John Whaite's Mojito Cake

Method

John says: "This cake is absolutely perfect for long sunny evenings, and it goes without saying that it should be accompanied by a tall glass of the liquid form. The rum part is entirely optional but let's face it: without the rum there's no mojito!"

Method

1. Make the lime curd: place the lime juice, butter and zest into a medium saucepan and heat over medium/high.

2. Meanwhile whisk together the yolks and caster sugar - adding a tablespoon of lime juice if it’s a little thick - then whisk in the cornflour.

3. When the butter melts into the lime juice and it comes to the boil, pour half onto the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly to blend, then pour that back into the pan and heat again, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon - though when testing for this make sure you take the pan off the heat!

4. Scoop it onto a plate and cover with cling to chill, or into a sterilised jar with lid.

5. For the cake, preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3

6. Place the egg yolks, sugar, water and oil in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Sift over the flour and salt and beat in along with the lime zest until well incorporated. 

7. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the tin and tap the tin lightly to expel any air bubbles. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until well risen, golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Invert on to a wire rack to cool upside down.

8. Make the filling by whisking the cream and icing sugar to soft, floppy peaks, before folding in the mint and rum if using.

9. When the cake has cooled, remove from the tin and slice horizontally into two even layers. Place one on a cake board or large cake stand and spread it generously with the lime curd. Fill the piping bag with the cream and pip in neat concentric circles over the curd in two layers, then top with the other cake half - I like to use the bottom half and place it upside down so the flat bottom makes an evenly flat top.

10. Make the topping by beating together the icing sugar and lime juice, using as much juice as is necessary to achieve a speadable but not too runny water icing - add more icing sugar or lime juice as necessary. Spread this on top of the cake and even out. Finish with a scattering of lime zest.

Ingredients

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 12

  • For the lime curd:

  • 250ml fresh lime juice

  • 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 175g caster sugar

  • 25g cornflour

  • For the cake:

  • 9 eggs, separated

  • 450g golden caster sugar

  • 230ml water

  • 160ml sunflower oil

  • 380g plain flour

  • 1tsp salt

  • 3 limes, zest only

  • For the filling:

  • 400ml double cream

  • 200g icing sugar

  • 10 large mint leaves, finely chopped

  • 3tbsp white rum (optional)

  • 1 quantity lime curd, as above

  • For the topping:

  • 250g icing sugar

  • Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime

  • Lime zest to decorate

  • Essential equipment:

  • 28cm/11" round, loose-bottomed cake tin, ungreased

  • Disposable piping bag fitted with 10mm nozzle