Kaffir Lime Leaf, Lemon & Lime Meringue Cake

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Warning: Photo Heavy blog

I'm quite the narcissist. Once I had a pretty cake, I wanted to take a dozen pictures and show them off. Doesn't matter that most of them are not that great. It doesn't even matter that I didn't even want to cut this cake and taste it. All cos the cake looked so super pretty. Atleast to me. It's also the first time I used a blow torch at home. My brother helped me start it up amidst yells of "stop pointing the damn thing at your face!!!" Well, that's me. Let's just say a little inadequate sometimes.

My brother likes anything lemony. So I thought I'd treat him to a lemon meringue 'cake' instead of a traditional tart. I also had these Kaffir Lime Leaves which I had got on an off chance from the local store and I'd kept aside to use in some Thai curry. The curry never happened and the leaves were going to go bad soon when I hit upon this miracle idea, why not use kaffir lime leaves in the cake?

So this is how I built it up. I wanted lemon curd but flecked with kaffir lime leaves, I wanted the meringue again flavoured with kaffir lime leaves. I thought I'd have a plain sponge cake, but me being me that too ended up being speckled with those nice leaves. When I mentally built it all up, it all sounded nice, but frankly I'm not really that much into the sourness of lemon curd. Sooo, I mixed it up with some mascarpone just to lighten it up a bit. I loved the overall effect and the way it turned out. The kaffir lime leaves added that extra edge to elevate it to a super nice dessert just right for summer.


Here's how it went

Sponge, lemon curd + mascarpone, sponge, lemon curd + mascarpone, Italian meringue. BLOW TORCH!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!

If you find this a little crazy, let me tell you a cheat's way to get almost there. It won't really be there without going the whole hog, but sometimes close enough is good enough. For the real deal, visit me. Oh and also bring along some kaffir lime leaves. Those things are really difficult to get by here. I wish I had the foresight to toss around some limes or some leaves in these pictures. Foresight, definitely a lot better than hindsight.

So I'm going to give you the recipe for lemon curd I used. Also the final cheat's assembly.
The cake, back in the days I didn't have an oven, I still used to take desserts to people. I'd buy a sponge cake from the bakery, drizzle coffee syrup all over it, top it with whipped cream and praline and go "Tada!! Coffee Cream Cake ready!'
Necessity as they say is the mother of all kinds of invention.

Moral of the story, when you're in a hurry/bored/lazy, get a cake from the bakery. Get some whipped cream too while you are there. That's all really that's needed to fix this cake.

Lemon Curd (Ina Garten's)


11/2 cups                 sugar
100g                        butter
4                              large eggs
1/2 cup                    lemon juice ( I cheated and used the Dabur concentrate here)
zest of 3 lemons, kaffir lime leaves (4-5)

  1. Grind zest, sugar and leaves till minced into the sugar.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add lemon juice and eggs one at a time and cream some more till mixed in
  3. Cook mixture over low heat stirring continuously, around 10 mins till curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon 

  1. Split the cake into 2
  2. Mix equal parts lemon curd and mascarpone. I used 3 heaped tablespoons of each to make a mix.
  3. Spread 2/3 of the lemon curd mix over the first half of the sponge.
  4. Cover with second half
  5. Spread leftover lemon curd mix
  6. Cover with whipped cream lightly flavoured with lime leaves.
The cake gains moisture as it keeps since the curd will ooze down a bit to the cake. If however you feel its going to be really dry, brush the sponge with a simple syrup of sugar & water flavoured with some kaffir lime leaves for some extra oomph!

Instead of whipped cream you could also try something called 7 minute frosting which my sister uses to frost cakes. I haven't tried it but she swears by it. I think that would also work swell with this cake. Sorry I don't have the recipe for that cos I haven't ever tried it.

If you ask me why I'm not sharing the recipe for Italian meringue. 1) ideally it requires a candy thermometer or 2) it requires dipping your fingers in hot sugar syrup. I was foolhardy enough to try the latter. I got away with it cos I've done it before and I know exactly when to pull my fingers out. But I wouldn't advice anyone else to do it.

I don't have the necessary shot of the slice of cake cos it looked darned ugly inside. I didn't wait for the cake to cool before slicing it in half. I also didn't give the curd+cheese time to set before slicing the cake. Patience too, much better than hindsight. Story of my life. :/
 Next mission would be to control the blow torch flame without singeing everything in sight.

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