It’s hard to beat a nice cold Mojito on a hot summer’s day. There’s something about the perfect blending of mint, lime, and rum that I just can’t resist! With temperatures slowly climbing and signs that summer may finally be returning to the frozen tundra, I’ve been thinking about trying to recreate the delicious Mojito taste in cake form. Unfortunately, I haven’t been particularly impressed with the few existing recipes I’ve found for Mojito cake. Most either start with a box cake (blah!) or don’t seem nearly minty enough for my liking. I decided the first step in my crusade for the perfect Mojito Cake was to start with Mojito curd for the filling. It took a little work (and a LOT of limes) to get a curd that tasted just right, but it was well worth the effort!
My first attempt at the curd used an adapted version of a basic lime curd from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fresh-lime-curd/.This recipe instructs to heat 1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. butter, 3/4 c. lime juice, and 1 T. lime zest in the top of a double boiler until the butter melts. Then, you slowly stir in 2 eggs and cook 20 -25 minutes until the curd thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 20 to 25 minutes.
For my version, I started by blending together the sugar with 10 fresh mint leaves to make a minty sugar. (By the way, this is also a delicious way to sweeten fresh squeezed lemonade.) I prepared the curd just as the original lime curd suggests, except that I subbed 1/4 c. of white rum for an equal amount of the lime juice and cut the amount of lime zest in half to better let the mint flavor shine through. The result was delicious, but unfortunately, didn’t taste much like a mojito. It was still mostly plain old lime curd with just the tiniest hint of mint and rum. Not bad, but still not quite what I wanted for my Mojito cake, especially since my beef with most other recipes is the lack of mint. On to attempt 2!
In my second batch, my goal was to try to get that mint flavor to come through over the much stronger lime flavor. I used the same general recipe, but started by bringing the 1/4 c. of white rum to a simmer and then steeping the mint leaves for a few minutes to make a mint-infused rum. (Incidentally, I discovered mint-infused rum is pretty darn delicious.) I then prepared the curd just as before, but cut out the lime zest and increased the sugar to 1 1/4 c. since the first batch was a little sour. While the butter was melting (and before adding the eggs) I added a few more mint leaves and muddled them in with the juice mixture in hopes to get even more mintiness. Once the butter melted, I removed the mint leaves and added the eggs just as before. This batch was an improvement over the first batch for mojito flavor, but it ended up being way too minty. Oops! It was mostly mint curd with a little bit of lime flavor, and almost no rum taste. Again, not quite the ticket for a perfect mojito cake filling. On to attempt three.
Attempt #3, a.k.a. Perfect Mojito Curd!
The third time was definitely the charm. Again, I used the same general recipe, but scaled back a little on the mint and subbed dark rum for light rum. Although a true mojito uses white rum, it just doesn’t seem to pack enough punch to balance out the lime and mint in curd form. I also steeped the mint in the lime juice instead of the rum. The result was a perfect blend of the three flavors: a nice zingy lime, zesty mint, and a kick of rum. Mmmmmm! In my blind-taste test, Hubs exclaimed “This one tastes just like a Mojito!” and we then ate almost half the batch straight up with a spoon. I’ll take that as a success:) So, I give you my best attempt at a perfect mojito curd: