Leftovers… Milk Jam and Meringue Cake

It was time to clean the refrigerator today. Long over due. You should have seen it. Separated eggs, bits of cake, one bread pudding, milk jam, a half eaten pear… Not pretty. I never throw away anything. I freeze and find ways to reuse but this was getting a little out of hand.

The milk jam that I made last week was almost gone. There were maybe four tablespoons left. The container looked so sad… More than half empty. I also had some sponge cake in the freezer and some unflavored simple syrup I used for the green tea opera cake. So I had all the elements for a cake; a tres leches kind of cake.

Many readers asked me what else I make with milk jam. Well, here is one use. Take leftover sponge, soak it really well with vanilla simple syrup, layer some milk jam in between, sprinkle some crushed cinnamon graham crackers and cover it all with meringue. That easy!

For the milk jam recipe, go here. For the sponge cake, go here. For the simple syrup, here. I didn’t have enough milk jam to make a large cake so I decided to make mini ones.

To Assemble the Cake

With a round cookie cutter that is about 3 inches wide, cut 4 disks out of the sponge cake. Then cut these disks horizontally into three layers. So we will have 4 mini cakes with 3 layers of cake each.

Place four cake layers in front of you. With a small pastry brush, soak the layers of cake with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of milk jam on top. Place another layer of cake on top of the milk jam, soak with simple syrup, more milk jam and top with the last layer of sponge cake. Press the top layer down gently so the cake is somewhat even. It doesn’t really matter if it’s not because it will be covered in meringue and you will not be able to see if the layers are perfect.

Italian Meringue

50 grams egg whites

100 grams sugar

To finish it all, I made some Italian meringue and burned it with the blow torch. For the meringue I don’t ever use a recipe per se. All you need to remember is one part of egg whites and two parts of sugar.

Place the sugar in a saucepan with a little bit of water. Not much, enough to make a slush. Cook the sugar to 240 degrees F or also known as soft ball stage. While the sugar is cooking, start whipping your egg whites which should be light and fluffy by the time your sugar reaches soft ball stage. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the sugar to the egg whites in a slow stream. When all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until the meringue is fully whipped, nice and shiny and the bottom of the bowl has cooled down.

With a small spatula, ice the mini cakes with the meringue and burn it with a blow torch or under a broiler. It’s like marshmallow!!!

I love my blow torch…

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28 Responses to “Leftovers… Milk Jam and Meringue Cake”

  1. Shakadal says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I love your blow torch too! That’s the same kind we had at my old job…it’s handy when you’re trying to cream too-cold butter in a very large Hobart…

  3. Sherry says:

    You know, you make the most beautiful and inventive desserts. You should really see about writing a book.

  4. Peabody says:

    Always good when you can break out the blowtorch! :)

  5. Tartelette says:

    My mom calls me the queen of recycling, I like to think it comes with the pastry trade. There is always a dessert lurking at the back of the fridge, the trick is to make it happen! Blow torches rock! The mini cakes are a great idea and with meringue…well then…ok!

  6. linda says:

    I’d love to have access to your freezer :)
    The cake looks delicious. Want to have a blow torch too!

  7. wow aran I love your blow torch too! Think if I had one I’d be dangerous and meringue-ing everything so maybe it’s better I don’t get one just yet!!!

    Gorgeous cakes aswell, as always the shots are fantastic!

  8. C.L. says:

    Oh Aran,
    YOu rock! Are you sure you don’t want to start a business with me. I know there has got to be someplace that needs a dessert bar. We would make a great team! This is beautiful :)


  9. RecipeGirl says:

    Very interesting (delicious-sounding) dessert! How creative you are in putting it all together.

    I need a blow torch like that one!

  10. Mobula says:

    Que manera de aprovechar los restos!!!!! Fantásticos los pastelitos, como siempre, divíiiiinos de la muerte!!!

    Menos mal que comer por los ojos no engorda que sino me estaba prihibiendo pero ya tu blog!!!



  11. I agree with Sherry…please write a book!

  12. M says:

    I bet there’s no leftovers for that!
    You’re really original and creative. Very insipring :)

  13. Veron says:

    what a great use of the leftovers. Love that blowtorch!

  14. Boy do you have good looking leftovers!

  15. This is all just amazing! Love that you can create beautiful things out of “leftovers.” Just amazing!

  16. Katherine says:

    Not only beautiful but tasty Im sure. Oh, and your marshmallows? Soft, melt in your mouth sweetness, but not too sweet, which I think is key.
    A recipe request: Those cookies you made at the ritz around the holidays. I have all the ingredients, the white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, just ewwy gooey sweet not so goodness. Nothing about them is good for you I think, but I can’t stop thinking about them and want to make them, can you forward me the recipe? Thanks!

  17. Your blowtorch is hot! ;-)

    I’ve got a fridge full of leftovers from a baking gig last weekend, and I wondered if you could tell me if you can keep separated egg yolks in the fridge? I’ve got a load over from Friday, and wanted to make ice cream from them, but the weekend got away from me. How long are they good in the fridge?

  18. Aran says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind words and I’m happy to see that all of you love your blow torches too!

    Mari- regarding your question about the eggs… You can keep separated eggs in the fridge for up to 3 days or so but I have kept them for up to a week (oh no!) and they have been fine. Especially egg whites. And aged egg whites are even better to whip than fresh ones. But let’s say 3 days for health reasons. I don’t want to get in trouble.
    Also, you can freeze eggs when they are out of the shell! yes, just lightly whisk them and put them in a freezer bag. they will be good for months!

  19. Aran says:

    By the way, I hope none of you opened that link on that first comment. It’s a spyware download . PLEASE DO NOT OPEN IT!!!! It made me sooo mad… I don’t know how to delete it now.

  20. Suzana says:

    Leftovers you say?? That looks a-w-e-s-o-m-e, Aran. Would you pass by the next time my fridge needs some cleaning up? ;-)

  21. Ana says:

    Qué maravilla de pastel nos presentas, el merengue tiene una pinta estupenda y con el quemadito, me encanta.
    Felicidades por tu trabajo.
    Un abrazo

  22. Gloria says:

    Amazing, beautiful so decadent!! nice I don’t know how more!!!!! xxxxlove it. Gloria

  23. B says:

    It’s so good to give new ideas about how to use leftovers (of course, I cannot figura out yet how you manage to have left overs- lot’s of self- or impossed?- discipline for J. and C.) ! It really shows how resourceful and excellent chef you are!

  24. Raffi says:

    Aran – This is beautiful. I assume if you just substitute lemons for orange, you get a classic tarte au citron?

  25. Dana says:

    How inventive! I find sometimes the best desserts come out of “using up” stuff in my refrigerator. Your creation sounds AMAZING.

  26. Deborah says:

    This sounds absolutely amazing!

  27. Alicia says:

    I needed an extraordinary finishto a simple elegant meal and thanks to Lisa Porter for posting to her blog and your wonderful idea…voila c’est magnifique!!!
    Im tailoring to the mountains of fresh lemons I have on hand to fresh lemon curd and lemon sponge…I can’t wait to return over & over!!!!

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