Imagine this; a coconut cake soaked in lime-lemon syrup and covered in a blanket of fluffy meringue frosting. It's coconut-y and sharply refreshing. Flavours that I find instantly evoke summer.
This is a gorgeous cake. It’s dense (in a good way), moist, and the desiccated coconut gives the cake a nice texture.
The cake is gluten free too, if you use gluten free baking powder which you can find in any supermarket these days. The coconut flour might be a little tricky to find though. I got mine from the health food store.
The meringue frosting is optional. The cake will taste just as good without. Having said that, the toasted meringue frosting plays the perfect accompaniment to the cake. It dresses up the cake and the toasted marshmallow-like meringue frosting is delicious. There are several different methods to making meringue frosting. I like the Italian meringue method which requires pouring hot sugar syrup while beating the egg whites to stiff peak. This method lightly cooks the egg whites. If you are not squeamish about raw eggs, then skip this step, and beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peak.
Make the cake the day before to allow time for the cake to soak in the syrup, and make the meringue frosting just before serving. This cake is best serve cold and keeps well in the fridge for several days.
Lime-Lemon Syrup Coconut Cake with Toasted Meringue Frosting (Gluten Free)
(Adapted from Everyday Gourmet)
Makes 20cm diameter cake
Note: Measuring cups and spoons for this recipe are based on Australian measurements; 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. I have not tested this recipe using volume measurement (i.e. cups and spoons). Therefore if there is any error in the conversion, please let me know.
150 grams unsalted butter, chopped and softened
150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
140 grams (1 1/4 cups) coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
150 grams (1 3/4 cups) desiccated coconut
430ml (1 3/4 cups) buttermilk, room temperature
200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 lime
125ml (1/2 cup) water
100 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar
40ml (2 tablespoons) water
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
To make coconut cake:
Preheat the oven to 175 degree celcius (or 160 degree celcius fan-forced). Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale and fluffy (the sugar needs to dissolve and the mixture should be very creamy). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the coconut flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and mix in the desiccated coconut with a whisk. Fold the coconut mixture and the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until firm on top. Cool in the tin on a wire rack while you make the lime-lemon syrup.
To make lime-lemon syrup:
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 10–15 minutes without stirring.
Pour one third of the syrup over the cake in the tin. After 5 minutes pour over another third of the syrup. If your cake still needs more liquid, after a further 5 minutes, pour over the remaining syrup being careful not to add more than it can absorb. Set the cake aside, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To make toasted meringue frosting:
Put the sugar into a pan with water and place on a high heat. Bring to the soft-ball stage (115 degree celcius on a sugar thermometer) which will take about 10 minutes.
While waiting for the sugar syrup, start whisking the egg whites with pinch of salt in an electric stand mixer. Whisk until a light froth forms, stopping before any soft peaks can be formed. Once the sugar syrup has reached the soft-ball stage, beat the egg whites at the same time on high speed while pouring the syrup onto them in a thin stream. (Don’t pour the syrup over the whisk, but down the side of the bowl.) Continue to whisk for 10 minutes or until the egg whites are glossy and stiff.
Using a palette knife or spoon, spread the frosting over the cake to create peaks all over the top. Use blowtorch to brown. (Or place under a very hot grill for a couple of minutes. However you won't get the same effect as blowtorch.)