Friday, December 24, 2010
Pecan Rum Cake
Toward the end of every year festive cakes abound. They tend to have dried fruit and/or nuts and/or lots of booze. This is one such cake. It’s not an everyday cake but one that you’d want on a platter with all your other holiday treats. In fact, if you still have some holiday eggnog lying around, it would probably make a good pairing.
This has a brown sugar caramel pecan mixture layered into a very simple cake with the wonderful holiday flavors of rum and nutmeg and a snowy dusting of confectioner's sugar. Not very complicated and not very fussy. Just a bit festive and fun!
My very best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season to you and your loved ones. Cheers!!
- Toast the pecans in a 350 degree oven for about 5 - 10 minutes or until they are only slightly darkened and give off a toasty aroma. Check them frequently and give them a shake to avoid having them get too dark and taking on a bitter taste.
- Dollop the thick and gooey pecan caramel mixture but no need to try and spread it into an even layer. I used a tablespoon and there were about 6 - 7 dollops in each layer. Just be sure to keep it from touching the sides of the pan where it is likely to burn and taste bitter.
- For storage, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to ensure that it stays moist.
- If you prefer brandy and walnuts, try the very delicious Walnut Brandy Cake.
Pecan Rum Cake
6 oz butter @ room temperature
1 C sugar
3 eggs @ room temperature
1/4 C whole milk @ room temperature
3 T rum
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
generous 1/8 t of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 C + 2 T heavy cream
generous 1/4 t instant espresso powder
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 t rum
little pinch salt
1 C toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
confectioner's sugar for dusting
For the pecan filling, place the cream, espresso powder and cinnamon in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir to dissolve. Add the brown sugar and whisk until thoroughly combined. Increase the heat and boil for two minutes. Take off the heat and add vanilla, rum and salt, to taste. Stir in the chopped pecans. Set aside to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2” loaf pan with a light application of butter or oil and a piece of parchment paper large enough to form an overhang on both sides along the length of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Combine milk, rum and vanilla.
Cream butter and gradually beat in sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure that each one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Alternate adding a third of the flour to the butter and eggs with 1/2 of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Once all the ingredients are in, mix just a minute or so then finish the mixing gently by hand.
Pour one third of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a small offset spatula or spoon to spread the batter evenly. Gently dollop half of the pecan mixture on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the sides of the pan. Layer another third of the batter on top of the pecans and gently spread that out. Dollop the remaining pecan mixture. Finish with the remaining batter and spread gently.
Bake the cake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until it tests done.
Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove it from the pan and cool the cake completely. Peel off the paper and dust the top with confectioners' sugar.
To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap.