Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Lime and Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Shards

As soon as I saw the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook, I knew immediately I wanted to make this Pistachio & Lime Cake for my friend’s upcoming birthday. This is one of Lynn Hill’s own and it is the one that graces the front cover of the book.

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Ginger and Lime Cake with Lime Curd and Whipped Ganache for Cornwall CCC and We Should Cocoa #30

To celebrate the publication of the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook, this month’s Cornwall CCC meeting was held on the launch date itself, February 14th, at Waterstones in Truro. The theme for this month’s bake was, rather aptly, books. Visions of elaborate book shaped cakes sent me into an immediate panic when first hearing this, but then sense prevailed and a simple solution occurred to me: I would bake one of the recipes from the CCC cookbook. As I had an abundance of limes to use and needed ginger for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I chose Dark ‘n’ Stormy Cake by Rob Martin from the Leeds CCC. There was one problem, it contained no chocolate – but when did that ever stop me? The sponge was a genoise, flavoured with ginger. It reminded me of the Lime and White Chocolate Genoise that I made a couple of years ago, based on Lorraine Pascale’s Mojito Genoise from Baking Made Easy. I decided to make the sponge according to Rob’s instructions, but substituted a lime syrup rather than his rum one and replaced the lime cream cheese frosting with whipped chocolate ganache. I then drizzled home made lime and ginger curd over the top.

This is how I made:

Ginger and Lime Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache and Lime Curd

  • Melted 90g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat and left to cool a little.
  • Chopped 100g crystallised ginger finely.
  • Whisked 6 duck eggs with 180g golden caster sugar using electric beaters on high speed for a good ten minutes until the mixture was thick, pale and had tripled in volume.
  • Sifted in 180g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp ground ginger.
  • Folded this in as gently as possible.
  • Poured the butter in down one side of the bowl and folded this in as gently as possible.
  • Gently stirred in the crystallised ginger.
  • Divided the mixture between two 8″ cake moulds and baked at 180C for 23 minutes when the cakes were firm on top and skewer inserted in the middle came out clean.
 

Meanwhile

  • Grated the rind of two well scrubbed limes into a small pan, followed by the juice.
  • Added 75g golden caster sugar and stirred over a low heat until the sugar had dissolved.
  • Poured the syrup over the cakes as soon as they were out of the oven, then left in their moulds to cool.
  • Made a pot of ginger tea by cutting a 1″ piece of root ginger into slithers and pouring boiling water over the top. Left to steep for a good 15 minutes.
  • Melted 100g Cornish dark chocolate (55%) in a bowl over hot water with 50ml of ginger tea.
  • Heated 200ml double cream until just about boiling.
  • Added the cream, a third at a time to the chocolate stirring hard after each addition until all was incorporated and smooth.
  • Placed in the fridge for three hours.
  • Whisked with electric beaters on slow speed until soft peaks formed.
  • Turned the cakes out of their moulds.
  • Spread about a third of the mixture on the bottom of one of the cakes, then placed the bottom half of the other on top.
  • Covered the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache.
  • Drizzled 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of lime and ginger curd over the top in a criss cross pattern.
Quite why this was called Dark n Stormy, I have yet to fathom; it was light in both colour and texture. In fact it was one of the lightest textured cakes I’ve ever made. The addition of ginger was inspired; it gave added interest and texture to what could have been a pleasant but rather generic sponge. The ganache was delicious, light, not too sweet and complemented the genoise nicely. The lime syrup and lime curd gave a welcome citrussy tang and added character. I was really pleased with the results and rather gratified by how quickly it disappeared. In fact, pleasure turned to consternation as I feared I might not get to try a piece myself. Luckily CT was on the case and saved me a piece to try later.
 
As if by magic the book opened at my recipe 😉

Much to my bemusement, Daphne Skinnard of BBC Radio Cornwall dragged me off (nearly kicking and screaming) along with Sarah Milligan and Ellie Michell for a quick interview. Having a microphone thrust under my nose didn’t do much for my eloquence, but there we are, we must suffer for our art. You can hear the clip here and it’s abut 1:10 minutes into the programme.

Both cake makers and passing Waterstones customers partook of the delights on offer and many a smile was generated. Some strong willed individuals, looked but didn’t try – it was Lent, after all. It was also Valentine’s Day, so just right to spread some cakey-bakey love around. Literary allusions were much more obvious in some of the other cakes as you can see from the following photos. 

 
Cake Expectations by our warm hearted organiser Ellie Michell
Ceci C’est Un Gateau by Jilly Ballantyne
Chocolate & Beetroot Cake inspired by Chocolat by Sally & Emma
Pistachio Cake by Emily Scott – the best pistachio cake I’ve ever eaten.
Chocolate Cobweb Cake by Emma Skilton
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake by Sarah Milligan – her own recipe from the CCC Cookbook
All Gone
 
Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes is hosting this month’s We Should Cocoa and as already stated chose ginger as February’s special ingredient.

Chocolate & Lime Curd Mascarpone Tarts

Some time ago now I bought four little tart cases which I’ve been wanting to bake with, but somehow haven’t managed until a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I made the lime and ginger curd though, I knew I wanted to use it in a tart with chocolate pastry to contrast with that beautiful yellow. But how to do it? Just the lime curd on its own would be too intense. It needed toning down and mascarpone seemed like the right thing to do it with. CityHippyFarmGirl has been trying to get me to use mascarpone for a while now and I’ve certainly been inspired by her use of it – she even makes her own. So the big question was, did I put a layer of mascarpone at the bottom and top it with the curd or did I mix the two together? Visually, the tarts would have looked better topped by the curd, but taste wise, I thought it would work better mixed. So this is what I did:

  • Creamed 175g unsalted butter with 70g castor sugar.
  • Mixed in 175g plain flour, 60g semolina, 20g cocoa and a pinch of salt.
  • Bought it together with my hands and kneaded briefly until all ingredients were incorporated.
  • Rolled out on a flour service to about 1/2 cm thick. Cut four circles from a small saucer and pressed these into 4 9 cm buttered tart tins with push up bottoms.
  • Trimmed the edges with a knife.
  • Bought all the scraps together and rolled out again to the same thickness, then cut out into heart shaped biscuits which I placed on a lined baking tray.
  • Baked tarts and biscuits at 180C for 10 minutes.
  • Left to cool.
  • Mixed 250g mascarpone with 4 tbsp of lime curd.
  • Divided the mixture between the tart cases.
  • Blobbed some lime curd over the surface in an, ahem, arty sort of way.
  • Scattered a little grated chocolate over the tops – using my new grater.

The mascarpone lime curd filling was delicious – I could quite easily have eaten the bowlful that I’d made, thankfully I managed to restrain myself. I’m glad I did, because as I’d imagined, it paired extremely well with the chocolate shortbread and was truly delicious. It wasn’t as intensely sherbety as the lime curd buttercream I made, but the flavour was still zingy.

CT, who had no idea what these were before tasting them, identified the crust as shortbread straight away. He likes shortbread. He thought the lime was riding the crest of the creaminess and it tasted like real lime too. The contrast of texture & flavour was superlative and it made him want to roll it around in his mouth again and again with his eyes closed. To conclude, he thought it was a superior cheesecake and was pleased to get to eat a whole one all by himself, even if it was rather small.

Chocolate Victoria Sandwich with Lime Curd Buttercream

 Well it doesn’t look as though Blogger is going to bring back my lost post, so nearly one week on, I’ve decided to just clench my teeth and rewrite it.  Once again, I apologise for all the comments that were lost on this one and several of my other posts when Blogger went down.
 
Remember those wonderful sunny days littered with bank holidays that seem like a distant dream now? On one of those we staged our alternative to the Royal Wedding. Forget the thronging crowds of Pall Mall, we opted for a moorland walk followed by tea and cake. A Victoria Sandwich seemed appropriate, but one with a twist: a chocolate Victoria Sandwich hosting a generous layer of lime curd buttercream. I used Nigella’s recipe, substituting the cornflour with cocoa and using yogurt instead of milk. Once again, I was lucky enough to have acquired a goose egg, so this went into the mix too. Inspiration for the buttercream came from Little Bear Cakery with her lemon curd version. I of course used my lime and ginger curd.
 
This is what I did:
  • Creamed 225g unsalted butter with 225g vanilla sugar (granulated) until pale & fluffy.
  • Beat in 1 goose egg (3 to 4 hens eggs).
  • Sifted in 200g flour (50g wholemeal spelt & 150g white), 25g cocoa, 1 rounded tsp baking powder and a pinch of bicarb of soda.
  • Stirred in 1 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt
  • Spooned into two 22cm sandwich moulds and baked for 25 minutes at 180C until risen and firm to the touch.
  • Left to cool for 10 minutes then turned out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • Creamed 40g of unsalted butter with 80g icing sugar until very light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 2 heaped tbsp of lime & ginger curd.
  • Spread this over one of the cakes and put the other on top.
  • Sprinkled with caster sugar.
Once again we enjoyed tea, scones and cake in a lovely Cornish moorland garden. Having worked up an appetite, the cake vanished rapidly amid appreciative comments. The cake cut well; it was moist and very tasty but the star of the show was the buttercream. It was so delicious, it tasted just like lemon sherbets – why don’t they have lime sherbets I wonder?

Liskeard Mess – We Should Cocoa 9

After waiting for Blogger to fulfil its promise of restoring all posts and comments lost on Thursday, I’ve decided to move on and just hope they manage it at some point. So apologies to any of you who had left comments which have now disappeared. Hopefully, that was a temporary blip that won’t be repeated.

Oh my, oh my. There is no use trying to hide it, this was meant to be a roulade – a chocolate and lime curd roulade! My attempt at rolling the sponge was an unmitigated disaster. It was my turn for a sinking heart when I found out what Chele had chosen for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge – to make a Swiss roll type cake. These are not my forte by any means. Out of the three roulades I’ve made, I have been slowly improving, but I seem to have regressed with this one: this is the worst I’ve done yet and just when I wanted to impress most too. There were a number of factors that contributed to the mess, chief amongst them being my limited patience. However, I think I undercooked the sponge a little and I just didn’t make enough of the mixture to fill the tin properly. I was trying to make a sponge that wasn’t too thick and therefore easier to roll – ha!

Luckily, where this has failed on the all important visual factor, it succeeded hugely on the even more important one of taste. Forget this as cake, it was a delicious and decadent dessert which CT and I mmmmd and ahhhd our way through with silly expressions of pleasure on our faces.

You may not want to emulate me here, but this is how I did it.

  • Melted 50g 70% dark chocolate over a bowl of hot water with 1 tbsp of lime juice.
  • Removed from the heat and left to cool.
  • Beat 2 duck egg yolks with 60g caster sugar until the mixture was pale, thick and custard like.
  • Sifted in 1/2 tsp ground ginger and stirred carefully.
  • Stirred in the melted chocolate – also carefully.
  • Whisked the 2 duck egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
  • Folded in 1/3 at a time.
  • Spread onto a 20cm x 29cm Swiss roll tin lined with baking paper and baked for 10 mins at 180C (2 minutes more would have given a firmer sponge I reckon).
  • Removed from oven and immediately turned onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with caster sugar.
  • Rolled this up whilst hot and left to cool (the theory being this would form it into some sort of roll shape that would lesson the cracking when rolled later).
  • Mixed 125g of mascarpone with 2 tbsp of lime & ginger curd.
  • Unrolled baking paper to find my sponge was in bits – oh b*****.
  • Too disheartened to make the attempt again, I had a quick change of plan.
  • Divided the bits up into 4 and layered them with the mascarpone filling to form a vague likeness to a roulade.

Next time I make a flourless sponge to fit this tin, I will use 3 eggs, 75g of chocolate and 80-90g sugar.

The cake was rich and squidgy and tasted divine. The creaminess of the mascarpone filling and the tartness of the lime were like yin and yang – creating a heavenly harmony and the ginger formed a subtle backdrop to the main event.

This creation was so delicious, I’ve decided to name it after my home town, Liskeard. Eton Mess is certainly yummy but why shouldn’t a modest market town in Cornwall have its very own culinary delight? Next time I’ll serve it in a glass – it might look better that way. After an unpromising start, I feel I’ve snatched a worthy victory from the jaws of disaster.

Lime & Ginger Curd

Preserves | 10th May 2011 | By

I know this isn’t strictly about chocolate. Actually this isn’t about chocolate at all, but it did come about because of our We Should Cocoa chocolate challenge and it will be featuring in a couple of chocolate recipes to come. The lime challenge gave me so many ideas and as ususal with these things, my list of recipes to make has grown even longer. Phil from As Strong As Soup made lime curd as part of his entry and Chele over at Chocolate Teapot has also recently made it. I so liked the idea of making lime curd that I was determined to do so and worry about what to do with it afterwards. In the end I adapted a recipe for Lime and Ginger Curd that I found in one of the books I’d borrowed from the library, Seasonal Preserves by Joanna Farrow.

  • Grated the zest of three well scrubbed limes and blended in a food processor with 150g granulated sugar. The theory behind this was to make the sugar green and give some colour to the final product. It did make the sugar a lovely pastel green, but as you can see from the pictures did not make much of a difference to the curd. An unnecessary step which I wouldn’t bother repeating if I made this again.
  • Put the sugar in a bowl and placed over a pan of gently simmering water with the juice squeezed from the three limes. Stirred until the sugar had dissolved.
  • Added 25gz grated ginger (washed but not peeled) and 50g unsalted butter. Left until butter had melted.
  • Whisked in 2 duck eggs then stirred the mixture for rather longer than the 15 minutes stated in the book – about 25 mins, until it had thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Poured mixture through a sieve, pressing the contents through with a spoon to remove all lumps and bits of grated ginger.
  • Poured into sterilised jars. Left to cool then stored in the fridge.
The colour might lead one to think this was lemon curd rather than lime, but I was thrilled with the gorgeous yellow that I can only assume came from the duck eggs. As for the taste, it was as delicious as I’d hoped, smooth, rich, very limey with just a hint of ginger. I think I might just be making this again.