To make the cake, melt cream cheese, butter and milk in a pan over a pot of simmering water. Let it cool.
Once the mixture has cooled down, fold in the flour, cornstarch, egg yolks, lemon juice. Make sure to mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.
Gradually fold in the cheese mixture into the egg white mixture. Lastly, add in the vanilla extract.
Pour batter into a 8-inch cake pan. Since we’ll be baking the cake in a water-bath make sure to prep the pan before baking. Line the inside of the pan with parchment paper then wrap the outside with aluminum foil. Our goal is not too let water seep into the baking pan, okay?
Bake the cake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 325F
To make the icing, combime 1/2 cup milk, vanilla and cornstarch. Mix well until well combined. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over moderate heat. Caramel is very moody. There’s a thin line between a good caramel and a burnt caramel. You need to keep your eyes open and your senses alert. Now it starts to boil. Action is starting! This step will happen in about 8 minutes.
When it’s achieved the color we want, remove from heat and add the 3 1/2 cups milk. The sugar will seize but don’t be disappointed. Continue cooking and the sugar will melt into the milk. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the milk mixture. Cook again over moderate heat, stirring, until the pudding thickens, about one minute. Strain and transfer to a bowl.
Now here’s the tricky part, how do we cover the cake with the icing? Icing should still be hot and fluid when we pour it over the cake otherwise the icing will look like it curdled as we apply it to the cake.
You can do it 2 ways - (a) Set the cake in a cooling rack (make sure the cooling rack is placed above pan of some sorts to catch the caramel drippings. Yum! (oops I got disracted). Then pour the icing over it, evenly. Let it cool and transfer the cake in a stand (or wherever you want it) using spatulas. (b) Place the cake in a cake stand (this is what I did) and insert strips of parchment paper under the cake. Place the strips just about at the edges, otherwise you’ll get a hard time pulling them out later. Then pour the icing over it, evenly. The strips will catch drippings. Let it cool and one by one, pull out the strips and tada!