Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holiday Leftovers: Mom’s Rum Cake


Today’s post is by guest blogger Jeff.
Guest posts are always welcome! If you are interested, please email me.

In my mind, the Holidays are about family. Like so many Atlantans, I’ve moved away from my family, so I really enjoy conjuring up anything that reminds me of the Christmas of my childhood. Pizzelles, the Italian waffle cookies flavored with anise, will always be at the top of my list of sentimental Christmas treats. Close behind is rum cake, which Mom always serves on Christmas Day.

When I asked my mom for the recipe, I expected to receive a lengthy, drawn out treasure map that would lead me to the golden, boozy promised land only after hours of hard work. Much to my surprise, however, Mom’s rum cake recipe was as simple as, um, pie.

I just assumed that everything Mom makes is the work of a kitchen wizard who can turn out recipes in half the time of us mere mortals. But once I got a glimpse behind the curtain, I discovered that Mom, like anybody who is scrambling to entertain the family for Christmas, takes a big shortcut. Yes, Virginia, Mom uses cake mix.

From start to finish, mixing the ingredients took me, a baking novice, about 15 minutes. Once the cake was in the oven, I set the timer and went back to finish my last-minute online Christmas shopping. With about 10 minutes left on the oven timer, I headed back to the kitchen to whip up the rummy glaze that really gives this cake a little bit of kick.

It probably won’t leave you slurring your words, but Mom’s rum cake is a delicious holiday dessert that is sure to please kids from one to 92.

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Cake:
Preheat oven to 325
-1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped into small pieces
-1 yellow cake mix box. (18½ oz) *
-1 (3 ¾ oz) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
-4 eggs
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup dark rum (Bacardi works great)

* Note: If using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix, omit instant pudding, use 3 eggs instead of 4, 1/3 cup of oil instead of the 1/2 cup.

Grease and flour a 10" tube or angel food cake pan (Pam baking spray does the trick). Sprinkle the nuts over the bottom of pan (this will be on the top of the cake as the cake will be inverted when cooled). Mix all cake ingredients together, pour batter into the pan and bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow at least 20 minutes to cool and then invert onto serving plate.

Glaze:
- ¼ lb butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan, stir in water and sugar. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in rum. Let glaze settle for a few minutes before using on the cooled cake.

Prick the top of the cake several times with a toothpick. Spoon and brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze.

Note: the glaze will run onto the plate below. If you want to keep the plate cleaner, invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper cut into halves (for easy removal). You can remove the paper after the glaze has soaked in a bit.

If you want to add a little color, halve some maraschino cherries (dry up any excess liquid) and place them round-side-up on top of the cake. A ring of whipped cream around the outside ring of the cake also adds a little flair.

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