Waitrose and Partners
Thunder & lightning cake

Thunder & lightning cake

An elegant cake recipe with a difference from Orlando Murrin's debut novel – Knife Skills for Beginners – a ‘cosy crime’ story on a culinary theme

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  • Serves8
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook30 mins
  • Total time50 mins
  • Pluscooling

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  • 120g butter, softened, plus a little for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 250g Cooks’ Ingredients Salted Caramel Icing
  • 227g pot clotted cream
  • Homemade or Cooks’ Ingredients Dark Chocolate Curls (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins, then line the bases with baking parchment. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, 100g sugar and the egg yolks together in a large bowl until creamy

  2. Beat in the vanilla extract, milk and flour until just mixed. Divide between the tins and spread thinly and evenly.

  3. With clean beaters, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Continue whisking, gradually adding the remaining 150g sugar, until thick and meringue-like, but still spreadable.

  4. Spread evenly over each cake, then sprinkle with the almonds and demerara. (This will give the layers a nougatine topping.) Bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed and the nuts are browned. Cool in the tins for 20 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. The meringue will sink as it cools.

  5. To assemble, put 1 layer, meringue-side up, on a serving plate. Spread delicately with the icing, then the clotted cream (don’t stir, or it will go runny). Top with the remaining layer and finish with the chocolate curls, if liked.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,838kJ/ 681kcals



Saturated Fat












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