Soft Caramels

Soft CaramelsThese soft caramels are a new, old family recipe—let me explain. The recipe is my great-grandma’s, but my mom only discovered it at a recent family reunion. During her visit this past week, we had a mother-daughter date where we shopped, ate too much Thai food, and made caramels. It was the perfect visit. Continue reading

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam I’m renaming this summer, “The Summer of Jam.” Before June, I’d never thought to make the fruit spread before. That’s what grocery stores are for, right? Fast-forward two months, and I’ve helped make hundreds of gallons of jam at work. I was surprised by how simple the process was but how versatile and flavorful the outcome is. It was sometime during my fifth batch of jam when I was standing over a kettle of 200°F fruit that I thought, “Why don’t I do this at home?” Continue reading

Rum Cake

Rum CakeThis rum cake is so easy, plus it’s completely soaked in alcohol. Any objections? No? I didn’t think so.

Native to the Caribbean, rum cake takes the ever absorbent sponge cake and steeps it a whole lot of rum. In fact, some rum cakes are so saturated in booze that they’ll get you drunk. This recipe will keep you able to drive but will also satisfy your rum craving.

Like all of my favorite desserts, this rum cake isn’t overly sweet*. The cake has a splash of almond that enhances the rum’s flavor and also takes the edge off of any harsh alcohol taste. The moist cake is balanced between warm rum and the subtle sweetness of almond and vanilla. So if you’re itching for summer to arrive, then allow this rum cake recipe to take you under a shady palm tree on a white sandy beach.

*Personal Admission #20: I think my favorite dessert aren’t overly sweet or rich, because I can eat more of them and feel less guilty.

Rum Cake
Serves 10
  1. 4 large eggs
  2. 3 large egg yolks
  3. 1/2 cup dark rum
  4. 2 tsp. almond extract
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 2 1/2 cup cake flour, plus more for flouring pan
  7. 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  8. 1 cup white sugar
  9. 2 tsp. baking powder
  10. 1/2 tsp. salt
  11. 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 1 cup white sugar
  4. 1/3 cup dark rum
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease bundt pan with softened butter. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour into pan. Rotate and turn pan until it's evenly and completely coated with flour. Tap out excess flour. Do not use a nonstick spray. The cake will still stick to the pan and it's very difficult to remove a stuck cake from a bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, yolks, almond and vanilla extract.
  3. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment combine on low speed cake flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add room temp. butter and continue on medium speed until mixture looks like wet sand, about 2 minutes.
  5. Drop back to low speed and add 1/3 of wet ingredients. Once combined, scrape down bowl and add another third. Once combined, scrape down your bowl and add the last third.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  1. Once the cake is out of the oven, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Bring it back down to medium-low heat and, while stirring frequently, let simmer for 5-7 minutes or until slightly thick.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in rum.
  5. Place a cookie rack over a sheet pan. Set aside.
  6. Fetch the cooling cake. Use a toothpick (or in my case a chopstick)  and poke holes in the bottom of the cake.
  7. Brush half of the glaze generously over the holes. This will take several coats to fully soak in.
  8. Flip the cake out onto the prepared cookie rack.
  9. Poke holes into the top of the cake and brush the remaining glaze over its entirety.
  10. Carefully transfer the cake to its final serving dish and let sit for an hour before devouring.
Adapted from Jenn Segal's blog Once Upon A Chef
Adapted from Jenn Segal's blog Once Upon A Chef
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