I put the lime in the coconut! For my in-law’s joint birthdays (they are like 3 days apart) they requested a coconut cake. I didn’t just want to make plain coconut cake so I brainstormed ideas with my wife. She suggested a lime/coconut cake as a good combination.
Since I’m also trying to do a GBBO bake-along I decided to incorporate lime macarons into the cake as a decoration. The overall idea was lime macarons decorating a coconut cake, and possibly a lime buttercream layer between the layers of cake. Well, here is the story of how 4 different failures led to the cake I actually made, which miraculously was still a tasty hit.
First, an embarrassingly simple failure. I made the first set of cakes following this recipe from Cooking Classy. I have no idea what I did wrong, but I ended up with sad layers about a quarter-inch thick. So I threw those away and quickly mixed up a second set. I didn’t have the right amount of coconut milk left but at least I was able to make two decent 9″ rounds of coconut-ish cake. They sunk more in the middle than I would have liked, but they were way better than the first attempt.
Next, I started on the macarons. I went through a period of making macarons every week and got pretty decent at it, but I haven’t actually made any in a couple of years. Well, you can guess what happened. The first batch of shells was horrendous and all went in the trash. Then the second was less horrendous but mostly went in the trash. The third set finally gave me enough to use.
Next up was the filling. I made a lime curd since I was making lime macarons. Well, the curd never thickened to a usable consistency. I tried assorted ways to thicken it and nothing worked. I was basically left with runny lime preserves. Without enough limes or time to try a new batch, I was in trouble. But wait – I had an idea. I’d follow the advice of the great Harry Nillson and put the lime IN the coconut!
So the new plan was a coconut(ish) cake, with a layer of lime preserves(ish) between cake layers, buttercream all around, covered in shredded coconut, with macaron shells as a decoration. So that’s what I did. I assembled the layers with the preserves in the middle. I piped a ring of buttercream around the edge of the first cake layer to create a wall to keep the runny filling on the cake. In addition, I used alot of buttercream all around the cake to make up for the fact that even my second attempt cake layers didn’t come out all that uniform. For the final touch, I used a stencil I had and added sprinkled cocoa powder to write out happy birthday.
Despite all the failures along the way the cake was delicious and well-received. It even looked really nice in presenting it. It wasn’t until you cut into it that you could see there was a lot of lipstick on this pig to make it look good, as the pictures below will prove.