Flourless Lime Cakes

Flourless Lime Cakes

Makes 16 (friand size) cakes

One of my staple recipes and something I love to eat is a whole orange cake – where you boil up some oranges and blitz with sugar, eggs and almond meal. It’s one of those great traditional, never-fail recipes. I’ve always wanted to test it with other citrus fruits, and finally got around to trying it with limes. These little cakes are rich and dense in the way almond meal cakes are, with a tart, almost marmalade-y taste from the whole fruit.

This is adapted from an SBS food recipe. You could make it as a whole cake – as the original recipe does – but I’ve used a friand tin, because I had it, and because I love the little oval shape.

I don’t usually eat white chocolate but the tartness of the cake works with the sweetness of the icing in this case – plus these cakes are going to a birthday party so I figure they can afford to be a little luxurious. You could just as easily skip the icing if you were looking for a lighter treat – maybe just dust some icing sugar over the top and serve with yoghurt.

350g limes (approx. 4) Plus 1 extra lime for decorating

6 large eggs

250g raw caster sugar

100g butter, softened

300g almond meal

1 tsp. baking powder

Icing

150g butter, softened

150g icing sugar, sifted

100g white chocolate chips

100ml cream

You need approximately 350g of whole limes for the cake. Don’t cut the limes to get exactly 350g, just come as close as you can with whole fruit.

Cover the limes with cold water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, strain the limes, re-fill with cold water and once again bring to the boil. Repeat this process 3 times in total. It seems annoying but you have to do this or the cake will taste too bitter.

After the third time, re-fill again and bring to the boil, then put a lid on the pot and let the limes simmer for about 30 minutes or until they are really really soft. Once they’re done, let them cool.

With the limes ready, the rest of the cake is pretty simple. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius and grease your tins. Put the limes in a food processor and blitz really well (2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides) until they become a smooth paste. Add the softened butter and caster sugar and blitz again for about 1 minute. Add the eggs to the food processor and blitz a final time until the mix is really well combined.

Then, in a large bowl, whisk the almond meal and baking powder together, making sure you get any lumps out. Add the lime mix from the food processor and fold through the almond meal until you have a smooth batter.

Spoon into your tins (mine were pretty full) and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a knife comes out cleanly from the centre. Leave to cool in the tins for about 20 minutes, then carefully remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cakes are cooling make your icing.

Melt the white chocolate by placing it in a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Once you can see that most of the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat, stir until smooth then leave to cool.

Beat the softened butter and icing sugar together with electric beaters until it’s light and pale. Add the cream, cooled chocolate and beat until the icing is thick and smooth.

With a butter knife (dipped in hot water) spread the top of each cake with a generous amount of icing, a very generous amount, then zest a little bit of fresh lime over the top.

These cakes keep well in the fridge for a few days, and will freeze well without the icing on.  

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