My Cake Decorating Gallery

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mini Key Lime Tarts and Rum Cakes

The Husband's coworkers were having another gathering and the theme again was cuban! I decided to think of some island-y desserts and one of our favorites is key lime pie. I have a mini tart pan and thought it would be great to put that to use and make mini key lime tarts with meringue.

I made a basic graham cracker crust - one or two batches (you'll know if you don't have enough, it takes no time to whip up more) and pressed it into my mini tart pan - high up on the sides so that the pies would (hopefully) pop out easily.  Then I made my favorite key lime pie filling recipe (per Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West) to pour into each cup. That gets baked for a few minutes to set and then I let them cool. Last, I whipped up some meringue and piped it on top of each tart which I had already removed from the pan (they came out pretty easily!)

The meringue got golden and toasty under the broiler for a few minutes and then the tarts were complete. This is one of The Husband and I's very favorite desserts. I think we finally realized that we prefer sweetened whipped cream topping instead of meringue... however that is something I will have to reserve for serving this pie at home where I can keep everything chilled. These mini tarts with the meringue topping did fine sitting out for a few hours during the party.

I also decided to try out a recipe that I heard from a friend is popular in the Caribbean islands - rum cake! I found a copycat recipe online and gave it a whirl and decided it was time to use my mini tea cake pan. That pan has a lot of details and the rum cakes worked out OK but I think a tea cake recipe would be best for that pan in the future. The rum cakes were tasty - a rum-infused cake batter which incorporates nuts and gets baked until golden brown. Then a sweet vanilla island rum syrup (with tons of real rum) is created and poured into the warm cakes to soak in. This results in a moist little vanilla rum flavored cake with a zing - you can tell there's alcohol in it!

Basic Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (pulse in your cuisinart food processor, I used my mini one)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
a touch of cinnamon

Mix until a wet sandy mixture is formed and press into the bottom of your pie/tart pans. Bake in the oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Key Lime Filling
Recipe claimed to be from Blue Heaven, a restaurant in Key West famous for their key lime pies
(this is a half batch which will be more than enough for 24 mini tarts)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice (use key limes or it won't be the same!)
4 egg yolks

Whisk in a stainless steel bowl. Pour into your already baked graham cracker crust shell(s).

Meringue Topping
This will make more than enough meringue -

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/6 cup of powdered sugar

Beat egg whites to a soft peak. Add cream of tartar and continue whipping until a stiff peak is achieved. Whip in the confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Decoratively add the meringue on top of your previously baked and cooled mini key lime tarts. Place in the oven under the broiler and broil (carefully) until your peaks have a golden attractive color. Or, bake in a preheated oven at 450 until your meringue is golden in color.

Let cool and enjoy!

Almost Tortuga Rum Cakes
as seen here on this website

  • Basic Cake Mix
  • 2 cups cake flour
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup butter , cut into bits
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
    1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
    1/2 cup milk
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup whaler vanille rum (Hawaiian-style rum)
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Rum soaking Glaze
  • 1/2 cup butter (do not substitute)
    1/4 cup water
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup whaler vanille rum (Hawaiian-style rum)
  • Directions
  • Basic Cake Mix:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine basic cake mix ingredients.
  • On low speed combine ingredients until the mix is the consistency of fine gravel, and all particles are about the same size.
  • This mix may be contained and stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • For the Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray a large Bundt pan (12 cup) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the bottom.
  • Place Basic Cake Mix, pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and combine on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, scrape down the bowl halfway through.
  • Batter should be very smooth.
  • Pour into Bundt pan.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes- until fully golden and tester comes out clean and cake springs back.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack while making the soaking glaze.
  • Rum Soaking Glaze:.
  • Combine butter, water and sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil carefully as mixture boils over very easily.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and syrup is well combined and a little thicker.
  • Remove from the heat and add the rum, mix to combine.
  • While cake is still cooling, pour some of the hot syrup on top of the cake, allowing it time to soak in (this may take a few minutes as there will be a lot of syrup) continue to add syrup until all of the syrup is added.
  • Allow cake to cool completerly in pan before turning out onto serving platter.
  • This cake is delicate, so once it is turned out, it can not be moved around easily.
  • Can be eaten when fully cool, but even better the next day!

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