Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 minutes
Then-Bee staff writer Niesha Lofing found this recipe in "How To Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking" by Nigella Lawson.
Note: Add 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder plus 1/8 teaspoon salt per 1 cup cake flour to make self-rising cake flour.
For the lime curd filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice (of approximately four limes)
zest of 1 lime
2 half-pint jars
For the cake:
1/4 cup raisins, optional
12 ounces zucchini (2-3), weighed before grating
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups self-rising cake flour (see note above)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the icing:
7 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
For the lime curd: Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat. Let cool before filling a jar -- or a cake -- with it. Keep in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.
For the cake: Grease and line two 8-inch circular cake pans with parchment or wax paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If you're using raisins, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up. Wipe the zucchini with a kitchen towel (but don't peel them), then grate. The coarse side of an ordinary box grater is the best thing to use; anything too fine or too quick can turn them into a wet mush. When you've grated them, put them in a sieve over the sink to drain.
Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat them until creamy. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined. Stir in the grated zucchini and add the drained raisins. Pour the mixture into the pans and bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Leave in their pans on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool on the rack until your filling and icing are ready.
If you don't want to make the lime curd for the filling, then just buy a good lemon or lime curd and sharpen it with some freshly squeezed lime juice.
To make the cream-cheese icing for the top: Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add the confectioners' sugar, beating well to combine, and then stir in the lime juice to taste. Now get your cake layers ready for assembling. Put one on the plate and spread with completely cooled lime curd. Put on the top cake layer and smear it thickly with the cream-cheese icing. If you feel the icings need firming up a little, put the cake in the refrigerator for a while. Just before serving, scatter chopped pistachios over the top.
Per serving without raisins: 568 cal.; 10 g pro.; 55 g carb.; 35 g fat (14 sat., 11 monounsat., 10 polyunsat.); 183 mg chol.; 507 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 34 g sugar; 55 percent calories from fat.