Tag Archives: booze

Mmmm rummmm cake

9 Jul

When I started this blog I couldn’t imagine the directions my life would take.  Two and a half years ago, I did a post on a semi-homemade rum cake and titled it “Shame on me” for being semi-homemade instead of from scratch.  Rereading it, I feel like that’s the cake I should’ve made the other night.  I was feeling bad because I’d found a fundamental problem in my research (still unresolved…) after wasting away my morning and before picking up the baby late from daycare because I’d forgotten an umbrella.  So after putting the baby down and eating dinner, I decided to make a rum cake.  During this time I was chatting with my husband and offhandedly asked him the last time he was proud of me.  He said “I’m proud of your right now, you’re making that cake.  You’re so capable.”

Hell yes I am capable!  My research is stagnant; last time I timed myself it took me 13.5 minutes to run a mile; I keep not getting the oil changed on my car.  BUT I’m trying research, I am active, and my baby is still alive.  AND I made a rum cake.

Some days, you need pep talks from those who love you.  Some days, you need to bake a cake.

Semi-homemade doesn't hurt the eggsecution of this dish

Semi-homemade doesn’t hurt the eggsecution of this dish

I didn’t have a Bundt pan (we don’t know what happened to that old one but rum cake is the only thing I make in a Bundt pan so it seems silly to buy one), so I used a 13 x 9 pyrex instead.  Generously grease and flour it, then sprinkle with nuts (I used peanuts do not do that.  Use pecans or walnuts).

Peanuts, equality, and granite- doesn't quite have the same ring to it as liberté, egalité, et fraternité.  I guess France can keep its flag-they'd be nuts to adopt this one, even though it rocks.

Peanuts, equality, and granite- doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as liberté, egalité, et fraternité. I guess France can keep its flag-they’d be nuts to adopt this one, even though it rocks.

Then you make your doctored cake by adding pudding mix, an extra egg, and rum. Yum.  This makes the cake a bit lighter and bouncier while somehow super moist (that’s the pudding mix).

When you whisk upon a star, you'll probably burn up no matter who you are.  Because stars are really hot and why would you be whisking anyway anything you wanted to bake would already be burned to a crisp/nothingness

When you whisk upon a star, you’ll probably burn up no matter who you are. Because stars are really hot and why would you be whisking anyway anything you wanted to bake would already be burned to a crisp/nothingness

I thought this label was hilarious on the box:

IF I PUT THINGS IN ALL CAPS YOU WILL READ THEM.  (google translate:) Si pongo COSAS EN MAYÚSCULAS USTED puedan leerlas.

IF I PUT THINGS IN ALL CAPS YOU WILL READ THEM. (google translate:) Si pongo COSAS EN MAYÚSCULAS USTED puedan leerlas.

So then I took this picture:

Breaking all the rules!  That's me!

Breaking all the rules! That’s me!  Or illiterate! O analfebetos!

Anyways, while that’s baking you can doodle around the house for half an hour, then make the glaze- it’s just butter + sugar, boil it, then add rum.

I ran out of white sugar so I substituted in brown for the remainder.  Insert appropriate racial joke here?  It's hard because multiple ethnic groups claim "brown" which doesn't make sense because isn't everyone some hue of brown?  I'm staring at my white husband's skin right now to try to figure out the color.  Pinky-peach but not like a sunset.  He just held up a piece of paper but white people aren't all albino.  I don't know.  I'm not good with colors.  That's why I subbed in the sugar.

I ran out of white sugar so I substituted in brown for the remainder. Insert appropriate racial joke here? It’s hard because multiple ethnic groups claim “brown” which doesn’t make sense because isn’t everyone some hue of brown? I’m staring at my white husband’s skin right now to try to figure out the color. Pinky-peach but not like a sunset. He just held up a piece of paper but white people aren’t all albino. I don’t know. I’m not good with colors. That’s why I subbed in the sugar.

After the butter and sugar have boiled, turn off the heat.  Make sure you use a deep sided pot, not a pan, because when you add the rum things get exciting and it fizzes up.

This isn't a zero-rum game

This isn’t a zero-rum game

After the rum

After the rum

After the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with toothpicks or skewers, as much as you can until you get bored (so maybe 40 times?).  Then drizzle half the glaze all over it.  Wait a bit, invert the cake onto a plate or baking pan, and poke again + drizzle again.  It’s great warm, but it’s awesome about 12 hours later, when the rum has soaked in a lot and everything is moist and rummy.

20150630_202007 20150702_184247

 

Buttery rum cake, adapted from allrecipes

cake part:

1 c chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 box vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 c each water, vegetable oil, rum

glaze part:

1/2 c each butter, rum, white sugar, brown sugar

1/4 c water

 

cake part: grease and flour a pan (Bundt if you have it, 13×9 if you don’t, two 8″ or 9″ rounds if you don’t have that either, if you don’t have those I’m not sure why you’re looking at a cake recipe)  Sprinkle with nuts (toast if you so desire)

Whisk together cake mix and pudding, then add remaining cake ingredients and mix.  Pour into pan, bake at 325 for one hour.

glaze part: fifteen minutes before cake is done, melt butter in a pot with sugars and water.  Bring to a boil, constantly stirring.  Take off the heat and stir in rum BE CAREFUL IT BUBBLES UP.

When cake is done, poke holes all over it.  Dribble half the glaze over it.  Carefully loosen sides of the cake from pan, then cover with a serving plate and invert the cake.  Poke holes all over the nutted top half, and dribble remaining glaze all over it.

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an EGGNOGstravaganza! Part I: eggnog

22 Dec

I remember the first time I had eggnog- it was at my childhood best friend’s house, back when we lived in Minnesota.  I must’ve been ten or so, and I immediately loved this ridiculously rich, creamy, mildly spiced drink.  I loved it so much that I’ve only had it five times or so since.  Including a disastrous attempt to make homemade eggnog in high school, back before we knew how to use allrecipes and followed an old Joy of Cooking cookbook I had lying around.  That tasted like raw eggs sitting in milk, which is what it was.  That’s also what my first attempt at eggnog this year ended up as, which explains the coming posts of eggnog bread pudding, eggnog loaf, and bacon-stuffed eggnog french toast (no need wasting perfectly good eggs and cream!)  But my second attempt was AMAZING.  I know I raved about how great ambrosia is during my last post, and that I’ve talked about how pavlova is the best thing I’ve ever made, but damn.  This eggnog.  Definitely the best drink I’ve ever made.

So let’s start with the eggnog, shall we?  I did a comically awful job taking photos of the eggnog because it was SO GOOD that I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  I had to go to the store to buy cream, but other than that I had all the ingredients on hand: butter, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and (optionally) rum.  Actually I didn’t have cloves so I used star anise instead and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING STAR ANISE.  It’s so sweet and so spicy and just a great, underused ingredient.

“Illicium verum 2006-10-17”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Also note that this is an overnight recipe.  It’s really really good as soon as you make it but it’s even better the next day.

First, steep your milk with the spices.  If you had a cinnamon stick lying around now would be a good time to take it out.  I just put in ground cinnamon and a few star anise, then heated the milk on low while I separated the eggs.

This would make an at first delightful smelling STEEPlechase, but then the milk would go sour and everything would be bad

This would make an at first delightful smelling STEEPlechase, but then the milk would go sour and everything would be bad

The recipe I used called for a dozen eggs, but I got tired of separating eggs so I used seven.  It still turned out great!  I think six at minimum.  Honestly a dozen eggs might be too rich, though not if you add rum (I made some non-alcoholic by omitting rum).  Anyways, for a note on how to separate eggs see this old post.  Separate your eggs.

Very clearly separate and not equal

Very clearly separate and not equal

Once everything is separated, turn the milk heat up to high.  Cover the whites and put them in the fridge or freezer.  I put them in the freezer and it was a pain in the butt to thaw them the next day so I’m not sure why I did that.  You will use the whites the next day though so hang on to them!

Whisk the yolks with the sugar until nice and fluffy.  I was thinking about using the stand mixer for this, but the hand whisk worked just as well.

This is a labor oF LUFF. Alternate caption: Instead of naming planes after numbers like F-10s, maybe they should include the airline name too.  So you could have a F-LUFFthansa

This is a labor oF LUFF.
Alternate caption: Instead of naming planes after numbers like F-10s, maybe they should include the airline name too. So you could have a F-LUFFthansa

Now pour some of the hot milk (which is now hot because remember you turned the heat up?) into the egg bowl and whisk some more.  You’re tempering the eggs so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs sitting in milk (oh high school).  This is a mildly technical task but you know me- I don’t care too much about details (it still turns out awesome), so don’t worry.

I want some of those tamper evident stickers but change them to say temper evident.  Then I could put them on custards and on my baby

I want some of those tamper evident stickers but change them to say temper evident. Then I could put them on custards and on my baby

Just keep adding a little hot milk and whisking until the mixture looks pretty smooth.  Dump it back into the pot with the rest of the milk and stir constantly over medium heat until it gets thick, or until you get tired of mixing (which is what I did).  It’s about three minutes either way.  Let it cool for an hour, then add the cream, vanilla, nutmeg, and rum if you’re using it.  Also take out the star anise.  Throw it in the fridge overnight.

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher!  Well, we have one.  Actually, if you think about how my stomach felt during pregnancy, we also have the latter

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher! Well, we have one. Actually, if you think about how my stomach felt during pregnancy, we also have the latter

The next day, take out your egg whites and let them come to room temperature.  Throw them in a stand mixer or use an electric one and mix them until they’re frothy and stiff, like in the next photo.

If I get a dog, maybe I'll get a couple of small greyhounds- I always seem to need two whippet(s) This is  both an old photo and old caption

If I get a dog, maybe I’ll get a couple of small greyhounds- I always seem to need two whippet(s)
This is both an old photo and old caption

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the chilled eggnog, and serve.  SO GOOD SO FLUFFY SO TASTY.  Sorry for lack of photo.

Amazing eggnog, adapted from allrecipes

6-12 eggs, to your taste (12 makes it super rich, 6 is light and delightful.  I went with 7)

1 qt of milk (2 pts, 4 cups)

1- 1 1/2 c sugar, also to your taste (1 1/2 is way sweet, 1 is light.  I did a bit over 1)

2 c rum, also to taste

3 c cream (I used a cup of cream the previous day so I had this much.  You could also use 2 or 4)

1 TB vanilla

1 cinnamon stick and/or 1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 star anise pods

1 tsp nutmeg

Over low heat, combine the milk, spices, and 1 tsp of the vanilla.  Let it steep for five minutes, or however long it takes you until we mention this again.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a container for the fridge and the yolks into a medium-large bowl.  Refrigerate the whites.  Turn up the heat to high on the milk.  Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in a little hot milk (I did about 1/2 c at a time) and whisk until smooth.  Do this about three times until you have a very smooth and warm egg-milk mixture.  Pour the bowl of egg milk into the pot of milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for three minutes.  Let cool for an hour.

Take out the star anise pods.  Add the cream and remaining vanilla.  If you’re using rum, add it.  Refrigerate overnight.

About half an hour before you want to serve the nog, take out the egg whites.  About ten minutes before serving, beat the whites on high until foamy and stiff.  Then use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whites into the nog.  Best served in a punch bowl, as a pitcher will leave the foamy stuff out.  Garnish with some more ground nutmeg, fresh if you can get it.

Shame on me: rum cake edition

24 Dec

So many things to be ashamed of this Christmas eve: didn’t blog last week.  Am not baking this week.  Haven’t thought about math at all for a week and a half.  But the worst, most guilt-inducing thing of all: the rum cake I made last week.

Definitely not fit to give the king... pa rum pa pum pum pum.

Definitely not fit to give the king… pa rum pa pum pum pum.

I also ran out of battery on my phone and didn’t think to take a picture of the cake, so this is boyfriend’s picture of the last bite.  So far so good, and the cake was delicious, but… here’s the shameful secret: the ingredients.

This is me trying to mix things up a little bit from all homemade

This is me trying to mix things up a little bit from all homemade baked goods

Ingredients for the cake:

1 c pecans

1 can pumpkin (pie mix)

1 box cake mix

1/2 c rum

1 hefty scoop of guilt and sadness

"Semihomemade" food drives me nuts!

“Semihomemade” food drives me nuts!

This step isn’t totally necessary, but you can toss the pecans in a pan over medium heat (no oil or anything else) until it smells nice and cozy like a Christmas fire.  I prefer toasted pecans myself, but you run the risk of burning them and having a bitter topping on your cake.  I think it’d also be good to toss these guys with a little brown sugar and cinnamon for this step.

Next: mix the cake mix, the pumpkin, and the rum.  No eggs, no oil, no spices, no work, no pride, no joy, no nothing.  Put into a cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or however long the cake box says.

Orange you glad I didn't make a knock knock joke earlier?

Orange you glad I didn’t make a knock knock joke earlier?

When you take the cake out, melt a stick of butter in a pot with 2 TB water and 1/2 c sugar.  Bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat.  There’s no photos of this part because it was too exciting: stir in 1/2 c rum.  The rum will sizzle and makes LOTS of noise, then bubble up (so use a big pot!).  Then it’ll calm down, and you can drizzle the glaze all over your cake.

Voila, semi-homemade and delicious.  I didn’t take a picture with the cake because I was so ashamed.  But it’s still delicious!

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