Masterchef Masterclass: Mojito Genoise

We haven’t really been watching Masterchef this season, other than on the Sunday catchups, but we flicked on the television on Friday night and caught the second half of the Masterclass, in which British model-turned-pastrychef Lorraine Pascal demonstrated her Mojito Genoise. Rum, mint, sugar and cake? I am so there.

Needless to say this rainy Sunday of the long weekend proved perfect to indulge my greed under the cover of making a belated birthday cake for my Dad. I’d never made a genoise before – it’s a cake with no raising agent – and my habit of multitasking in the kitchen meant that my sugar-melting experience has been mixed, to say the least. For that reason I’ve also never made praline, even though I absolutely adore the crunchy sugary goodness. But I say again: rum, mint, sugar and cake.  The recipe wasn’t up on the Masterchef site but was easy enough to find on the young persons inter web, as it is also included in Lorraine’s Baking Made Easy cookbook. It follows after the jump.

Mojito Genoise

Sugar Syrup

  • 150 g (5.3oz) Soft light brown sugar
  • 40 ml (1.4fl oz) Water
  • 2 Finely grated zest and juice of limes
  • 80 ml (2.8fl oz) White rum
  • 1 Bunch of fresh mint, leaves only
  • 400 g (7.1oz)Granulated sugar – Pecan coating
  • 200 g (7.1oz) Pecans – Pecan coating
  • 1 Dash of vegetable oil, for oiling – Pecan coating

Genoise Sponge

  • 260 g (9.2oz) Caster sugar
  • 115 g (4.1oz) Butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
  • 260 g (9.2oz) Plain flour
  • 6 Eggs, lightly beaten

Buttercream Icing

  • 300 g (10.6oz) Butter, softened
  • 600 g (21oz) Icing sugar
  • 2 Vanilla pods or 4 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 large or 23 small Lime – Finely grated zest and juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C; grease a 20cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Feel free to mix yourself a real mojito for consumption later – (although for this you’ll need more mint and sugar).
  2. Make the sugar syrup first to give the mint and lime plenty of time to infuse. Zest 2 limes and put zest aside.
  3. Place soft light brown sugar, water, the juice of the limes and 80 ml white rum in a medium pan over a low heat.
  4. Cook until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 2-3 minutes until the syrup thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and add the leaves from a bunch of fresh chopped mint (leaves only) and the lime zest .
  6. Set aside to infuse.
  7. Line a baking sheet with paper.
  8.  Put sugar in a medium-size pan over a medium-high heat and leave to melt.  Don’t stir it, just swirl the pan to move the sugar round.
  9. Once the sugar is melted, bring the mixture to the boil and cook until caramel colour is reached. Be careful not to burn it!
  10. Add 200 g pecan nuts, swirl the pan to coat them a bit in the sugar and pour on the lined baking tray. Leave to cool.
  11. Once this has cooled right down, blitz the praline in a food processor (or alternative place in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin). Put aside.
  12. Place a large pot around a third full of water and bring to the boil while you lightly beat 6 eggs in a heatproof bowl. You’ll want this bowl to fit snugly over the pot of water, which is the next step. Now’s also a good time to melt the butter gently, and measure out the flour so you have them to hand.
  13. Remove the pot from the heat from heat and place the bowl over the top, containing the eggs and caster sugar. Make sure the base isn’t touching the water
  14. Beat like crazy with an electric handheld mixer – trust me; you do NOT want to do this by hand. You should beat for about 10 minutes over the pan of hot water – this might be a good time to throw back another mojito, because you won’t be going anywhere for a while!
  15. Remove the bowl from the pot and continue beating for 5 mins or so. You need to get to a ribbon stage – when if you take a spoonful and trail it back in, the resulting ribbon should hold itself for at least 3-4 seconds before blending  back into the mixture.
  16. Pour the melted butter around the sides of the bowl, so as not to knock out the air (which is what happens if you pour it in the middle.
  17. Fold the melted butter into the egg mix, moving the bowl around and scooping down to the bottom to fold the mixture over itself, using as few movements as possible to retain maximum air.
  18. Repeat the process with the flour, again using as few movements as possible. Be aware though that those rotten flour lumps lurk at the bottom of the bowl, and you don’t want to be pouring it into the tin and finding a dry pocket at the bottom of the bowl!
  19. Pour the mixture gently into the prepared tin, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins. Keep an eye on it, as it’s easy to burn.
  20. Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  21. Once cool, divide the cake horizontally into two. I use a cake separator, but on Masterchef Lorraine used kitchen string stretched around the cake and then pulled tight to slice the cake evenly in half.
  22. Prepare the buttercream by adding 300g softened butter, 600g icing sugar and the seeds of 2 vanilla pods (or the vanilla extract) into a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the jest and juice from the lime.
  23. Assembly time! Place the bottom of the sponge on the plate and brush with the reserved sugar syrup. Be quite liberal to make the cake really moist.
  24. Put a big dollop of buttercream on top of the sponge bottom and, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream over the cake until it is level.
  25. Take the top half of the cake, turn cut side up and brush with the sugar syrup. Turn it back over and put it on top of the buttercreamed sponge.
  26. Next, cover the whole cake with the buttercream, including the top and sides, making sure it is a smooth as possible with straight sides and top. Put the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up a little.
  27. Use the praline crumbs to coat the sides of the cake, picking up the fallen crumbs and gently patting onto the cake.
  28. Gently indent the cake top into sections, to work out where you will place whole pecans and lime slices.
  29. Top with one pecan and one lime eighth per slice, and serve.

~ by swalloworspit on June 11, 2012.

10 Responses to “Masterchef Masterclass: Mojito Genoise”

  1. I thank you for the recipe. I was very disappointed when it was not on the Masterchef website.

    • Me too! I had to go searching to find a copy of the recipe, as the demonstration in the Masterclass never works for me – I like to see things written down!

  2. I find the sugar in Australia is way too sweet than in I am shocked to see double te amount of sugar to butter for the icing.has anyone made tis yet.any thoughts?

    • Hi! It’s actually an English recipe by Lorraine Pascal, so if English sugar is less sweet (which sounds a bit strange to me – sugar is sugar, surely?) perhaps that is why the proportions are as they are. We definitely found the icing more rich than sweet but that’s a function of the fat (i.e. butter) content. Perhaps a cream cheese-based icing (mixing Philly Light with icing sugar and some lime juice) might be a lighter alternative? But I guess the trick here is to make the icing to your particular taste. Good luck!

  3. Hi! I saw this on Masterchef, and I’m dying to make it 🙂
    How long does it take to make, approximately?

    • I did the praline in the morning and, because I wanted to take the cake to a dinner that night, started it after lunch in order to allow the cake to be cooled and therefore iced. That said, it was a rainy Sunday so I didn’t rush it at all – love pottering in the kitchen when it’s cold and rainy out! I’d estimate around four hours, if you do the cake first.

  4. Made it this afternoon – looks fantastic – a birthday cake for my Jamaican partner. Good recipe – thank you for sharing. Cant believe they didnt post it on the Masterchef website

  5. […] Lorraine Pascale’s recipe. There were some variations, and here are the different versions: the mojito cake recipe from swallow or spit; from lovefood; from Snippets of Suri; and of course if you prefer video, from Lorraine Pascale […]

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