I saw a picture a couple of months ago...I couldn't get it out of my head. It was a picture of a cake...a cake that looked so simple...but whose name implied it was so much more! That picture was on a newsletter from Rick Bayless (say it with me...genius!). It was a cake developed in his test kitchen by his test kitchen chef, Deb (I should probably lump her into the genius! category, as well...she's the one behind the scenes, afterall). Imagine if you will a cake flavored with that classic tartness of the key lime...yet grounded through the nutty, earthy crunch of toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Are you feelin' it? I adore the simplicity of this more than anything else...the rustic look. It's not too sweet, but it's moist and very easy on the tastebuds. There was a time, up until recently, if I was asked the question "cake or pie?", I would have said an enthusiastic "PIE!". I was always a pie and coffee kind of gal. And I still lean more towards pie...but I've discovered a lot of cakes over the last year or so (including this one) that make me ask "what kind of cake?" before I answer that question these days.
Key Lime Cake with Pepitas
recipe from Rick Bayless
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons grated key lime rind
1/2 cup toasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Key Lime Syrup
1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice (approximately 12 key limes)
1/2 cup superfine instant dissolve sugar
9-inch x 2-inch deep cake pan, buttered, bottom lined with parchment
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until soft and light. Add the eggs and continue mixing until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add in thirds, alternately with the sour cream. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the grated key lime rind. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the pepitas evenly over the top. Place the cake on the middle rack and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, whisk together the key lime juice and superfine sugar in a small bowl. Continue mixing until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Spoon the key lime syrup evenly over the cake while it's still warm. You can unmold the cake once it's completely cooled.
The key lime syrup soaks in and permeates every bite! A nice change...one I prefer...from standard Key Lime Pie. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll let this cake work it: