I didn't follow the recipe as it looked really sweet and buttery but copied the cake deco as it is really beautiful. Since my friend prefered something less sweet, I decided to come up with my own version using a butter-based chiffon cake recipe, with lime curd added to provide a really intense lime experience.
I adapted the lime curd recipe from here and made it in advance. You may wish to serve the cake with cream alone.
Lime curd recipe
43g unsalted butter (room temperature)
112g caster sugar
1 large egg (65g)
1 large egg yolk
79g fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
1. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Slowly add egg and egg yolk and beat for 1 minute. Mix in lime juice. Mixture will appear curdy so not to worry.
2. Cook mixture over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Increase heat to medium and keep stirring until mixture thickens. It should leave a path on the back of the spoon. Do not boil!
3. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Transfer to a bowl and press cling wrap on surface of curd to keep skin from forming. Chill in fridge. The curd can keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
For the chiffon cake layers, I chose the cooked dough method to produce a really soft but not so springy cake. I thought this type of cake texture would be more suitable for a cake with so many layers and cream sandwiched in between.
Lime chiffon layer cake recipe
Ingredients (makes six 7" round flat layers):
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
90g fresh milk
40g lime juice
2-3 lime zest
60g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
115g cake flour, sifted
Green and brown gel food coloring
8 egg whites**(You may have to divide the ingredients for meringue by 2 or 3, or even 6 times depending on how many 7" pans you have and the size of your oven.)
110g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line the 7" round pans with baking sheet at the bottom. Do not grease the sides.
2. Cook milk, juice, butter and vanilla extract at low heat until all the butter has melted. The saucepan should not be so hot that you can't touch it with your fingers. Once the butter has melted, take the saucepan off the heat and pour in all the sifted cake flour. Quickly stir with a spatula or wooden spoon while the mixture is still warm.
3. When no trace of flour can be seen, gradually add in egg yolks to prevent the batter from separating. Stir in lime zest.
4. Divide the egg yolk batter into 6 equal portions and add green (or green and brown) food colouring until a desired shade is obtained for each shade of green, leaving one bowl uncoloured. Take note that the final colour will be lighter after the meringue is added.
5. In a clean metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat for a minute or so (before soft peaks) then gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Sugar is added in earlier here as all the sugar is added into the meringue with none in the egg yolk batter. This is to ensure that all the sugar is dissolved by the time you reach the stiff peak stage.
6. Fold in the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions. Slowly pour the batter into the lined pans and level it.
7. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove cake from pan and gently peel off the baking sheet. Let the cake cool completely with a baking sheet over it it prevent it from drying out. Proceed to prepare the meringue for the next batches and bake until you have completed all 6 layers.
I only have 2 pans so I had to bake 3 rounds.
Assembling ombre lime chiffon cake
6 7" lime chiffon layer cakes
Some lime curd
400 ml whipping cream
2 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs cool water
4 tbs icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh mint leaves
1. Sprinkle gelatin over a mixture of lime juice and water. Wait for a couple of minutes for the gelatin to absorb the water. Heat in microwave on medium high heat for 30 seconds or until gelatin has dissolved.
2. Warm up 4 tbs of whipping cream and add it to the gelatin mixture. Add in vanilla extract and mix well. Set aside.
3. Use an electric mixer to whip the whipping cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in gelatin mixture until firm peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or the cream will separate.
4. Place the uncoloured layer cake on the cake board. Pipe a layer of whipped cream and add some lime curd on top.
5. Place the cake with the lightest shade of green on top and repeat with cream, curd and cake from the lightest to darkest shade of green.
6. Top the last layer with cream, a ring of mint leaves (optional) and finally blueberries in the middle.
I am already drooling while assembling :p.
I'm linking this post to Bake Along for this week's theme of Chiffon Cakes jointly hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Lena of Frozen Wings.
** Update: The cake was finally served about a day plus after I assembled. Here's the feedback I got from my friend... "Cake was very yummy! Good because not too sweet. Not too sour either the balance just nice! I like. Refreshing."