My Quest for Nutella Brownies

March 5, 2017

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Everyone who knows me, knows my love of Nutella Brownies. I have posted recipes before but I was not 100% satisfied with the results. The last one I posted had too much sugar and too much cocoa as well as chocolate chips – which were unnecessary. First of all, Nutella contains sugar and cocoa, so I wanted that to be the ingredient that provided those. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t discriminate when it comes to brownies and I happily eat any result, but the last batch was too rich for me.

So I tried another recipe on my quest. I think this is a valiant and noble quest for a woman of my generation. On my journey I looked for a recipe with less sugar, less or no cocoa, and mainly Nutella to satisfy the chocolate/sugar ingredient. I am thinking maybe in the future I will just experiment and make up my own. But for now, I made the following recipe for a pizza night for friends about a month ago. I was very pleased with the results, the brownies were moist and Nutella-rific, not too much sugar or chocolate tasting and the salt was an extra treat. I think that having less flour made them like a rich piece of fudge. I also liked the salt, as I did in my chocolate chip blondie recipe, it adds a nice mix f sweet and salty. So if you are a Nutella junky like me, check out this recipe for a special treat!

Nutella Brownies

Ingredients:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups Nutella, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
optional: sea salt
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when cool. (If using a 9-inch pan, the bake time will be a few minutes less.) Set aside.
With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in 1 cup Nutella and salt. Mix until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour, mixing just until combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into prepared baking pan. Drop teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella on top. Using a knife, swirl the Nutella into the batter. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Bake the brownies for 30-36 minutes. Keep your eye on them and test with a toothpick to determine doneness. If the toothpick comes out with only a couple moist crumbs, the brownies are done. The brownies may take a few minutes longer; all ovens vary. Mine took 28-30 minutes, I always cook brownies less because I like them a bit less done, plus I used a 9-inch pan.
Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cool, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares.

The best dessert I ever made

January 29, 2017

 

img_0300I have had this blog for a while so I should comb back through my posts to see if this title is worthy. But I really don’t think I need to, as I think it was the best dessert I have ever made. It was simple to make and it combined my two favorite things, chocolate and marshmallows. My mom and I try to make each other amazing desserts on our birthdays. So yesterday I made her this wonderful treat in honor of her birthday. I started off with one word in mind – chocolate, as this is my mom’s favorite type of treat. I looked for decadent chocolate desserts, but did not come up with anything that seemed just right. So I went to my favorite website for desserts – King Arthur Flour, and I hit a home run when I typed in “chocolate desserts” and found triple treat hot chocolate cake. I know my mom likes chocolate and marshmallow just as much as me, so I knew this would hit the spot.

Triple treat hot chocolate cake was incredibly easy to make, which is rare for a decadent chocolate dessert, and it had ingredients I had in my kitchen. The bottom layer is a melted chocolate sauce – I used 60% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips (the only ones I like to buy), which you melt in the microwave with half and half. The middle layer seems to be a very liquid cake batter, but trust me it sets and makes the perfect fluffy cake. The top is made of big marshmallows you add on for the last few minutes, just to soften, and it is the perfect topping. If you like hot chocolate with marshmallows, this dessert embodies that in a bowl. The rich chocolate sauce, moist cake and melted marshmallows sang a happy song in my mouth and my belly. My daughter and husband said it was too rich but for me it had all the elements of a perfect dessert. I think my mom was pretty pleased too as I saw her sneak a few more spoonfuls when she went back through the kitchen. Please excuse the messy picture but I didn’t snap one before we all dug in. It says with the leftovers to nuke them a bit before enjoying, to warm up all the melty layers. So if you have liked the sweat treats I have posted before you have to try this!

Triple Treat Hot Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
BOTTOM
2/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup half & half or cream
MIDDLE
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or other Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons espresso powder (I used instant coffee powder)
2 1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
TOP
24 full-size marshmallows (I might not have counted these, lol)
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round or 8″ square pan (I used a 9.5 inch pie dish). Make sure whichever you use is full-sized — at least 2″ deep.
To make the bottom: Combine the chocolate chips and half & half or cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the chips are soft and the cream is very hot.
Remove from the microwave, and stir until you’ve made a smooth, dark sauce; just keep stirring, you’ll get there. If any unmelted chips remain, reheat briefly.
Spread the sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan.
To make the middle: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa, sugar, and espresso powder. If the mixture is lumpy, sift it.
Stir in the water, vanilla, and melted butter.
Gently stir until everything is just combined.
Pour the batter over the sauce in the pan.
Bake the cake for 40 minutes, until the top appears set and the bottom is bubbling (and making the top jiggle).
Remove the cake from the oven, arrange the marshmallows evenly over the surface, and return to the oven for 3 minutes, just to soften the marshmallows.
Remove from the oven, wait 2 minutes, and serve immediately.
This cake is best enjoyed within 30 minutes of baking. For any leftovers, reheat briefly in the microwave.

Box Brownies from scratch

October 26, 2016

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Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love brownies. If I go to a frozen yogurt sundae bar, a brownie is my first choice in my cup. I have written before about how much I love boxed brownies. For someone who bakes most things from scratch that may be odd. But I grew up on brownies from scratch so a box mix at a party was my favorite treat. Though I do love my mom’s brownies, the texture and stickiness of box brownies is my favorite. I have an awesome college friend who shares my love of brownies, my brownie husband recipe is one of her favorites.

I googled homemade brownies that taste like a box mix and found an amazing recipe. I would say I have made it a dozen times since I found it last year. It is perfect for any occasion and people can’t believe they are from scratch. I recently made them and used the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa instead of regular cocoa and it made them even more decadent. So if you are a closet Betty Crocker box brownie junkie like me, you need to try these! They are super easy and only have a few ingredients instead of ones you can’t pronounce, which is something I always look for when recreating stuff at home.

Quick and Easy Brownies {Like a Box Mix!}

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Ingredients

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.
2. Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs and mix until well combined.
4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
5. Slowly add to the egg mixture until well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

Recipe modified from AllRecipes.com

 

Coffee Cake Adventures

June 22, 2016

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First off I would like to apologize to my readers, we bought a home, moved to a new town, I started a new job and my husband deployed in the last few months so I have been so busy I have not had time to post. That does not mean of course that I did not have time to bake. I always have time to bake. I even baked just this morning, it is part of my weekly routine. Lately I have made lots of favorites from my blog, wacky cake, sour cream coffee cake, black moons, blueberry buckle, and more. Those are staples that are always crowd pleasers. I have also been enjoying a new brownie recipe I found that tastes like box mix, that is going to be my next post, along with my Kentucky Butter Cake I have been making a lot. I am getting back on track for regular posting, I promise! Since I love coffee cake in any language I was excited to recently try a new recipe. I subscribed to King Arthur Flour’s email newsletters and often yummy recipes catch my eye. I highly recommend you sign up if you are a baker.

This recipe for Norwegian Sour Cream Cake looked right up my alley. I made it for a church potluck and have to say it was a big hit. At first people were going for a dry brick like corn bread concoction till the word got out about my tasty cake. If you love pound cakes and bundt cakes you have to try this easy recipe. It was a light, moist cake with just the right sweetness and a great vanilla flavor. I had made a berry compote I use often for my cheesecakes from Martha Stewart to top it but I left it at home by mistake. I definitely think that would be a perfect topping, or even just sliced strawberries and cream. The texture of the cake would be perfect for strawberry shortcake and delicious for tea time. You can travel to Norway right in your own kitchen with this tasty new recipe!

NORWEGIAN SOUR CREAM CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, salted or unsalted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt*
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla, to taste
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a full-size (10″) tube pan, bundt-style pan, or angel food pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
Stir in the salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
Add the flour alternately with the sour cream, starting with the flour. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time, the sour cream 1/2 cup at a time. Mix at medium speed between additions, until ingredients are thoroughly combined. The finished batter will be quite stiff.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it with your wet fingers or a spatula.
Bake the cake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester, bamboo skewer, or long toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and gently loosen its edges.
After 15 minutes, carefully turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Store the cooled cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap securely and freeze.
Yield: 1 cake, about 20 servings.

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

January 30, 2016

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Sugar cookies are always a delicious treat. From just plain ones dipped in milk, to ones dipped in chocolate, to ones frosted with all sorts of decorations, it is a very versatile cookie. As a kid I remember making my mom’s sugar cookies that were thick and buttery. The best part was the butter dipped glass pressed in a mixture of sugar and nutmeg, that you used to smash down the cookie before baking. My mom is a phenomenal baker, her pantry is always stocked with the best quality ingredients. Even if she is on a tight budget you won’t see anything but Ghirardelli chips in her chocolate chip cookies, she would never skimp on her cooking ingredients.

As the years went by she switched to a new favorite sugar cookie recipe, her brown butter sugar cookies. Anytime she made it for me we ate up the cookies in record time. But I never tried making them myself until recently. These brown butter sugar cookies are delectable. They are sweet and savory and the brown sugar adds a whole other level of flavor, with rich molasses and maple notes. I made them for a recent visit from our best friends to our new ranch, we recently relocated and that is why I have not posted in a bit. So if you are a sugar cookie fan and you want to try something new, you need to check these out!

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 Cups packed dark brown sugar (fresh brown sugar is best, older sugar will make a drier cookie)

2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet (if you use a dark non-stick skillet it will be hard to see when the butter browns) over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is a dark golden brown color and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. This is an easy way to make the brown butter you see in many recipes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large, 12×18, baking sheets with parchment paper. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between finders, until well combined, then set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 3/4 Cups brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 Tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be uses but it will take 3 batches).
  5. Bake ONE sheet at a time until cookies are browned still puffy and the edges have begun o set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo), 12-14 minutes (depends on oven, I did mine 10), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overtake.
  6. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, use wide metal spatula to transfer cookie to wire rack to cool to room temperature. Then pour a big glass of milk and enjoy!

 

 

Taco Tuesdays

September 17, 2015

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Now that I am working my weekly dinner repertoire has narrowed quite a bit. I do try to pick a recipe or 2 from my food network magazine every week to mix it up. But I mainly stick to my weekly quick dinner nights such as – taco night, stir fry night, pasta night, burger night. I do try to change up the ingredients on each of these nights but one thing I always go back to is my taco seasoning. Years ago I would just buy taco packs at the store. It was convenient to buy them because they included the sauce, tacos and the seasoning. But then I read the ingredients and I saw there were so many things I could not pronounce. As I started to make more marinades, sauces and seasonings homemade I decided to try that for my tacos too. Of course my go to guru for all things made at home – Alton Brown, had a great taco seasoning recipe. When I whip up a batch of this it usually makes enough to save some for 1 or 2 more batches of tacos. I think the coriander is the key to the taco spice taste you would expect, as that is a spice I don’t work with often, but it really adds a nice flavor. My kids can be picky but they even enjoy these flavors. So next time it is Taco Tuesday at your house try mixing up these spices and making your taco night a bit more natural and a ton more tasty!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Put all of the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2010

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/taco-potion-19-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Margie’s Marinated Mushrooms

August 5, 2015

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If you get to attend one of my Italian Sunday Suppers you know I am going to put out my favorite hand painted Antipasto set. In that set are little dishes for all sorts of goodies. Even if you don’t have a special antipasto dish you can still put out an easy to assemble antipasto that will impress your guests. My go to ingredients are: stuffed olives, roasted peppers or pepperocini, salame, prosciutto, marinated mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and a center plate with caprese salad. For my caprese I use sliced campari tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil and I drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked pepper. If you don’t do the caprese you can always cut up some sharp provolone or even make bruschetta. Sometimes I use all of the above and sometimes I mix it up. Once I even made my caprese salad with grilled zuccini instead of the usual tomatoes. Antipasto is Italian for “before the meal” and it is a lighter appetizer than most heavy american dishes.

When we lived in Sicily the antipasto was my favorite course. I can still remember the fragrant flavors and the cured meats combined with the sweet homemade ricotta and salty veggies marinated in oil and spices. I recently hosted a Sunday supper and when I was picking up all my ingredients, I saw marinated mushrooms at the deli. They were very pricey and I thought, why not just make them for way less. In my treasured recipe box that my mom gave to me filled with all of her famous dishes I had her homemade marinated mushroom recipe. I have made it before and it is very simple and always a hit. Mushroom is translated to “Funghi” in Italian and there are a variety of different varieties with so many flavors. But for my recipe I just use basic button mushrooms. So here is a great addition to your antipasto spread or an easy appetizer for a party:

Mahgie’s Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of good olive oil

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp of dried basil or a few fresh leaves

1 bay leaf

1 garlic clove, quartered

8 peppercorns

1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms, rinsed, halved or quartered if large

  1. In a medium pan over medium heat, heat all ingredients to boiling, except mushrooms.
  2. Simmer over low heat, covered, 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in mushrooms until coated, cook 5-10 minutes or until fork tender. Refrigerate covered. Manga!

Donut Muffin Magic

May 2, 2015

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The latest craze has donuts combined with croissants and the result is a cronut. I have yet to try this magical concoction but I decided to do some baking mating of my own. I wanted to make the girls a baked donut recipe I had seen on my go to site – King Arthur Flour. But it required a special donut baking pan and I could not even improvise that contraption. So I surfed around the site further and found a donut muffin recipe. This sounded like the perfect marriage to me – the shape of a muffin but the texture and flavors of a donut. So I made it for breakfast today and I am happy I did. Donut muffins are simple and quick to make. They are not fried and you know what is in them so you don’t have to feel guilty, especially with only 280 calories.

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The result is a muffin that is light, buttery, fluffy and delicious. It is not heavy or dense like a typical muffin batter. Plus with the addition of the sugar and cinnamon on top and the nutmeg in the batter, it has the flavor of a cinnamon sugar donut. It almost tasted like a sugar cookie muffin to me because my moms sugar cookies have similar spices. I like how you brush the tops with melted butter and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix. I actually just dipped my muffins right into a bowl with the mix. I think you could even add other toppings if you wanted to make a variety of “donuts” – like chocolate glaze, sprinkles, or powdered sugar. It was a big hit with the little humans in my house too. So if you get the weekend craving for donuts, try this from scratch version that won’t disappoint!

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after brushing with butter, before dipping in cinnamon sugar mix

Doughnut Muffins

batter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk

topping
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons Cinnamon-Sugar Plus or cinnamon sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.

4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.

5) Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.

7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

8) Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they’re cooling, melt the butter for the topping (this is easily done in the microwave).

9) Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Or simply dip the tops of muffins into the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.

10) Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature.

Yield: 12 muffins.

nutrition information
Serving Size: 1 muffin (85g) Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280 Calories from Fat: 110 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 250mg Total Carbohydrate: 38g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 18g Protein: 5g

The Brownie Quest

February 28, 2015



For years I have been on the quest to find the perfect brownie. I’ve tried and posted several recipes. I have even tried a few Nutella brownie recipes too, assuming the Nutella would make a perfect addition. But I have not been satisfied with my results yet. I recently made these Brownies from my decadent dessert go to gal, Ina Garten. I have to say her Outrageous Brownie Recipe came out really delicious but not quite perfect yet. They were very rich and very sweet but still didn’t have that box brownie texture I am trying to achieve. 

Cooks note: They have over a pound of butter in them so be prepared. I m not a fan of nuts in my brownies but I think these would have been better if I added nuts as the recipe instructed. Anyhow, chocolate is chocolate so I don’t discriminate. I made them to send to some sailors overseas and it made a whole huge sheet tray, about 50 brownies. I am not sure how Ina measures her portions but she said to cut them into 20 bars! Those would be massive. You could probably half the batch if you don’t need enough brownies to feed an army, no pun intended, ha! 

Outrageous Brownies

Ingredients
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

Caribbean Rum Cake

February 21, 2015

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Many years ago I went on a cruise with my favorite cousin and tasted rum cake for the first time. As a teen it was like the taste of sweet rebellion having a rum soaked cake. I had not thought of it until recently when a friend asked me to bring a sweet treat to a party. I asked for some ideas and one was rum cake. As my readers know, I love a challenge. I love making something new and having it turn out delish. So of course I went to my go to baking source -King Arthur Flour’s recipe site and viola! They had the perfect recipe, of course, they always do. Update: it turned out amazing. It was unbelievably moist and so fragrant. The rum definitely gave it a kick but wasn’t overwhelming. Everyone cleaned their plates!

Ingredients

rum cake base
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pastry cream filling mix or instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup white or golden rum
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon butter rum flavor (optional but excellent)
1/4 cup pecan or almond flour, for dusting baking pan

rum soaking syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white or golden rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

directions
1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Spritz a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle on the pecan or almond flour and turn the pan to coat evenly. Set aside.

2) Place all of the cake ingredients except the rum, vanilla and butter rum flavoring in the bowl of your stand mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl after one minute.

3) Add the rum, vanilla and flavor if using to the batter and blend for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread level with a spatula.

4) Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes. You may smell the nut flour toasting at first, especially those not covered in cake batter. When done, the cake will test clean on a cake tester. Bundt cakes are difficult to test properly with a short toothpick. Instead try a piece of dry uncooked spaghetti or linguine.

5) Leave the cake in the pan to cool slightly while you make the soaking syrup.

6) In a medium-sized saucepan combine the syrup ingredients, except vanilla. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

7) Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used.

8) Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit out overnight to cool completely and soak in the syrup. When ready to serve, loosen the edges of the cake and invert on to your serving plate.

9) Serve with hot coffee or tea. The cake is very moist, fragrant and potent.

Yield: one large or two small bundt cakes. Cake freezes very well.