Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Lemon Rose Cake
Lemon Rose Cake with Rum Glaze.

Couple of weekends ago, we were out visiting Richard (of Shadowscope fame) and Holder, his bride of (nearly) 20 years...the occasion was a Wedding Anniversary Barbecue celebrating the impending Double Decade Event.

By way of a Culinary Gift, I prepared the Lemon Rose Cake pictured above. It’s a nice enough looking cake, and it has a lemony-rummy taste that is both elegant and just plain eat-the-whole-fucking-thing delicious at the same time.

Holder was very taken with the cake and requested the recipe...so I’ve taken the liberty of presenting it here, courtesy of William-Sonoma. And the timing is perfect, because tomorrow is their actual 20th anniversary. Stop by and wish ’em a good one!

Lemon Rose Cake with Rum Glaze

For the cake:

2½ cups (315 g) cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 Tbsp dark rum
¾ tsp lemon oil (food-grade lemon oil, not the stuff you wax your dining room table with, ya lummox)
16 Tbsp (2 sticks/250 g) unsalted butter
1½ cups (375 g) granulated sugar
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

For the glaze:

6 Tbsp (90 ml) water
¼ cup (60 g) granulated sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 to 2 Tbsp dark rum

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

First off, I’ll tell you that I use Swan’s Down cake flour. Any decent brand of cake flour will do, but don’t try to get by with all-purpose flour if that’s all you have in the pantry. All-purpose flour will not give this cake the meltingly tender crumb it’s supposed to have.

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

Grease and flour a rose cake pan.

First, that means get a rose cake pan. You don’t have one? No prob...a Bundt pan will probably work almost as well and be a lot easier to clean, but the cake just won’t look like a rose. It’ll look like a Bundt...whatever the hell that is. If you want a rose cake pan, you can find one at Williams-Sonoma. Getting the bank loan to pay for it is your problem.

Don’t be a wise-ass and try using Pam or any other cooking oil spray; you’ll regret it. [Eric and Fiona can attest to the Dire Results of using cooking oil spray to grease a rose cake pan.] Best way to grease this kind of pan is to brush it with melted butter, then chill it in the fridge until the butter sets, then dust with flour, making sure the flour coats the entire pan. Tap out the excess flour over the sink.

To make the cake: Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk, rum and lemon oil and stir to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread the batter so the sides are slightly higher than the center.

Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for about 15 minutes, then tap the pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.

To make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, granulated sugar, butter and rum. Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted and most of the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Serves 10 to 12...unless you’re really hungry, in which case: Serves 2.

Happy eating!

[Adapted from a recipe by Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle Books, 2000).]

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