I add booze to cake, whenever I can, hence this orange rum cake.
Liqueurs have a prominent place in my kitchen. They bring a je ne se quoi to the final equation. A hint. They disappear but leave behind a faint but clear flavor. They complement the rest of the ingredients in a subtle way that is not always achieved by other extracts or flavorings. I love using different liqueurs when baking.
They enhance and deepen flavors.
Of course there’s a wide variety and each one brings different results to the table, but, all in all, I’d rather use booze than extracts; except for vanilla of course, the queen of them all. But then, take a bottle of vodka, stuff it with a dozen vanilla pods and you have the best vanilla extract. I rest my case.
I first tasted rum while making a recipe for chocolate mousse from the first cookbook I ever bought. It was an unforgettable combination. Chocolate chip cookies made with some Frangelico are the best I have probably tasted.
The rum in this cake won’t blow your hat, but it delivers a sweet somewhat spicy aftertaste. The texture is light and moist, courtesy of the egg whites. I thought about brushing some rum over it while still hot, but decided to stick to the recipe. There’s always a next time and it will definitely include a pastry brush and a bottle of rum. Or Cointreau. Or Grand Marnier.
- 2 2/3 cups cake flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 2/3 cup butter (at room tº)
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup rum
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease a 10-inch (28cm) tube pan.
- Sift together first 5 ingredients twice. Set aside.
- Cream butter in large bowl until fluffy. Sprinkle sugar over butter and beat well.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Blend in orange zest.
- Add flour mixture to butter in three times alternating with orange juice and rum. Blend well.
- Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. Beat whites until stiff and gently fold into batter in two additions.
- Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 15 minutes; loosen edges with knife. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
from The Joy of Baking, by Barbara Grunes