It’s Brazilian lime season which means an abundance of seedless fruit with the thinnest skins, dripping with juice. There are a host of things to do with limes but where to start when you’re sent a basket of thirty? A delicious meringue-topped key lime pie?
Drink myself silly perfecting the Margarita? What about treating myself to some top notch fish and marinating it in lime juice, creating a mouth-watering ceviche? Or, were there any stubborn stains that needed removing on my laundry? The answer is, probably, but life is far too short. All decent uses for the juice of limes but as regular readers to the blog and my Twitter feed will know, I work in a newsroom with a team of food-loving journalists. They have a penchant for afternoon cake so I turned to two trusted sources (as any BBC journalist does) Dan Lepard and BBC Good Food for inspiration. Immediately I find a Lime Syrup Marble Cake from Dan and a simple Lime and Ginger Drizzle Cake from Barney Desmazary the BBC Good Food’s Food Editor. I know that if I cook or bake anything written by these guys it will turn out just how it’s intended. The only slight change I’d make is to the syrup measurements for Dan’s recipe, I had a little too much for the cake so I’d personally weigh out half of what he suggests in this recipe, giving you plenty, but it’s entirely up to you.
To get the most out of any citrus fruit – certainly limes or lemons, there are a couple of tricks. You can put the fruit into a microwave on high for 15 seconds. Rolling the fruit on a work surface also helps release juice from the membranes.
I found cuts on my hands I never knew I had so you may want to ‘glove up’ before you begin squeezing, even if you use a reamer or a juicer.
I had to have a Margarita (or two) as well so there’s a simple, delicious recipe for one of my favourite cocktails.
Here are the recipes and photos – enjoy.
LIME AND GINGER DRIZZLE CAKE
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr – 1 hr 15 mins
200g unsalted butter , softened, plus extra for the tin
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 rounded tsp ground ginger
50g desiccated coconut
3 balls stem ginger , finely chopped
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp stem ginger syrup
chopped crystallised ginger to serve
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas
Butter and line the base and ends of a 900g loaf tin with a strip of buttered baking parchment. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until really pale, light and fluffy. Grate the zest from 3 of the limes and add to the mixture. Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and a pinch of salt. Using a large metal spoon, fold into the cake mixture with the coconut and chopped stem ginger. Add the milk and juice from 2 of the limes and mix until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using a palette knife.
Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 1 hr – 1 hr 15 mins, or until golden brown – a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. Cool the cake in the tin for 10-15 mins.
Use a wooden skewer to make holes all over the top of the cake. Meanwhile, mix the remaining lime juice with the granulated sugar and the stem ginger syrup. Slowly spoon the sugary mixture over the top of the warm cake and leave in the tin until completely cold. Top with the chopped crystallised ginger to serve.
487 kcalories, protein 6g, carbohydrate 58g, fat 27 g, saturated fat 17g, fibre 2g, sugar 38g, salt 0.74 g
LIME SYRUP MARBLE CAKE
Finely grated zest of 5 limes
175g caster sugar
25ml sunflower oil
3 medium eggs
150g crème fraîche
75g unsalted butter, melted
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa
For the syrup
50ml fresh lime juice
50ml dark rum
100g icing sugar
18cm cake tin lined with non-stick paper.
Line the base and sides of a deep, round, 18cm cake tin with nonstick paper, and heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4. Beat together the zest, sugar, oil and eggs, then beat in the crème fraîche and melted butter. Whisk in the flour and baking powder, then tip two-thirds of the mix into the tin. Beat the cocoa into the rest, spoon this into the tin and gently swirl the two mixes together. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes. Meanwhile, gradually mix the lime juice and rum into the icing sugar until you have a clear syrup. Poke a skewer into the cake about a dozen times, then spoon over a quarter of the syrup. Leave for 10 minutes, spoon on more syrup, and repeat until all the syrup has been used. Cover the cake and leave to cool completely before slicing.
Tequila (I used el Jimador)
Fine sea salt
Prepare a glass by rubbing the rim with a wedge of fresh lime and then dipping into a saucer filled with sea salt.
Add two measures of Tequila to one measure of Cointreau, one of freshly squeezed lime juice into a cocktail shaker and shake over crushed ice.
Strain the mixture from the shaker into the glass and serve.