It was Alastair’s birthday yesterday, and as per tradition, there was birthday lasagne.
Naturally, it’s not a real birthday unless there’s cake, so I asked him what he wanted.
“What kind of chocolate? Chiffon? Mudcake? Flourless?”
“Ahh… how about chocolate beetroot?”
During the conversation, I agreed to chocolate beetroot and then later… totally disregarded his request. However, in my defense – actually, I have no defense. I just wanted to bake another chiffon cake. I don’t know why I bothered asking for his opinion.
The flavour of the cake was decided by the two lonely limes I had sitting in my vegie crisper. I baked the cake the day before Alastair’s birthday, and – a little stupidly – wanted to fill it. So I made a coconut milk custard and lime curd to put in the middle.
The filling was a stupid idea because apparently I haven’t learned yet that chiffon cakes are soft and fluffy – which is why they’re so delicious – but the lightness also makes them really fragile. Guuuuh. It caused me so much stress! After very carefully cutting it in half, in went a layer of lime curd and coconut custard. When the top went on though, it started sloping and I was really worried it was going to collapse.
I managed to prevent collapse by covering the entire thing in my left over coconut custard (I had made a very thick batch of custard). It looked very, very strange though (cue wails of “it’s soooo ugly, cake why are you so ugly, I hate you stupid ugly cake” coming from the kitchen) so in desperation I toasted coconut to sprinkle on the top and sides.
It was finished off with star sprinkles and – well the end result is not really the most attractive cake ever? But it tasted good, so good and it was much less ugly than when I started on it.
The cake itself was very soft, very fluffy and light, and the lime curd was particularly delicious in it. The cake recipe is below, although I haven’t posted a recipe for the custard or lime curd because I made both in my Thermomix. The custard was a very thick custard made using coconut milk, eggs, sugar and cornflour – use your favourite custard recipe and substitute coconut milk for the milk.
- 7 eggs, separated
- 220g flour
- 350g caster sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Grated rind of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 160°C and set aside a large 20cm tube cake tin that has a removable base.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, water, oil, lime juice, lime peel and vanilla.
- Add to the wet ingredients to the flour and whisk until well combined.
- In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer to stiff peaks.
- Using a large metal spoon, fold in a spoonful of the egg whites to the cake mixture to lighten it.
- Add the rest of the egg whites to the cake mixture and fold in with your metal spoon until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your cake tin and bang it on your work surface a couple of times to bring any large air bubbles to the surface.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and immediately invert the entire tin and cake upside down until it's cool - you can do this by resting the middle of the tube over a bottle, or (if your cake isn't too tall) by placing it over a high wire rack that will let air circulate underneath.
- To release the cake, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake and the tin. You will want to serve the cake upside down as it's prettier that way.
- Optional: When completely cool, cut cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate and spread with lime curd and top with the remaining cake layer.
Converted to metric from tasteofhome.com