This is a lovely dessert loaded with lots of lemon flavour. Four layers of cake sheets are filled with a sweet lemon cream filling and topped with a cooked meringue frosting. The cake is so light it melts in your mouth.
2 whole eggs
125 ml (1/2 cup) oil or butter
175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
500 g (4 cups) flour
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) rosehip jam
2 egg yolks
250 ml (1 cup) sugar, divided
250 ml (1 cup) butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 egg whites
125 ml (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
5 ml (1 tsp) coloured sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 180º C (350º F). You will need a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9-inch) baking pan for the cake sheets and a double boiler for the filling and frosting.
To make the cake sheets, beat together eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to egg mixture stirring at first with a spoon and then kneading by hand until the dough is no longer sticky. Divide the dough into four equal parts. You can weigh them to ensure that they are equal; it is important to be precise at this step in order to get sheets that are equal in size and width.
The sheets are made by baking the dough on the bottom of the pan. First, the pan is turned upside down (the bottom is now the top) and greased with butter. Next, each ball of dough is rolled out onto a floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll each ball out into a rectangular shape, ensuring that it is evenly spread. The sheet should be about 5 mm (1/4-inch) larger than the top of the pan as it will shrink slightly when baking.
Place one sheet onto the greased surface of the pan and prick it with a fork. Pricking will prevent the dough from rising when it is baking. Bake sheet for 10-12 minutes. Remove the sheet from the pan while it is still hot. Be careful when removing them as they are very fragile. Repeat with the other three sheets.
Cover three of the sheets with a thin layer of rosehip jam while they are still hot. Set all four sheets aside to cool.
To make the filling, start by mixing the egg yolks with half of the sugar in a double boiler over high heat. Continue mixing until the sugar melts. Once the sugar melts, set the pan aside to cool. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and the remaining sugar until creamy. Combine the butter mixture with the cooled egg yolk mixture. Gradually stir in the lemon zest. Once evenly mixed, add the lemon juice little by little, in order to avoid separating the cream. Divide the filling into three equal parts.
Begin assembling the cake by evenly spreading a third of the filling onto one of the sheets covered with jam. Layer a sheet covered with jam over the first one, and evenly spread another part of the filling on this second sheet. Layer on the last sheet covered with jam, and evenly spread the remaining filling on this third sheet. Place the bare sheet on the top. The frosting will go on this bare sheet.
To make the meringue frosting beat the egg whites in the top of the double boiler. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Place the pan over heat and continue beating the mixture for another 10-15 minutes. Gradually stir in the lemon juice. Remove 40-50 ml (3-4 tbsp) of the frosting into a small bowl and mix in the lemon zest. The zest will give the frosting a yellowish-green tint.
Spread the white frosting over the cake, then with the coloured frosting, using a fork, draw a group of 3-4 irregular lines, leaving 5 cm (2-inch) distance in between the next lines. Spread coloured sprinkles over the lines while the frosting is still warm.