I have an oddly high amount of amusing Disney World stories. It’s not as if my family vacations there every year and I have 24 years of material – it’s just that weird shit happens to us there. I mean, weird shit happens to us a everywhere, but especially in Disney.
There was the time I got bronchitis there and we had to take a cab to the doctor and explain to him that this was, in fact, a fairly normal occurrence for me and that his best course of action was to prescribe drug XYZ so that I could breathe without hacking up my left lung. Which was not so much weird as entirely, pathetically, predictable given that I got bronchitis like clockwork at the same time every year well into my teenage years. Also, our cab driver brought my poor, sick little self a Minnie Mouse doll and didn’t even flinch when I unceremoniously coughed all over God’s green earth and every inch of his cab to and from the clinic. Bless his heart.
Then there was the petting zoo. Because I was that kid at an early age (24 years and counting, baby!), I insisted on constantly wearing dresses. My mother weathered many an incredulous across-the-playground stare from other mothers when her daughter insisted on climbing trees in her ballet tutu and patent leather shoes. I actually still have a scar on my knee from falling off of my scooter while wearing that exact outfit. Because of course I do. And in case you were wondering, no, I did not take dance for more than one month (which was the amount of time it took my family to unanimously decide that I’m quite possibly the least graceful person any of us has ever met) as a child. Anyway. The petting zoo. I was obviously wearing a sundress, and it was obviously beautiful, and the goat obviously shared my opinion on its splendor, because he started to eat it. That’s right: the goat I was politely petting reached his bigass, dirty buck teeth right through the wooden fence and started munching on my dress. And there I am, confused, because my sundress is literally disappearing before my very eyes and I’m wondering if perhaps the goat is going to decide that maybe he wants to try something a little meatier, like, you know, my leg. How am I recalling this event with such clarity? Well, clearly we have it on video. I assure you that within moments of this entry posting I will receive a phone call from Boyfriend requesting this video be brought to Boston for his viewing pleasure when I visit next week. The joys of my childhood and 21st century technology, people.
And finally, during my last time at Disney, my freshman year of high school, there was Epcot. My family loves Epcot. We may never get back there because we have this crazy life goal of working our way through freaking Europe, but I think that actually has a lot to do with our love of Epcot and its worldliness. We were (in typical fashion) eating our way through the Epcot countries and Dad got a piece of pie. Because these were my picky-eater days and I am an idiot, I didn’t know what kind of pie it was. Nor did I look when he offered me a bite. Nor did I ever think to ask what kind it was, beyond uttering the phrase “is there meat in this?” immediately after swallowing it…which made my parents dissolve into incoherent laughter, as it was key lime pie. And as you’re probably aware, there is no meat in key lime pie. Ever.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard that last story. Suffice it to say that it’s been repeated once or twice. And I have no doubt I’ll be enduring it even more than usual in the common week for two reasons: a) because I stupidly decided to post about it on my blog, for godssakes, and b) because for his birthday my Dad requested a “lime cake…with no meat, please.”
Obviously. Because didn’t I walk right into that one?
Lime Layer Cake
This is not a cake for the faint of heart – it’s really lime-y. Dad loved it, because he loves lime. I actually thought it was really good combination of curd, cake, and icing, but I thought the cake was a bit dry – I would advise brushing the cake with either simple syrup or a combination of lime juice and water after it cools (poke it all over with toothpicks first so the cake absorbs the juice). If you’re concerned about being overwhelmed with lime, I would take the lime out of the cake itself and just make a plain white cake with lime curd and icing. Also, my limes were not at all as juicy as I was anticipating. Not that the lime taste was muted by any means, but if your limes are on the large and/or juicy side, I would use less in the cake and icing.
For the Cake:
Adapted from this cake
1 ¾ cups sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
Zest and juice of two limes
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and grease three 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg is added. Add lime zest and juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Add one third of this mixture to the butter/sugar and beat until mixed. Add half of the milk and beat. Repeat until all of the flour and milk have been added (you should start and end with the flour). Pour the batter into the prepared pans (it’s going to be fairly thick).
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the center is set. After removing from the oven, take the cakes out of their pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
If you’re making the cake more than a day in advance, wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and freeze.
For the lime curd:
Adapted from allrecipes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup lime juice (it took me more than 3 limes to get this much juice)
1 tbsp lime zest
2 eggs, beaten
In a double boiler over medium high heat, combine sugar, butter, lime juice and lime zest. Heat, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Once the butter has melted, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the hot lime mixture to the beaten eggs, mixing vigorously during the addition.
Lower the heat on the double boiler to medium, and slowly whisk the egg mixture into the butter/sugar/lime mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 – 25 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if not using immediately.
For the icing:
Adapted from this icing
4 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups heavy cream
Green food coloring (optional)
Mix together butter, milk, sugar, lime zest, food coloring and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold butter/sugar into whipped cream until combined. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to construct the cake.
If you’ve refrigerated or frozen the cake, allow it to come to room temperature. On a cake plate lined with parchment paper (more detail in the assembly of the Cannoli Cake), lay the first cake on the plate (because of the low cooking temp, the cakes should be fairly flat – if you wish to get them flatter, cut the domed top carefully off prior to assembly). Cover with about half of the lime curd mixture (this will be a really thin layer, as you don’t need much; if you overfill this, it will ooze out the side of the cake and make icing the cake a challenge). Lay the next cake on top and repeat. Finally, put the last cake on top and ice the top and sides with the whipped cream icing (I had a little extra icing and curd when I was done, so don’t worry about using every ounce of either).
I thought about cutting each cut in half and making it six layers, each with a thin layer of lime curd, but I was really pressed for time and didn’t get a chance. I think it would’ve helped out a bit with the dryness I noted in the headnote of the recipe…If you go in that direction, I’d love to know how it went!
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