I mentioned earlier this month that I had bought some blood limes. Blood limes are a fascinating cross between the native finger lime and a mandarin, or maybe a Rangpur lime, the story seems to vary. They’re oval, and about 2-3cm long with generally dark red skin.
Unlike the finger lime which has quite a strong resinous flavour in the peel, the blood lime rind is quite mild, and it also has almost no pith, so doesn’t have any of the usual lime bitterness. The flesh has a clear, tart flavour, with a slight floral/herbal note from the peel. Overall, I think it’s an ideal citrus fruit to use whole.
With this batch, I froze some for slicing and juicing in drinks for summer (just pop whole in a zip lock bag), used some for marmalade (recipe to follow), and used quite a few in this amazing cake. Warning up front – I love this combination, but people who don’t like tart desserts will probably want to give this a miss. The cake is deliberately not very sweet, and absolutely full of pureed limes, skin and all. The icing, in contrast, is sweet and rich, and I would find it too cloying on a sweeter cake; but on this, and topped with the fresh sourness of the lime pulp, it’s perfect.
As with the more common orange and almond, this is a very moist cake, and if you use the slivered almonds, the processed almonds and coconut give it a ‘nubbly’ texture. I really like this, but if you prefer a slightly drier and smoother texture I suggest using almond meal and desiccated coconut.
Blood lime, coconut and almond cake with white chocolate icing
- 350g blood limes
- 200g almond meal (or slivered almonds)
- 100g shredded coconut
- 275g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
White chocolate icing
- 75g white chocolate
- 100g butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 60g sour cream
- 2 extra blood limes
Cover the 350g blood limes with water in a medium saucepan, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Drain, reserving the liquid if you want to make marmalade.
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 23cm (9”) springform pan. Cut each blood lime in half, and press on it to squeeze out the pulp and any seeds. Remove the seeds, reserving the pulp and lime halves as pictured above. Don’t worry if you miss a few seeds, you won’t notice them once pureed.
Add blood limes to food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add coconut (and slivered almonds if using) and process until finely chopped. Once chopped, add sugar, almond meal if using, eggs and baking powder. Process until thoroughly combined, scraping sides as needed.
Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30-40 min until golden brown and a tester comes out almost clean (it’s a moist cake so a few crumbs will stick). Cool cake in the tin.
For the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium power. Beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy, then beat in the sour cream. Finally, beat in the melted chocolate until the icing is thick and smooth. Spread the icing roughly over the cake and top with the pulp of the extra two blood limes. If you want thicker icing or want to ice the sides I suggest doubling the icing ingredients.