Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Momma!

This past Wednesday was my mom's birthday.  April 15th...tax day...Happy Birthday, right?

In order to soften the tax blow, I decided to make her a very special birthday treat this year.  Her favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie.  I had heard of Key Lime Cake before but never tried it out.  Seemed like the perfect time to test out a new cake flavor!

Dinner was set with some family and close friends, one of which is gluten free so I decided to make the cake gluten free as well so she could have some. Can't leave people out on cake now can we?!?

I found a good looking recipe for the cake and decided to fill it with key lime curd to up the tart factor so that it would closely resemble the flavor of the pie.  I then made a marshmallow meringue frosting to top it with.  Although this type of frosting is pretty soft and wouldn't work well for any real type of fine piping work, it was AMAZING!!  Way better than buttercream in my opinion.  I plan on using it over and over again!  I also coated the outside of the cake with gluten free graham cracker crumbs to add the last little element of a key lime pie.  I must say that I was pretty dang pleased with the outcome!
To say the cake was a success would have been an understatement.  The birthday girl was happy (most important) as was everyone else at the table...except the hubs...who doesn't like lime and isn't a big cake person either...can't win them all I guess!  We even shared some with our two waitresses who "just happened" to bring over two more plates than we really needed.  The little that was left at the end of the night went to work with my mom the next day where it was gobbled up by the lucky staff who were fast enough to get a piece.  Everyone wanted to know the recipe...so...without further ado...ENJOY!

Gluten Free Key Lime Cake with Marshmallow Frosting (adapted from Annie Eats and Always with Butter)

3 c gluten free flour (THIS is my favorite.  You can swap it into any recipe 1:1 without adding anything!)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter; room temperature
2 1/2 c sugar
1 lime; zest only
4 eggs; room temperature
1 3/4 c buttermilk; room temperature
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp coconut extract

1 - In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. 
2 - In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until light ad fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the zest and blend.  Add sugar 1/2 c at a time, mixing well with each addition.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.  Scrape down the bowl well.
3 - Combine buttermilk and both extracts.  Alternate adding flour mix and buttermilk mix to the mixer in three batches, beginning and ending with your flour mix.  Scrape down the bowl well.
4 - Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans and divide mixture evenly between them.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins until cake tester comes out clean.  Leave in pans for 10 mins before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.

KEY LIME CURD: (This gives you a little more than you need to fill the cake but extra is always good!)
3 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c key lime juice
4 T butter

1 - In a small saucepan, combine eggs and sugar.  Whisk together well.  Whisk in key lime juice.  Place over low heat and cook, stirring constantly until mixture is warm.  It is important to constantly whisk over low heat to avoid scrambling your eggs! 
2 - Once mixture is warm, whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time, allowing each to melt before adding the next.  Once all the butter is added, continue to cook, whisking constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.  If you don't have a thermometer, cook until it leaves a thick coat on the back of a spoon.
3 - If you think you might have lumps, strain your curd.  Otherwise, cool completely over an ice bath, stirring occasionally.

1 1/4 c sugar
3 egg whites; room temperature
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 T vanilla

1 - In the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar, egg whites, water and cream of tartar.  Whisk until very foamy.
2 - Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water (creating a double boiler) and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well warmed through.  Add vanilla and put the mixing bowl back on te stand mixer.  Whisk on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.


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