Our standard family birthday cake is "Crazy Cake" as we say. Some people call it "Salad Dressing Cake" or "Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake." In a nutshell, it uses mayo (or miracle whip) in place of eggs-oil-butter-vinegar-etc. It's good.
Sassy #1 son turned 15 this week. He's the one that wanted something different for his birthday cake. Since the rum balls from Christmas are such a favorite around here, together we thought a combo of rum and chocolate would be a nice cake.
I searched around the internet and most of the recipes for "Chocolate Rum Cake" used boxed cake mix and boxed pudding mix, neither of which I use. FINALLY, I found one that was from scratch with real ingredients. Plus - major bonus! - it called for espresso powder. Hello.
The cake turned out just great, but I knew I'd need a special glaze for it. After all, it was a bundt! (Cue up the hilarious scene from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." A bundt. A boondta? Bundt! Boonka?)
Like all good social-networking junkies, I posted a querie on my Facebook page for a "really good chocolate glaze" for my cake. My pals did not disappoint. Roxanne came through with the best recipe, and I only needed to add a bit of rum to the glaze to carry through the flavor from the cake.
Here's the cake and glaze recipe. I changed a fair amount of the cake recipe to suit my ingredients and tastes. I found it originally on http://www.food.com/. The name of the cake is my own silly creation.
(Note: if you do not have or do not want to use rum for the cake, that's too bad because it's completely necessary. And all the alcohol bakes off. You can, however, omit it from the glaze and substitute a tablespoon of very strong, dark coffee or espresso.)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 extra large eggs
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup light rum
Butter and flour a 10 cup Bundt or tube pan. Preheat oven to 325 and place rack in the lower third of the oven.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well to incorporate each one. Blend in the cooled chocolate.
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water. Add enough cold water to make 1 1/2 cups, and then add the rum (you should be at the 2 cup point now).
Alternating the flour mixture and liquid, blend each into the chocolate mixture.
Pour into prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes, testing with a toothpick or cake tester into one of the center cracks. It should come out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of the pan and cool completely.
Rich Chocolate Glaze
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cream (or whole milk)
1 tablespoon light rum (or dark espresso)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk all until smooth and creamy. Pour carefully over cooled cake, allowing it to run down the sides.
(Makes 12 servings)
(Pretend you don't notice the finger smear through the glaze on the plate)