I originally had four books slated for the Caribbean; I ended up reading ten. I wanted to add a book for Puerto Rico, and another book for the Bahamas, but it was time to move on to South America. Before I left, I celebrated with making a rum cake that my fellow GRer, Jenny, found from "Southern Living". I adapted it some, as the recipe called for an addition 10 tablespoons of butter to be added to the rum soaking syrup. I didn't see how the cake needed it (or indeed could absorb that much additional fat without dissolving into a soggy mass); as it was the cake was very moist and delicious. Here's my version of the cake. Thanks, Jenny! Here's the recipe from jennybakesblogspot.com:
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Rum Syrup
- Powdered sugar
Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to batter alternately with whipping cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.
Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Pierce cake multiple times using a metal or wooden skewer. Pour Rum Syrup evenly over cake. Let stand 45 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle evenly with powdered sugar before serving.
I didn't link onto the rest of the recipe for the rum syrup, as I made up my own soaking syrup. I just boiled a cup of sugar with one quarter cup each of water, dark rum, and banana liqueur to dissolve, then let simmer for five minutes before poking about a dozen and a half holes in the still-warm cake and pouring over. I served it with whipped cream and pineapple. A real calorie and cholesterol bomb, in the fine tradition of "Southern Living"'s always wonderful cakes, but worth the calories.
But as I said, it is time to move onto South America. It's the spot I've been most dreading on my tour, as I seem to have hit a guy-wall (a macho guy-wall) when compiling my list; I am also not usually a big fan of magic realism. To ease my way into the continent, I added a book by a Venezuelan woman author: "The Disappearance of Irene dos Santos".