As an older adult however, things have changed. I like a little celebratory something here and there, and I don't mind taking a little bit of something boozy every once in a while. Even on my 40th birthday I had a some small drinks with friends, when I have never celebrated as such in the years before. While in SoCal visiting around my birthday, my high school friends wanted to take me out so we all agreed to meet at restaurant. While getting in the car with my best friend, I said goodbye to Mom. She said in Korean, "You're going to dinner right?" And I responded, "Yes. And then maybe a bar." The expression on my mom's face as she exclaimed, "A BAR?" was so funny I couldn't stop laughing. At 40 years old, being questioned by your mom about what you do when you go out is pretty darn....humiliating.
So Mom, I am warning you that this cake has some alcohol in it. Rum to be precise. 1 cup of it (or more if you like) and it tastes like...rum. It's like going to a bar and having some fun, all the while eating a piece of cake. And I have to say - although I'm not a HUGE fan of boozing while eating cake, this combination is really quite delectable. And moist. And delicious. And not to be missed. Just make sure my Mom isn't around while you're consuming it.
Vanilla Bean Rum Cake
Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed (empty vanilla bean used for the syrup) OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup of dark rum
Rum Syrup Glaze
1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup of butter)
¼ cup of water
½ cup of rum (you can use ¾ cup of rum if you really like the flavor)
empty vanilla bean pod (leftover from the cake)
Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix together rum and buttermilk. Set aside.
Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk rum mixture. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of buttermilk rum, a bit of flour, a bit of buttermilk rum, a bit of flour.)
Scoop batter into pan and smooth out. Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.
After the cake has been baking about 40 minutes, begin to make rum syrup glaze. In a heavy saucepan, heat together butter, sugar, water and empty vanilla bean pod over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour in rum. Return to heat and cook for an additional minute.
Once cake is done baking, place cake on a rack over a cookie sheet and immediately drizzle about ⅓ of rum glaze over the cake while it is still in the pan. Drizzle all over and begin saturating the cake. Allow cake to rest for 5 minutes after drizzling. Then invert cake on rack and with a fork, begin poking holes all over the entire surface of the cake. The more holes you poke, the better the absorption of the rum syrup. Drizzle the remaining syrup over the cake allowing it to saturate fully. Cool to room temperature to allow for maximum soaking of the syrup.
The vanilla beans I love
the bundt pan I have