Mojito Drizzle Cake
Part cake, part cocktail, this outrageous glitzy Mojita drizzle cake will get the party started! Citrussy flavours combine with silky smooth rum-flavoured Swiss meringue buttercream, crystallized fresh mint, and food-grade gold leaf. If you want to be purist, you should use white rum rather than the pirate variety, but I'm sure both would taste equally delicious. You will need a counter-top mixer for the swiss meringue buttercream as this will be hard to make with elbow grease alone. But in a pinch, a hand-held mixer will do. Get started on the crystallized mint the day before, so that it can dry out overnight. For this, I use pasteurized egg whites which you can buy in a carton from the supermarket. Unfortunately, carton egg whites cannot be used for the Swiss meringue buttercream, for which only freshly cracked egg whites will do.
large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon (or counter-top mixer)
18cm diameter cake pan (x3 or reuse the same one)
wire cooling rack
small saucepan, large saucepan
Tala enamelled lime squeezer
medium-size mixing bowl
Tala Cooks Measure
18cm diameter cake board
mini palette knife
275g softened butter or margarine
6 medium free-range eggs
350g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lime
200ml caster sugar (pour to this level in the Tala Cooks' Measure)
juice of the zested lime
6 medium egg whites
500g salted butter (softened slightly)
360g caster sugar
5 leaves of food-grade gold leaf transfer
mint leaves picked straight from the plant (a pack of fresh leaves is fine)
pasteurised egg whites
2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius fan (302 degrees Fahrenheit) and line an 18cm diameter cake pan (or three if you are not reusing the same pan).
3. Cream the caster sugar and margarine in a large mixing bowl or counter-top mixer. Then add the eggs and mix again, followed by the flour, baking powder and zest and mix until smooth.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes until risen and golden. The cake should spring back when carefully pressed in the centre. Leave to cool in the tins for five minutes before turning out and allowing to cool fully on a wire rack.
6. It's a good idea to get started on the syrup in advance so that it has a chance to cool down. Place all of the drizzle ingredients apart from the rum into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Then turn off the heat, add the rum and stir.
7. When the cakes are cool, cut off the domed parts with a cake leveller so that you have three nicely even cakes. Spoon the syrup over the three cakes – now, I know it seems like an awful lot of drizzle, but trust me it really is worth it!
8. Now to get started on the swiss meringue buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar into a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk, and place over a pan of boiling water. Stir occasionally at first and then constantly until the sugar crystals dissolve (about 71 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit).
10. Slow down the mixer and add butter, piece by piece until it is all used up and the mixture is pale, smooth and fluffy. Add the rum and mix again.
11. Place a few scrapes of buttercream onto the cake board and set the first cake on top of it. Spread a generous layer of buttercream over the top and layer the next cake on top. Repeat. Then chill for at least a couple of hours.
12. When the cake is firm, remove from the fridge and place on a turntable. Spread buttercream generously over the top and sides of the cake. Then, using the cake scraper held vertically next to the cake, revolve the turntable so that the scraper smooths the icing into the walls of the cake and some of the sponge is visible here and there for that contemporary 'scraped' look. Use the palette knife to smooth off any buttercream ridges that form at the top of the cake, so that it has nice sharp top edges. Return the cake to the fridge to firm up again.
13. Remove the cake from the fridge and apply the gold leaf by placing each leaf face down onto the side of the cake and pulling away from the backing paper so that the gold sticks to the cake in random distressed patches.
14. Cut two of the limes into very thin slices and arrange in patterns over the sides of the cake – try not to cover the gold leaf. Cut the third lime into wedges and place in a ring on top of the cake.
15. Carefully place the crystallised mint on to the top of the cake in and around the wedges in a rough ring shape and serve!