If you’re a coconut lover, this dessert is right up your alley. But if you love coconut and lime, then you might as well halt what you’re doing right now and head to the kitchen, because this is the dessert for you. Its base is a generous layer of creamy coconut mousse, which is topped with a tangy lime cream (aka lime curd) and then a big ol’ dollop of bruléed Italian meringue. A coconut streusel adds some sweetness and a nice crunch to this tropical affair. By the way, if you’re wondering why my lime layer is orange, it’s because I used high-octane heritage eggs, which have yolks that are extra-orangey in color. Rest assured that if you use regular eggs, your lime layer will be more on the yellow side. Oh, and if you want to make this dessert gluten-free, you can skip the streusel and use plain toasted coconut in its place.
Makes 6 servings
- 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 ¼ cups (302 grams) coconut milk, well blended
- 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (22 grams) unsweetened desiccated shredded coconut
- 1 ½ tablespoons (22 grams) dark rum (I used Myers’s Rum)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
Lime Cream Filling:
- 2 large (100 grams) eggs
- 2 large (37 grams) egg yolks (save the egg whites to use in the meringue)
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) freshly squeezed strained lime juice
- Pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
- 1 tablespoon (6 grams) finely grated lime zest
- 1/2 cup (108 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (43 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (35 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened desiccated shredded coconut, lightly toasted in a skillet
*Note: you will have more streusel than you need for this recipe, but it keeps well and makes a great topping for ice cream.
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water
- 2 large (60 grams) egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make the mousse:
- Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the cold water in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
- Place the coconut milk, sugar, and coconut in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin, whisking for a full minute to completely dissolved the gelatin. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and set the bowl in a large mixing bowl filled one-third of the way with ice water (be careful that the water doesn’t splash into the coconut mixture). Stir the coconut mixture frequently until it is chilled, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rum and vanilla extract.
- Place the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip to medium peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the coconut mixture. Divide the mousse into six 4- or 5-ounce serving glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the Lime Cream layer.
Make the Lime Cream:
- Fill a medium saucepan one-third of the way with water and heat the water until it is barely simmering. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lime juice and salt until blended. Place the bowl over the saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until it is uniformly pale and thickened to the consistency of thin mayonnaise, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan of water and whisk in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Whisk in the lime zest.
- Pipe or spoon the Lime Cream on top of the Coconut Mousse in each glass. Cover the tops loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Meanwhile, make the streusel.
Make the streusel:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add the melted butter and stir the mixture until it forms clumps of various sizes. Spread the streusel over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, tossing halfway through baking, until just beginning to brown around the edges. Add the toasted coconut and toss to combine. Cool completely. (Once cool, store the streusel in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Make the meringue:
- Make the meringue shortly before you are ready to serve the desserts. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down sides of pan as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization. Cook until the syrup registers 240°F on a thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, begin whipping the egg whites.
- Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix at medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the hot sugar syrup. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (Ateco #808). Pipe a large dollop of meringue on top of the lime layer on each dessert. Using a handheld butane or propane torch, brulee each meringue dollop to a beautiful golden color. Sprinkle with some of the streusel and serve immediately.