Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mojito Cake

Our mint is gone. GONE! The management company that takes care of our rental decided than when they mowed the lawn, they would mow down our mint and chives too. Until the mowing incident, I had been making mojitos pretty regularly. I even had a special muddler stick, not that you really need one. The stick end of a wooden spoon would work just fine.
But this summer I also made a cake out of all those lovely mojito flavors. I squeezed some limes, and brewed some mint simple syrup and baked some sponge cakes. And I made Italian meringue butter-cream frosting. Oh my it was good. And I practiced my frosting skills before the big wedding cake. More on that another time.
Birthday cake
The cake was a simple sponge cake made with lime instead of lemon zest and a bit of rum mixed in.
Whip the egg whites, which gives the cake most of its structure. Then mix the yolks with sugar, zest, and rum. Fold in the dry ingredients, then fold in the whites. It's not a particularly exciting recipe, actually comes right out of the Joy of Cooking.
egg whites
Flour mixture
Combine gently!
Bake the cakes
What makes this cake so good is the filling. Mint lime curd. It is sooo good. As I mentioned earlier, this cake was a sort of preparation for a wedding cake. A wedding cake that used up many many egg whites while tossing aside the yolks. I wanted to find a home for those ooey gooey yolks, and curds are a great way of doing that.
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
zest and juice of 5 limes
A handful of ripped mint
Heat it over a double boiler until it thickens. Then strain out the mint leaves, and cool. The texture won't be right until it has chilled.
The final result tastes a lot like key lime pie, zingy and creamy, and delicious when eaten out of the jar with a spoon. Mmmm.
Lime mint curd and syrup
To assemble the final product, brush one cake with a combination of rum and mint simple syrup, emphasis on the rum. Then slather on the curd. Add the second cake and douse it with more rum and mint. Finally, frost.
Lime mint curd spread
crumb coat
Birthday cake
Although the cake and the curd went beautifully together, the frosting was too rich for such a light and ethereal cake. A seven-minute frosting might have been better.

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