Sunday, July 8, 2012

Guest Blog: Baking with Booze

My birthday came and went recently, as my wife loves to bake I asked her to attempt a rum cake (what else for a tiki-phile?) and write up a post about it. You will see her post below and feel free to check out her blog Pgh Ink

Rum Cake

            Rum Cake, perhaps the most well known of our modern booze deserts, rum cake is one of those delightful concoctions that can be as strong as the baker dare make it.  Traditionally Rum Cake is thought to have descended from Holiday Pudding made by English settlers in the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Much like English Pudding, Rum Cake takes well to having all sorts of things added to it including dried fruits, soaked in rum of course, and nuts.  In the US Rum Cake is usually served as a sponge cake designed to soak up as much rum as possible.  This was my first, though I am sure not my last, attempt at a Rum Cake and it turned out quite well.  Next time I will try adding spiced rum to give it a more holiday feel.  I strongly suggest putting the baked cake in a shallow pie pan prior to pouring on the glaze.  The sides of the pan help hold the excess glaze close to the cake which allows for more of it to be soaked up by the cake over time.  It also prevents the sticky glaze from running all over your counter and creating an even greater mess for you to clean up later.  I also suggest making this at least a day before serving to give the flavors time to fully develop and of course more of the rum glaze to be absorbed.  Here is the recipe I used adapted from several sources in books and online.  You can also use muffin cups or mini bundt pans if you wish to make individual servings for your guests.  Keep an eye on these smaller cakes however because the increased service area may cause the cakes to over brown if baked for the full hour.

1C butter
2C sugar
4 eggs
3C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking power
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1C milk
1 tsp vanilla
¾ dark rum (I used Myers dark rum)

4 tlbs butter
1C Sugar
½ C dark rum (again I used Myers)

Powered sugar for topping.

Preheat oven to 350˚ and spray a bundt pan and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together then add the eggs one at a time mixing them in before adding the next one.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in one bowl. Using a fork will help break up the lumps in the flour and help prevent clumping when you add the dry and wet ingredients.

In another bowl mix milk, vanilla and rum.

Add dry mixture and wet mixture to batter and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated.

Poor batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour.  If using several small bundt pans or a muffin pan check after 45 min and pull if necessary.  Once golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean pull cake and turn onto a cooling rack.  Allow cake to cool completely before putting on glaze.


Melt butter then add in sugar and ¼ C water.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes string continuously to avoid scorching the bottom and making sure mixture will not boil over.  The bubbles will build up quickly so you need to keep a constant eye on it.  After 5 minutes remove from heat and very slowly add in rum.  The first addition of the rum will cause the glaze to boil up very quickly so continue string as you add rum.

Put cake into shallow pie pan and slowly drizzle glace over top and sides of cake.  Don’t worry if all the glaze is not immediately soaked up by the cake.  As the cake sits it will continue to absorb the glaze.  Cover and allow to sit over night.  Before serving sprinkle with powered sugar. 

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