Birthdays are the perfect time to experiment with cakes and to make big impressive cakes. It was my Dad’s birthday recently and when I asked him what cake he wanted he said he wanted a lemon cake. Now I do love a lemon drizzle cake but it just wasn’t exciting enough for me, I wanted to make a big layer cake and I have already made a lemon layer cake so wanted to try something new. I know he is a huge fan of coconut so I decided to keep to the citrus theme that he asked for but switched the lemon to lime and combined it with coconut, two flavours that work really well together. It is a 4 layer cake, the sponge is made with coconut milk, lime zest and drizzled with a lime syrup. The cake is covered and filled with coconut buttercream and then I piped soft meringue onto the top and covered the sides with coconut to finish. I’m not going to lie, I was quite proud of this creation and I’m sure I will be recreating it again!
To make this Coconut and Lime Meringue Cake you will need:
12oz butter or margarine
12oz caster sugar
12oz self raising flour
4 tbsp coconut milk
zest of 1 lime
For the syrup:
juice of 2 limes
80g caster sugar
Start by making the sponge. Cream together the butter and the sugar and then add the eggs one at a time beating well. Fold the flour into the mix and finally mix in the lime zest and coconut milk. Divide the mixture between 4 greased and lined sandwich tins and bake in the oven for approx 25 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and move on to making the lime syrup. Heat the lime juice with the caster sugar in a pan until all the sugar is dissolved. Use a skewer or fork to make some holes in the cakes and drizzle the syrup over the cakes. Leave the cakes to cool completely before icing.
For the coconut butter icing:
500g softened unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk
100g desiccated coconut (plus more for sides of cake)
To make the butter icing cream the butter and icing sugar together and beat well. Add the coconut milk and desiccated coconut and mix in well. Use the icing to layer the cakes and then cover the cake in a layer of butter icing, trying to get a nice smooth finish.
To make the meringue put the egg whites and the sugar in a heatproof bowl with 35ml water. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Use a handheld whisk to slowly beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. This will take about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe onto the top of the cake.
To finish the cake use a blow torch to give the meringue some colour. Cover the sides of the cake in dessicated coconut and add a slice of lime to the top of the cake. Tada!