Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mojito Cake-Tails

I have wanted to make this recipe for over two years.

I had a summer internship where I lived in Providence, Rhode Island.  It was here that I got my first taste of living, and eating, independently, in a country where my favorite spice was familiarly called cinnamon, and not “Zimt”.  Not that I didn’t love my summer living in Germany, because I did, and not that I didn’t cook there, because I did, it just wasn’t really the place to sit around in the kitchen and discover things, when I could be out in Germany, discovering things.  Like Biergartens, famous castles, and Weinwanderung--a wine hike.  So it was a lot of chicken breasts and cold cut sandwiches, with amazingly delicious, fresh bread.  And the occasional Ananas Eis from the ice cream cart in the park.

On the other hand, during the Providence Summer, I had a sufficiently stocked kitchen and I cooked often for me, my roommate and her ever present boyfriend.  I tried new things, some of which are already in my green cookbook, and my purple recipe file began to grow exponentially, with the help of a color printer at work. 

This is one of those recipes, Mojito Cake Tails. (Ha, get it?  Like a cocktail, but a cake!)  You start with a pretzel and butter crust, packed tightly into the bottoms of muffin tins and you top it with this creamy, dreamy, lime and mint flecked cream.  Then you freeze it.  No baking, no buttering or dusting tins, you could probably even cheat and just use CoolWhip instead of whipping some cream up yourself.   It is the perfect summer dish, served cold from the freezer; it’s refreshing.  It wasn’t overly minty, not too much lime, if I had to complain I would say that there wasn’t enough rum.

The recipe said it made up 12 servings.  With 3 cups of crushed pretzels, we easily filled the bottoms of 17 muffin tins, and most of those had thick bases.  You could likely stretch this to 18-20 with no harm, because our cream tops were overflowing as well.  And be sure to chop the mint super fine.  Can I say again, they were delicious?  Cold and dreamy, with the salt from the pretzel crust balancing out the sweet cream.  The mint and lime epitomized summer.  The perfect end to a grilled Memorial Day dinner. 

There were rave reviews from aunts and uncles alike, most of whom stuck their fork in the middle and ate it like a popsicle.  A delicious, summer, adult popsicle.  Happy Summer!

Mojito Cake-Tails

2 sticks butter
3 c. salted pretzels, finely crushed 
1 1/4 c. sugar, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
Two 8 ounce packages, cream cheese, softened
Grated peel of 3 limes
1/2 c. lime juice
2 Tbsp. white rum
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 c. heavy cream

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a medium skillet.  Stir in pretzels and 2 tablespoons sugar and cook until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to bowl and let cool slightly.  Press about 3 tablespoons into bottom of muffin pans.  Freeze for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.  Mix in remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar on low speed.  Gradually mix in lime peel, lime juice, rum and chopped mint.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold ito cream cheese mixture.

Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among muffin cups; swirl and smooth the tops.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 8 hours, or overnight.   To remove from muffin tins, dip a butter knife in warm water, then run around each cake.  Cake-tail should pop right out, but if it doesn't, invert pan.  Serve with a mint sprig or lime twist for garnish.

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