Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lime = Husband

When my sister was in Home-Ec, her class had to go to the department store downtown and pick out their dishes, silverware, glasses, and housewares, as if they were registering for a wedding. I remember that she selected a dish pattern that had dainty sprigs of flowers all over it, saying that she'd never get tired of having breakfast on such cheerful dishes. She also adored violets and selected a bed set strewn with violets and ruffles.

Fast forward a few decades and my sister is now grown, married, and living in a house devoid of dainty floral touches. She's all Southwest and hot chilies. But I still think of her whenever I see violets on a comforter and have a fleeting, momentary thought of, "Oh, I should get that for her. She'd love it!"

Sometimes things get tied to people and the association is hard to break. Especially foods. Coconut always makes me think of my friend who's passionate about anything coconut flavored or scented. Divinity makes me think of my friend who could eat it until she gets sick. And lime always makes me think of my husband. He loves anything with lime and I keep a lookout for special lime recipes to make him happy.

This year for his birthday he asked me to surprise him with the choice of birthday cake, so I went to my recipe stash and pulled out one that I'd been wanting to make for a while. I'd cut it out of Cooking Light magazine years ago and finally had my chance. It looked perfect - light, fluffy, and totally limeish. I changed out the fat-free whipped topping for real whipped cream since I'd rather take my chances with the fat than the chemical cocktail that makes up that stuff. The result was lovely. An airy cake that was refreshingly full of lime flavor. The only thing my family didn't swoon over was the filling. It tasted a bit too much like sweetened condensed milk. I know that would be a plus for some people, though (Patricia, I'm thinking of you here).

Lime Chiffon Cake
adapted from Cooking Light

1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon cake flour
2 cups sifted cake flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
3 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
About 2-1/2 cups whipped cream
Fresh fruit to garnish: strawberries, blueberries, mint leaves (optional)

In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon lime rind, 1/4 cup lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until blended. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat bottoms of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Lightly spoon 2 cups cake flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until well combined.

Combine oil, 1/3 cup juice, 3 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon rind, lemon extract, and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into flour mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Divide cake batter equally among prepared pans, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Remove wax paper from cake layers. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small glass bowl. Microwave at high for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Fold into whipped cream.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of filling over cake layer. Top with second layer, remaining half of filling, and third layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with fruit, if desired. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Big Boys Oven said...

wow this cake of yours is a sure winner, so white and wo pure, I just love it, lovely chiffon!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I am a coconut lover, so I'd fit right in with you friend. I also love lime, even more so than lemon. That cake looks devine. Tell hubby he's a very lucky man & Happy Birthday to him.

Karen Baking Soda said...

Oh Lynn, what a gorgeous spectacularly white on white cake (I get bonus slices for spelling that one right huh?)

Anonymous said...

The cake looks beautiful! And I love condensed milk so I'm sure I would love the filling.

Gina said...

Happy birthday to your husband. I'm with him - I love lime so I'm bookmarking this cake! I can only hope mine would turn out half as beautiful as yours - it is stunning!!

Anonymous said...

I wondered where this cake went to!
It turned out beautiful. Besides my love of lemon stuff I also love lime stuff. I think I might make this cake sometime too. I really looks good.

Mary said...

Your cake is beautiful and it sounds so delicious!

Anonymous said...

hello .. im a regular visitor of your blog and i love reading it ..!
can you plz tell me if i can use regular flour instead of cake flour?
keep up the good work.!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Big Boys Oven - Thanks!

Lisa - Lemon, lime and coconut, you should make that into a tropical cake.

Baking Soda - Just because it's you, I'll give you double bonus points.

Diningduo - I knew this filling was just right for someone.

Gina - Have fun with the cake. I'm sure yours will be even more beautiful.

Melinda - I get there eventually. My filing system is a tame black hole, which gets me into trouble sometimes.

Mary - Thank you.

Anonymous - Thanks for the kind words. Using regular flour instead of cake flour will give you a less than satisfactory cake. It won't be as light and airy. If cake flour is unavailable to you, click on the link on the side bar for Melinda's Kitchen Diary. She's got a wonderful method for turning all purpose flour into cake flour using your microwave. Check it out!

LyB said...

That cake looks so light and fluffy, so beautiful! A perfect birthday cake indeed. :)

Aimée said...

Oh Lynn, this is so pretty. My birthday is coming up soon, can I order one? :)

Laura said...

I remember when that cake was in the magazine--I thought it looked fabulous. Glad to hear I was right.

Your post made me laugh--first because MY sister thinks of roses when she thinks of me and although they remain my favorite flower I don't use anything with a rose scent anymore. Second because when I was in Thailand for my honeymoon everything (silk and cashmere scarves, etc) I brought home for my mom was in the wrong color scheme--apparently she was over earthy jewel tones. Who knew? It IS hard to shake those associations!

BugnLVoe said...

Mmm It looks so summery - light and creamy.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, my dear friend, you have put a smile on my face! I was reading the post and when I saw "sweetened condensed milk" I immediately thought "I have got to bake this cake", to 1 second later read your message. :)

The cake looks amazing and the hubby would have a wonderful time here in Brazil, since we use limes for everything, savory and sweet, pretty much like you guys from the US and Europe use lemons.

eatme_delicious said...

What a gorgeous cake! I think I'd love the filling that tastes like condensed milk. And I know what you mean about associating things with certain people even if it's no longer true about them (or maybe something you thought was true then later realized they don't LOVE it they just like it).

Deborah said...

I think I would love the filling. I could probably eat sweetened condensed milk with a spoon! And add in the lime - I'm hooked!

Nora B. said...

Hi Lynn,

Firstly, Happy (belated) Birthday to your hubby.

This cake looks so elegant!!! And I know what you mean about the link between certain flavours and the people in our lives.


Elle said...

Such a pretty cake & so summery looking. Love the lime...and the sweetened condensed milk with lime is the flavor of key lime pie. Yum!

Gigi said...

OMG Lynn that cake looks like a beautiful fluffy cloud! It's gorgeous!

Heather said...

this looks beautiful! what a lucky husband :)

RecipeGirl said...

Wow, does that look terrific! I'm a huge fan of anything lime. There's a cake I've been wanting to try from my Jamie Oliver cookbook that is something like a Lime Mascarpone Cake. Doesn't that sound yummy?

Kajal@aapplemint said...

This looks like one hellva light n beautifully textured cake. Lucky huuby !

Helene said...

I am so over that cake! Looks so light and refreshing!