Coconut Lime Cake with Papaya Coulis and Blood Orange Sorbet

They say if you want a person to remember something then you should tell them once, tell them again, and then tell them one last time. This must be true because after reading about a key lime coconut cake in Gourmet, seeing a variation over at Smitten Kitchen and then viewing it one more time at Pinch My Salt I couldn’t forget that cake if I tried! (And yes I tried.) So when the weather cheered up considerably and we were having a small party I knew this cake had to make an appearance.

Coconut Lime Cake with Papya Coulis and Blood Orange Sorbet

Baking cakes is a rather rare occurrence for me, and having people over is even rarer- so I decided to go all out and make sure it was a memorable dessert. I had at my disposal the unusual local finds of a papaya and blood oranges. The wheels started turning and the ice cream maker started churning. (We couldn’t have a dessert around here without ice cream!) I had a stash of candied Meyer lemon peel and Meyer lemon syrup in the fridge and thought that adding a splash of tequila to the cake glaze would really make it a party! Inspired by a strawberry coulis over at Smitten Kitchen, and a beautiful blood orange sorbet recipe created by the ever charming David Lebovitz; the final dish of coconut lime cake plated on top of a papaya coulis alongside a blood orange sorbet was born.

Making the Cake

Making the Cake

Making the Sorbet and Papaya Coulis

Making the Blood Orange Sorbet and Papaya Coulis

It tasted as good as it looks- probably even better. In fact this was one of the best desserts to ever come out of my kitchen and it was a wild success with our guests. If you are searching for a new and exciting dessert to usher in warmer weather – this is it!

Coconut Lime Cake
Originally from Gourmet Magazine, March 2008 – Adapted from Pinch My Salt’s Adaptation
Serves 10

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut, divided
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped candied Meyer lemon peel
1 tablespoon sliver tequila (optional)
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper (easy technique) then butter the parchment paper.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Measure out 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and process in a mini food processor until very finely chopped (you can also finely chop it with a knife). Stir the chopped coconut into the flour mixture and set aside. Combine buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of lime juice; set aside.

Beat together butter, sugar, and lime zest with an electric mixer until very fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Turn mixer to low speed, add one third of the flour mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

Spoon batter into the buttered cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree oven until golden and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.

Whisk together powdered sugar, tequila, Meyer lemon syrup, and the remaining three tablespoons of lime juice. Poke top of cake all over with a fork then pour glaze over the cake. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of coconut and candied Meyer lemon peel.

Cake can be made up to two days ahead of serving. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Blood Orange Sorbet
Recipe from David Lebovitz
Servings Vary

Blood oranges (I used about 10 for 1 cup of sorbet)

Juice your blood oranges. Then measure the juice.

For each 1 cup of juice, figure 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to be added. (For example: Use 1/2 cup sugar for 2 cups juice.)

Put the sugar in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Add just enough juice to saturate it very well. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Stir the sugar mixture back into the reserved blood orange juice.

Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker. Once frozen place sorbet in the freezer for a minimum of three hours and up to 3 days before serving. Allow sorbet to sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will make it a lot easier to scoop. (The sorbet is very flavorful so a small scoop will go a long ways!)

Papya Coulis
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Coulis
Makes About 2 cups

2 cups papaya (Slice a papya in half, discard the seeds, and scoop out the flesh)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lime juice
5 tablesoons sugar

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place covered in the fridge for several hours or up to one day before serving. (This mixture was thick enough to be gently piped onto the plates using a small round pastry tip.)

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