Shake It All Up

You put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up!
I wish I was going somewhere warm and sunny and sandy for my winter holidays, but I have practice throughout the break, and my family always stays home for Christmas.  
Sigh.  A girl can dream of coconut lotion slathered on reddening shoulders and a fresh lime squeezed into a Coke served ice cold on the beach, no?
This cake filled my house with the sweet scents of coconut and buttery lard (yes!) as it baked.
Soft, tender, and fluffy, the cake is a perfect foil to tart lime curd sandwiched between each of the layers.  Big, fluffy clouds of meringue frosting top it off perfectly, and sweetened coconut adds toothsome chew.
My candied limes were inedible.  Don’t think I bathed them in sugar syrup for long enough.  Or they were just old and brown…
Pretty enough for pictures, but completely unpalatable.  Ah, well.
I’m off to dream sweet dreams of beaches gone by.
And tanned pool boys.  Yowza.
Lime in the Coconut Cake
for the coconut cake:
45 g cornstarch plus 315 grams all purpose flour (or 360 grams cake flour)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces lard plus 1 ounce solid coconut oil (or 1.5 sticks of butter)
300 g sugar
big splash vanilla extract, plus coconut extract, if you have it
3 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 and grease 3 6-inch pans.  Cream lard, oil, salt, and sugar together until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in extracts.  Add in milks and mix until combined.  Add in flour, baking soda and powder, and cornstarch, and mix until batter is smooth.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs.  Cool on a wire rack.
for the lime curd:
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
zest from one whole lime
juice of 2-3 limes (1/3 cup)
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons butter
In a saucepan over medium low heat, whisk eggs, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest together, cooking until thickened.  Sift cornstarch over top, then, mixing all the while, cook for at least 1 more minute, until curd is thick and silky.  Remove from heat, and stir in butter.  Can be stored in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
for the Italian meringue:
from Bo Frigberg, via Chasing Delicious
4 egg whites
3 ounces corn syrup
6 ounces sugar
1/4 cup water
pinch salt
tiny splash vanilla
Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix the other ingredients except the vanilla.  Heat, covered at first, so the condensation washes the sugar crystals off the sides of the pot, then uncovered so you can take the temperature, until syrup reaches 240 degrees F.  When the syrup has reached 225, start to whip your egg whites.  They should be starting to fluff up when the syrup hits 240, so adjust your timing as needed.  Pour the hot syrup (carefully!) slowly into the bowl while the mixer is running on high.  Aim for the side so that you don’t get splashed with hot syrup.  Add in vanilla.  Continue to whip meringue until stiff, fluffy, and cooled.
to assemble:
Level cakes and stack with about 1/3 cup curd between.  Liberally frost with meringue, then cover with flaked coconut.
If you’d like to try candied limes, use a recipe- I just winged it and it did not work out for me!

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