Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Revelation - Banana Rum Cake

Over the weekend, I had so much free time and space in the kitchen that I went on an absolute cooking binge. A while back, I had made some white chocolate banana ganache with the intent of using it for truffles, but I made it a bit too thin. So, I set it aside to use for a cake glaze.

So, so very good.

A couple of years ago the entire family went to the Cayman Islands on a cruise, and of course we brought back a number of rum cakes and many different flavors of Tortugas rum. Banana isn't a flavor of rum that we drink very often unless we're making a couple of particular drinks, so there was plenty of it. So, late on a Friday evening, in the midst of my cooking spree, I went to town on making a rum-laden bundt cake.

Just after turning out and splashing a little rum on the top.

After I baked the cake, which used some banana pudding mix, a cake mix, and some pecans, I splashed it with a bit of rum and left a cup of rum in the middle, then covered the cake overnight. The next day, I made a glaze with sugar, rum, and butter and doused the entire thing with that. After letting that glaze soak in for a day, I topped it off with the white chocolate banana ganache.

Since we really do try not to keep a ridiculous amount of sweets at the house (though we usually fail), I sent the cake to the lodge with my dad last night, since they eat potluck-style. There were only ten men and a couple other desserts, but only three slices of this stuff made it back. I finally got to have a piece before bed, and WOW.... just wow. It's got just enough rum in it for you to feel the warmth in the back of your mouth when you swallow, but not enough to really taste the rum. You definitely taste the banana flavor, and the chopped pecans add a really nice crunch. There's obviously alcohol still in there (and you can smell it), so you might not want to offer it to a teetotaler. That's okay, though - more for us!

BB was my photography assistant today, and she frequently threatened to devour what little cake was left.

Banana Rum Cake
For the cake:

  • 1 package butter recipe cake mix
  • 1 package banana cream pudding mix
  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c + 1 shot banana rum 
  • 1 c chopped pecans

Mix together all ingredients except pecans until the batter is well-integrated. Stir in pecans and pour into greased bundt cake pan. Bake at 325 for one hour, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then flip out onto rack to complete cooling for another hour. Splash shot of rum on the cake, especially around the interior ring. Cover and allow to set overnight before glazing.
For the glaze:
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c banana rum
  • 1/2 c water
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat, then stir in sugar and rum. Once well-integrated, increase heat slightly and add just enough water for sugar to dissolve into syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then spoon and brush over cake while still warm, taking care to cover the entire exterior of the cake. Allow glaze to soak in overnight for best results. Top with white chocolate banana ganache if desired.

White Chocolate Banana Ganache
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 12 oz bag white chocolate morsels
  • 2 tbsp banana extract
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
Heat cream and extracts in a double boiler until hot. Gradually add white chocolate, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and integrated. For thicker ganache suitable for truffles, decrease cream or increase chocolate until it reaches the desired consistency.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then use immediately or cover and store in refrigerator.

Total prep/cook time: 3 days, but only about 90 minutes of work.
Happiness rating: 10/10 - this thing disappeared fast!

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