This divine cake can be glammed up with the toasted meringue but is equally delicious with just a drizzle of coffee icing or a flurry of icing sugar. You can make the filling two days ahead and the cake one day before. Then assemble and flash through a hot oven.
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
90 grams butter, diced
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
270 grams butter, very soft but not melted
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup brown sugar
3 x size 7 eggs (large)
½ cup plain yoghurt
1¼ cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 x 20cm cake tins, greased and bases lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Filling: Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth then add the remaining milk, egg yolk and vanilla. Put the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir until melted. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until thick and a deeper golden colour and with a toasty aroma.
Remove from the heat and whisk in a ⅓ of the milk mixture then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. Return to a low heat and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low again and stir constantly until thick and the cornflour is fully cooked out. Stir in the salt then transfer to a bowl and when cool, cover and refrigerate.
Cake: Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and using a hand beater, beat until the batter is smooth. This should only take about 1 minute.
Divide the batter evenly between the tins and smooth the tops.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Cool completely in the tins.
Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
Topping: Beat the egg whites and lemon juice to soft peaks then gradually beat in the ½ cup of sugar until thick and glossy.
To assemble: Place one cake on a heatproof plate. Give the caramel a good stir then spread over the cake.
Top with the second cake. Spread the meringue over the entire cake. Combine the cinnamon, coconut and caster sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Place in the oven for 3–4 minutes until golden. Watch it like a hawk as it can burn in seconds. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour before serving. Makes 1 cake