If you are looking for a perfect cake/tart for a special occasion then I strongly suggest you try this delicacy from Phoebe Wood which was featured in Issue 32 of Feast Magazine, June 2014. It does take 2½ hours to prepare and approx 1 hour to cool, but it is so worth the effort and your guests will be forever in your debt. You will need a 20cm cake pan for this recipe.
Flourless Lime and Almond Cake with Caramelised Limes
3 (about 350g) limes
100g salted butter
295g (1 & 1/3rd cups) caster sugar
300g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs shredded coconut
White Chocolate Icing
150g white chocolate, chopped
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g (1¼ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
125ml (½ cup) thickened cream
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
2 limes, thinly sliced
2 tsp vegetable oil
Place the limes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, drain, and cover with cold water again. Repeat process 3 more times; this will help to remove any bitterness. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 40 minutes or until limes are very soft. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base and side of a 20cm cake pan. Roughly chop limes and place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add butter and sugar and process until almost smooth. Add eggs and process to combine. Add almond meal, baking powder and coconut and process until the mixture is just smooth. Pour into prepared pan, smooth top, and bake for 55 minutes; cover with foil for the last 10 minutes if browning too quickly. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the icing, fill a small saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over the pan and stir until melted (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Set aside to cool completely. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and icing sugar until pale and thick. Beat in cream and chocolate until thick and combined.
To make the caramelised limes, place sugar in a saucepan with 60ml ( ¼ cup) water over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add limes and and simmer for 10 minutes, then using tongs, remove from the pan. Drain on a wire rack set over a tray for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has drained and the limes have cooled slightly. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add limes and cook for 8 minutes or until charred and caramelised. Return to rack to cool completely.
Spread the cake with the icing and top with the caramelised limes.
(Photo by Brett Stevens)