Reinventing the wheel, well, sort of

photo-21The cakes I don’t have any second thoughts of baking are chocolate cake and banana cake. I can memorize my recipes of them. Brownies too but of late, brownies have fallen under the classification of cookies, so I guess they don’t count. I have a dread for baking any chiffon cake because 1) I hate breaking so many eggs; 2) I’m fearful the egg whites won’t rise well enough. I’ve made pound cakes but haven’t really come across a recipe I want to memorize. Perhaps I don’t make it frequently enough? Or is it that I don’t make it frequently enough because it really isn’t that good – the recipes I’ve used, I mean?

So when after trying the rum cake son’s boss gave husband said I should try making one with Kahlua (his favorite coffee liqueur) and another with Cointreau (his favorite orange liqueur),  I didn’t. I bided my time.

Then eureka! Someone gave me a  Vargas butter cake loaf. Aha, I could cut corners, I thought. And did. I googled for rum butter cake, thinking I should follow the glaze and just substitute Kahlua for the rum. But wasn’t too confident, so I googled some more and realized most Kahlua glazed cakes had chocolate bases and their glaze used cream and confectioners sugar – hardly akin to rum butter cake. So I went back to the glaze recipe that I found here. The recipe which I halved:

For the Rum Syrup:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
½ cup dark rum

Verdict: I thought I made too much but when son tried the cake, he was pleased and raving. He said it could stand less sugar though. Husband said it was cake I could be proud of. I was the last to try (hahahaha – scared? Not being a liqueur fan, I was not too excited) and yes, it’s okay. The kahlua was not overpowering, the sugar though was a bit grainy/crunchy. Maybe I should have remembered the old wives’ tale not to stir sugar in water once it was cooking? Maybe I should have sieved the mixture? Maybe it was because I put the sugar on cake not just out of the oven? If all my conjectures are wrong, I won’t be surprised. But the flavor that resulted, rather the cake that resulted from this experiment is encouraging.

Cointreau next, Bailey’s next – on store bought butter cake. And who knows? I might yet be eager enough to find a good butter cake recipe so I can claim I made everything from scratch?

But first to solve the sugar problem of the glaze. Any suggestions?


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