When life hands you lemons, my daughter would say "give them back and say: I want the Jonas Brothers!".
When life hand you limes, the answer is simple and a wee bit more grown-up: make mojitos! I don't often drink cocktails, haven't been for a long time, anyway, what with nursing two children and rarely getting a night off, but now that I've got my body back to myself, I can drink whatever I please... and there's going to be rather a lot of mojitos made this summer, believe me!
Of course, I am a bit of a light-weight and drink them very weak, but that doesn't distract from the flavour too much and the pleasure lasts for longer. In fact, this incarnation of mojitos in cheesecake format can do entirely without the alcohol... I found them in an issue of delicious magazine and there's a fabulous line-up of summer recipes by Tom Aikens - sticky pork ribs, tuna teriyaki burgers and for dessert: mojito cheesecake. What a wonderful grown-up menu for a garden party!
When I saw the recipe, I knew this was just the thing to make for this month's Sugar High Friday, brainchild of the lovely Jennifer aka Domestic Goddess, and this instalment is hosted by the equally talented Helen of Tartelette. Actually, I lie: I had made them already, not one to resist anything dreamed up by the gorgeous Tom, so this was a great opportunity to for once take part in a food blogging event that I am not organising myself... life's just too busy at the moment!
Cheesecakes are always wonderful in themselves, but even more so when they're as light and tart as this one. Tom makes them with mascarpone and cottage cheese, I tinkered a bit, using up what I had in the fridge: a combination of quark, mascarpone and crème fraîche... still worked a treat! Served straight from the fridge in mini tumblers, they make for excellent finger food at any summer party, a sweet, yet refreshing dessert that nobody in their right minds is going to refuse!
100 g digestive biscuits (I used Hobnobs)
25 g butter (melted)
120 g light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp rum (optional)
1 large handful mint leaves
250 g quark
100 g crème fraîche
250 g mascarpone
Heat the sugar in a thick-based cast-iron pan with 5 tbsp of water until the granules have fully dissolved. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes without stirring. Add the zest and juice of 3 limes, the rum (if using) as well as the mint leaves, reserving enough small leaves for decoration. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
In the meantime, blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor until left with fine crumbs, add the butter and combine. Press equal amounts of the mixture into the base of small cocktail tumblers or shot glasses as the base of your cheesecakes. Set aside.
Remove the mint leaves from the pan, draining them thoroughly. Pour the mojito mix into a bowl and beat in the quark, crème fraîche and mascarpone until smooth. Pour the mixture carefully on top of the base, then place the glasses in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
(You can prepare this a day ahead, if you're pressed for time on the day.)
When ready to serve, cut the remaining lime into thin wedges and use one each plus a few small mint leaves for decoration. Sprinkle with some more muscovado, if you wish.
Serve in the glass with a dessert spoon.
* based on a recipe by Tom Aikens in an issue of delicious magazine (I don't remember which, unfortunately)