Sunday, March 15, 2009

Replicating a Key Lime Cake On Demand

I have a friend who bitches incessantly about the Key Lime Cake that used to be offered at Longhorn Steakhouse and no longer is available. He probably only had it once but you would think it was a family legacy that way he raved about it. He rhapsodized about its' tart lime filling and the luscious white cake and the cream cheese icing and extolled the virtues of its' fluffy coconut perched smartly on the frosting.

I have personally never experienced this paragon of baking extravaganza but I've heard about it enough and decided to replicate it for dinner at their house last week. First I cheated and made a white cake from a box. Sometimes it's the only way. It looked like this as I baked it in my trusty tractor tire dented bundt pan and split it in half for the filling:

Then I made the lime curd. This was new for me. I looked at Ina's recipe as she is usually my go-to girl for this sort of thing but she wanted me to process my sugar and lime zest in a food processor and one of those is not available at the Basilica. So I went looking elsewhere and found a blog called Palmabella's Passions with what looked like a lovely lime curd. Here is her recipe which she used as part of a Lime Curd Cream Cheese Tart:

Lime Curd:
1 stick butter

6 large eggs

½ cup sugar

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 4 limes)

zest from 2 limes

Place the butter in a medium sauce pan and melt over a low heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar and lime juice until frothy. Add lime zest.Pour into melted butter and whisk over a medium-low heat until it thickens and coats a spoon.

It sets up really quickly and it is good. So thanks Palmabella! I sandwiched it between the cake layers like this: And then made cream cheese frosting using Cathy Lowe's recipe on Food Network:

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

I actually almost doubled this recipe, using 8 oz. of cream cheese, 6 tbsp. butter, and 3 cups powdered sugar. You can do it almost any way you want, including adding essential oils for flavor such as peppermint or lemon. As long as you are comfortable with the consistency you can pretty much just make it to taste.

And voila! It was declared a winner. So much so that he kept almost half the cake instead of sending it back home with us. I will definitely make this again. I am also interested in canning lime and lemon curd and maybe orange, too. If anyone has any experience with this please let me know. I can think of tons of recipes to use this in and also would love to just have some on hand for putting on toast for breakfast.


Treehouse Chef said...

It looks beautiful enough to eat! I also like the plate it is sitting on.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Hannah-Bo loves lime ANYthing so I may have to give this a try. I love coconut cake. Looks like a happy pairing to me!

Anonymous said...

I am the person for whom this cake was made. The Maven is correct, I have indeed bitched about not being able to get this cake for several years now. I loved it because it was cold, sweet, tart, and two desserts in one- CAKE and KEY LIME PIE. (Who doesn't like the occassional two for one?)
Thanks for "baking" me happy once again!

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