Coconut, lime, meringue: what more needs to be said?
100 gmcrème fraîche100 mlheavy cream (45% milk fat)To serve:finely grated flesh of 1 mature coconutMalibu chiffon cake300 gm (2 cups)plain flour, sieved220 gm (1 cup)sugar3 tspbaking powder125 ml (½ cup)vegetable oil7eggs, separated2 tspcoconut essencePinchof cream of tartar60 mlMalibuLime curd60 gmbutter40 gmcaster sugar40 mllime juice (about 2 limes), plus rind of ½ lime, finely grated3egg yolks½titanium-strength gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutesItalian meringue185 gmcaster sugar3eggwhitesPinchcream of tartar1-2 tspcoconut essence
For Malibu chiffon cake, preheat oven to 165C. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Whisk in 200ml water, vegetable oil, egg yolks and coconut essence until smooth. Whisk eggwhites and cream of tartar in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form, fold one-third through flour mixture, then fold remaining eggwhites into flour mixture. Pour into two 20cm-diameter cake tins that have been buttered, floured and lined on the base with baking paper, then bake until cakes are golden and a skewer withdraws clean (30-40 minutes; don’t be concerned if cakes crack a little). Brush with Malibu, cool in tins for 15 minutes, remove from tins, cool completely on a wire rack, then trim tops level.
For lime curd, whisk butter, sugar, lime juice and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until combined, then stir occasionally until thick (3-6 minutes), stir in lime rind and remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to curd, stir to dissolve. Cover closely with plastic wrap, set aside to cool, refrigerate until set.
For Italian meringue, combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves (1-2 minutes). Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals, then bring to the boil and cook until syrup reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (soft ball stage; 10-15 minutes). Whisk eggwhites and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Meanwhile, continue cooking syrup to 121C (hard ball stage), then, whisking eggwhites continuously on medium speed, slowly add hot syrup until all is incorporated. Whisk on high speed until thick, glossy and cooled to room temperature (15-20 minutes), then stir in coconut essence.
Whisk lime curd in a bowl to a spreadable consistency and spread over top of one cake. Whisk crème fraîche and cream to stiff peaks and spread over curd, then top with remaining cake. Spread meringue over top and sides of cake, scatter with coconut and serve.
Note This superbly moist cake is best eaten as
soon as it's iced.