Wednesday, December 14, 2011

24 Rum Cakes and Counting

I don't do fruitcake but I LOVE the story A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.
I don't eat fruitcake either though I salivate when reading the fruitcake prepping and baking in above said book.
This Christmas Oma and MawMaw finally have a fruitcake partner. My son's fiancee' Adrain claims to love fruitcake, but not just any fruitcake; only the fruitcake her grandmother makes.
So there's the fruitcake...
I got a personal bag of butter toffee which the extra-5 lbs-on my hips enjoyed to the fullest.
Chocolate fudge baffles me in the kitchen but I got lucky enough to eat 10 lbs. worth the last day of co-op. My good friend Monica can puff flour in my kitchen anytime.
So there's butter toffee and chocolate fudge.
I need to try my hand again at my MawMaw's pralines. One year they came out beautifully. The next year was a flop. The next year I didn't even try them. The next year my daughter made an outstanding batch. The following year I tried the microwave version and was thoroughly disillusioned.

Pralines must be made on grandma's gas stove. There are no if, ands, or buts about it.
They must be made on a gas stove, in a light-weight (preferably dented) sauce pan, with a wooden spoon.

I'm going to try again next week.

I also want to make those pecan-coconut, sweet condensed packed balls dipped in chocolate.
Oh, my Heavens! They were my fav as a child and my mother's hand sculpted them so close to perfection that I have teetered on the edge of experimenting with this confection. It takes a leap of faith to try to duplicate what your grandmother and mother used to make.

I'm going to try it next week.
So there's the pralines and pecan balls.

Long ago when we lived south of town I had a good neighbor who made rum cakes for the whole neighborhood at Christmas time. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when she appeared at my door with my loaf.
I was unfamiliar with this sinful cake and my neighbor thought it strange I'd never had a slice.
Afterall, it was an age-old favorite in her family.

When we moved north of town, the annual cake loaf stayed south of town.
That was probably the hardest part of our move, at least a big part. :-(

Then last year, as I was gleaning an old cookbook I picked up on a .50 cent book table, I found within its larder a long lost recipe for rum cake. The chipped pecans layered on the bottom of the pan, the 1/2 cup of rum, and the butter-glaze topping gave me the needed clues that it was the same recipe my neighbor had made.

So last year I made my first loaf to confirm that this was the cake that nipped the bottle.

This year I spent two nights baking and strewing eggs, pudding, and butter across my countertop and stovetop.

My girls helped spray pans and layer pecans on the bottom.
My hens were not able to keep up with the 4 eggs per loaf so a couple of quick trips to the store had to be made.

Here's the recipe if you care to try it.

Your kitchen will smell like rum and your stove will hum a Merry Christmas! :-)

RUM CAKE

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum
1 small box (3 3/4 oz.) vanilla pudding
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup pecan chips

Sprinkle pecans in bottom of greased pan. Mix remaining ingredients and pour batter over pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and pierce holes in cake with fork. Make glaze (recipe below) and pour over top of cake. Do not remove from pan until completely cooled off.

GLAZE

1 stick butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 jigger rum

Boil butter, sugar and water for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add rum. Pour over hot cake.


So there's the rum cake. :-)
Enjoy!

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