Drunken Rum & Vanilla Bean Cake

Warning, this is a dangerous cake. For many reasons. If all the rum doesn’t go to your head, the sugar surely will, and the butter-based glaze will certainly have you scrambling back for seconds. I love rum desserts, but detest the “slightly rum flavored” variety. In my mind, if it has rum in it, there has to have a LOT of it- otherwise you end up with that artificial, metallic taste of barely-alcoholic sweets. If a dessert has the audacity to call itself “Rum Cake,” it better be DRIPPING with rum, and served with rum on the side. In this recipe, the real liquor flavor comes from a butter-rum glaze, which is poured onto the hot cake after it comes out of the oven. I balanced the alcoholic flavor by scraping fresh vanilla seeds into the batter for a well-rounded, deliciously drunken, truly rum-soaked cake.

2 cups /250 g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups/250 g sugar
1/2 cup/100 g vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup / 120 g milk or yogurt
1/4 cup / 60 mL dark rum (I used white rum, since it was all I had on hand)
1 vanilla bean

1 cup /220 g butter
1/4 cup / 60 mL water
3/4 cup / 150 g sugar
1 cup / 240 mL dark rum

Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar, oil, eggs, milk and 1/4 cup rum until blended. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the bowl (reserve pod) and mix well.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the rum mixture, stirring until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan. Pierce cake from 15 to 20 times with a wooden skewer to prepare the cake for the rum glaze.

Rum Glaze: Combine 1 cup of butter, water, and reserved vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Stir in 1 cup sugar and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes, then mix in 1 cup rum. Let cool 10 minutes, then apply the rum glaze to the cake.
To apply Rum Glaze: Gradually drizzle a small amount of the rum glaze over the top of the skewered cake while it is still in the pan. When the top of the cake cannot absorb any more glaze, turn it out of the pan and onto a plate to repeat the procedure on the bottom of the cake. Let the cake sit until the glaze has soaked in, then repeat the procedure from the beginning, putting the cake back into the pan to glaze the top. It may take 24 hours for the cake to completely absorb all of the rum glaze.

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