in a bowl, stir together the lemon curd and sour cream and spread over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle with crystallized rose petals or flowers.
Makes 8 servings.
Note: To crystallize flowers, buy a sachet of dried egg white and mix it as instructed. Let it cool, then brush the mixture over rose petals or viola, pansy or herb flowers. Dust lightly with a little superfine sugar, let dry for 30 minutes, then use to decorate the cake just before serving.
Adapted from Easter: Food and Entertaining (Hamlyn, 2003).
Date: January 17, 2004