If you seek a festive dessert that your guests have most likely never enjoyed before, you’ve come to the right place. This recipe delivers the mojito in myriad ways, first in its batter, then in its whipped cream, and finally with a drizzle of lime-mint syrup that ensures its memory will linger long after the last hint of mint has faded from the palate. To add an even more momentous finish to this recipe (which we hope will become the culmination of at least one of your backyard barbecues this summer), the cake is layered, each portion delivering another piece of Cuban heaven. It’s a dish you will remember, right down to your last rum-soaked bite.
— Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn, and Jody Eddy
• ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Dan discuss this recipe on the Faith Middleton Food Schmooze®. •
Reprinted with permission from ¡Cuba!, by Dan Goldberg and Andrea Kuhn, copyright ©2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright ©2016 by Dan Goldberg.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 cups heavy cream chilled
- 2 tablespoons Powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- Lime slices or 1 teaspoon lime zest for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla, lime zest, rum extract, and lime juice. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the milk and stir until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake springs back at a touch and starts to slightly pull away from the sides. Remove from the oven and set the pans on a rack to cool. After 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely on the rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the syrup. Heat the water and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the mint leaves, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes to steep. After 10 minutes, strain out the mint leaves and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
- To make the whipped cream, place either a large metal mixing bowl or the metal bowl of a stand mixer in the refrigerator until well chilled. Pour the cold cream into the chilled bowl and begin beating it, using either an electric hand mixer or the whip attachment of the stand mixer. When the cream has partially thickened, sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue beating. When the whipped cream holds stiff peaks, stir in the rum.
- If your cakes are very domed, use a slicing knife to trim the tops of the cakes so they are flat. Using a pastry brush, liberally brush the top of each cake with the syrup. Place the first cake on a plate, bottom side up, and spoon half the whipped cream onto the center. Using an offset or regular spatula, push the whipped cream out toward the edges of the cake, without going all the way to the edge. The weight of the second layer will push it the rest of the way. Center the second layer on top of the first, bottom side down, and press down gently to push the whipped cream out slightly. Top with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with the lime zest. Either serve or chill immediately.
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