Sunday, May 15, 2011
Mocha Rum Cake
Alcohol. Coffee. Chocolate. Deadly combination, or awesome combination?
If you've ever had a Guinness chocolate cupcake or a Mudslide, you are clearly aware that the answer to this question is ... well, both. But mostly awesome.
The occasion for this cake was my friend's completion of her first year of law school. I am pretty sure this crazy girl finished at the top of most of her Ivy League classes, despite dealing with a variety of trials during the semester that would have completely destroyed me, such as the various incarnations of sickness her husband came down with over the course of the semester. She wrote a 30-page paper in one night, while recovering from the flu and caring for a husband on bedrest. Clearly, this girl deserved something chocolatey and alcoholic.
Enter the mocha rum cake.
I was a little skeptical at first: I've eaten some baaaad bundt cakes. And isn't a cup of rum kind of... excessive? ...Is this cake going to get me drunk!?
The cake is definitely boozey, but it's also really, really moist, and the coffee brings out the richness of the chocolate flavor. I served this with a simple vanilla glaze, but you could make a rum glaze or experiment with frostings: this might be great with a chocolate buttercream or cream cheese frosting. The possibilities are endless, people.
Mocha Rum Cake
From Joy the Baker, who adapted from Gourmet, January 1994
Cocoa powder for dusting
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup dark rum (I used dark Jamaican rum, but a lighter rum like Bacardi or Captain Morgan would do if you don't want to run out for a new bottle)
1 1/3 cups strong brewed coffee
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 4 1/2-inch-deep (12-cup) bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate from heat and stir in rum, coffee, and granulated sugar. With an electric mixer beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down side, and beat in eggs and vanilla until batter is combined well (the batter will seem very loose, but that's how it's supposed to be). Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack and turn it out onto rack. Cake may be made 3 days in advance and kept wrapped well and chilled.
Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream.
The cake is delicious on its own, great with whipped cream, or topped with a simple glaze. I made mine with 2 cups powdered sugar, a few teaspoons of vanilla, and then enough water to thin it to a thick-but-still-runny consistency.