I think there is a point in many people’s lives when they need to make a certain choice. They need to decide their signature cocktail. This is a relatively defining moment and can be another pin to hold up your identity. It says quite a lot about you. Sex on the beach – still got that sweet tooth. Martini – you’ve been around the cocktail block and have made an informed decision (or we’re calling your bluff and you only like it because of the James Bond association). Tom Collins? You’re wholly dependent on G&Ts and this is the next best thing.
I made a choice the other day (not about cocktails, that’s a work in progress). I have long abhorred the addition of alcohol in puddings. Alcohol should stay in a glass. Liqueur in chocolate, alcohol in puddings, these have always befuddled me. They overwhelm me, make me grimace as I swallow in shock at a dessert which has always been the sweet smile at the end of a dinner. This week, however, I decided to make a cake WITH alcohol. Perhaps it’s the French influence. I do enjoy an old cannelé flambéed in rum. Anyway, there was a lime in the fridge and rum on the table, two ingredients of a mojito and since there was no lemonade or mint, they had to be put to some use.
The recipe I used asked for one teaspoon of rum. Now, I might not be an alcohol-pudding genius but I thought that was being a little frugal. When tasting the mix after one spoonful I couldn’t taste a jot. So I added two more and then the taste of rum hit me like a barrel on the head. I assumed the rum ratio was a-ok. When it was slid from the oven, though, I couldn’t detect any rum aroma in the baking haze that floated round our apartment. I debated adding some rum to the lime buttercream, but I didn’t want to end up with the sensation of just having taken a shot when I’m trying to enjoy a slice’o cake.
I was very happy with the crumb on this cake and its crust was beautifully brown to give a little bit of a crunch. The kick, however, was decidedly absent. Although the slice I had today did have some rum about it, I don’t think its constant and I hadn’t tasted it before. The lime buttercream though, was full of zingy zest and freshness. The middle layer was a little low though: more of a sock height. If I were to call it a Virgin Mojito I would feel irresponsible, but a Mojito cake? That may raise expectations too much.