This four-layer cake is rich and relatively simple to make. It has a denser and slightly drier crumb than the average Canadian cake.
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cake-and- pastry flour
- Pinch salt
- 8 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) ground almonds
- 2 tsp (10 mL) each grated lemon and orange rind
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
- Lemon Cream:
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) finely grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) lemon juice
- 2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream
- 1 pkg (100 g) sliced almonds, toasted
- candied lemon slices and orange slices (optional, recipe follows)
Lemon Cream: In double boiler or heatproof bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and lemon rind and juice; cook, stirring frequently but not vigorously, until translucent and thick enough to mound on spoon, about 8 minutes. Scrape into clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
Grease and flour sides of two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Sift together flour and salt. In large bowl, beat egg yolks with 2/3 cup (150 mL) of the sugar until pale and as thick as softly whipped cream. Fold in almonds, lemon and orange rind. Alternately fold in flour mixture and orange juice, making 3 additions of flour and 2 of juice.
In separate large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter in three additions. Divide evenly between prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen and invert onto rack. Peel off parchment paper. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap, then overwrap in heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 1 week.)
In bowl, whip cream; fold into lemon mixture in two additions. Using large serrated knife, cut brown crust from top and bottom of each cake. Halve cakes horizontally. Place one layer on cake plate. Spread 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the lemon cream over top. Repeat layering 2 more times, ending with cake on top. Spread remaining lemon cream over top and sides of cake.
Garnish: Press almonds all around sides of cake. Top with Candied Lemon and Orange Slices (if using.)
Candied Lemon and Orange Slices
In saucepan, bring 1 cup (250 mL) each granulated sugar and water to boil; boil for 3 minutes. Add half of one lemon and small thin-skinned orange, sliced crosswise and seeded. Reduce heat and simmer until fruit is tender, 6 minutes. Let cool; drain on rack for 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 week.)