Fresh Lime Chiffon Cake
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Here it is...the remaining recipe from the other night!  And boy, I'd say it's a good one! I have made this cake before and I will continue to make it!  The recipe comes from Cooking Light's "Five Star Recipes" cookbook - a definitely keeper!

I am well aware that the thought of baking a cake from scratch is enough to throw the cookbook in the trash and run for the hills screaming...  The idea is daunting.  There is so much that goes into it.  So many ingredients.  So much time.  Some of this is true. Some of it is not true.  I am not going to say that baking a cake from scratch is child's play, especially if it is your first time.  BUT, I will say that the final result, and the sense of accomplishment, is so worth it.

When I moved home from New York City, I was bummed, mad that I didn't fight hard enough, etc, etc.  There were a lot of things that I wished I had done differently, things that I wished I could have gone back and changed.  However, things have a funny way of working out exactly how they are supposed to.  If I hadn't moved back home to Chicago, I wouldn't have been able to spend so much amazing time with my niece Linnea (referred from here on out as Nea).  It has been such a joy to watch her grow up and develop such a personality.  She is a little punk!  She is an adorable little punk!

I drafted Nea to be my sous chef in the kitchen.  Best. Decision. Ever.  The words and phrase that came out of her little mouth were precious.  I could not have asked for a better day in the kitchen.

As I whisked together the ingredients that went into the cake batter, Nea stood atop her high chair, watching with amazement.  "WOW! OH MY GOODNESS! NO WAY!"  I kid you not.  This 2-year old girl was astonished at what she was witnessing in front of her eyes. Talk about making your heart melt...

Throughout the baking session, I would stop to take pictures.  "NO! No pictures Nea. Cake only."  Nea refused to have any pictures taken of her.  She would only allow me to take pictures of the ingredients or cake.  We did obviously sneak in a few of her, but she refused to let me take a picture with her.  Like I said...she's a little punk!

Dropping in the cream of tartar to form those peaks!

The thing about baking with a 2-year old is that is takes considerably longer than it would otherwise.  Patience is key.  As we were mixing the dry ingredients, Nea would lean over the counter and start blowing the flour everywhere!  I would tell her to stop, and 30 seconds later...she was at it again!

Needless to say, we both got tired and needed a break! A PIZZA BREAK!

I wish I were 2 again, when it is socially acceptable to take 3-hour naps in the middle of the day and have no one question whether or not you are okay.  But, we all have to work, and we all have to be responsible adults...so...no naps.  As Nea took her THREE HOUR NAP (jealous) I finished baking the cake and put them aside to cool until she woke up.  I knew that she'd be upset with me if I had finished the entire thing without her there supervising me.

Clearly she didn't let anything slip by her observant eyes!

Sneaking a taste while I frosted the cake...

My dad has a pretty stellar garden in our backyard - jalapeños, chives, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, blueberries, and herbs, herbs, and more HERBS!  I stole some fresh mint out of the garden to help garnish the cake.  Unfortunately, no blueberries were ripe enough to use...off to the grocery store I went!

And....here it is!

Nea patiently sitting by while Uncle Tommy took pictures of the cake. "Can't I just eat it now?"

Not only is this an amazing tasting cake, but I had one of the best days I have had in a while!  Baking this cake with Nea and then going on to share the Cajun Chicken with Pineapple Salsa with my family was the cherry atop a perfect day!

Please enjoy this recipe...  And remember, don't be afraid to bake a cake from scratch!

Fresh Lime Chiffon Cake

Filling: 1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes) 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk Cake: Cooking spray 1 tablespoon cake flour 2 cups sifted cafe flour (7 1/2 ounces) 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 7 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes) 3 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract 3 egg yolks 8 egg whites 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Frosting: 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime) 2 1/2 cups fat-free whipped topping, thawed mint sprigs (optional) fresh blueberries (optional) lime wedges (optional)

  1. To prepare lime filling, combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until blended.  Cover and chill 3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. To prepare cake, coat bottoms of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper.  Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
  4. Combine 2 cups cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until well combined.
  5. Combine oil and next 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add oil mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
  6. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy.  Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into flour mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
  7. Divide cake batter equally among prepared pans, spreading evenly.  Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife.  Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans.  Remove wax paper from cake layers.  Cool completely on wire racks.
  8. To prepare frosting, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small microwave-safe glass bowl.  Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves.  Cool completely.  Fold into whipped topping.
  9. To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of filling over cake layer.  Top with second layer, remaining half of filling, and third layer.  Spread frosting over top and sides of cake.  Garnish with mint, blueberries, and lime wedges, if desired.  Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.

16 servings.