Friday, May 11, 2012

Feast Like You're On Vacation: Dessert

In May of 2011, I took an amazing vacation to West Palm Beach, Fl. that included a cruise to Grand Bahama and Nassau.  The beaches were beautiful, the food and drinks were spectacular, and it was great to be able to relax with my family.  Even though that trip was a year ago,  my husband and I are constantly trying to relive it through food and drinks.  We have cloned the Goombay Smash from the Iguana Cafe in Nassau and the guacamole from Rocco's Tacos in West Palm Beach.  We've learned how to cook plantains two ways, and made a delicious main course of jerk chicken and Bahamian peas rice.  What could possibly be missing, you ask?  Only what I deem to be the best part of any meal...the dessert!

One of my memories from our cruise was when we stopped in at the Tortuga Rum store in Nassau.  The store was packed with so many different flavors of rum and rum cake, I didn't even bother to count them all.  We purchased multi-packs of varying flavors and then rushed back to our ship, kicked off our shoes and dug in to the little cakes (expertly carved into five equal pieces by my brother with a plastic knife).  They were so good!  When we returned to the states, we wished we had purchased more.  After every crumb of Tortuga rum cake had been eaten, we set out on a quest to find a recipe that would give us the perfect rum cake (or, as perfect as we could get without going back to Nassau).

First, for the perfect rum cake, you need the perfect rum.  After searching the internet and doing a little (or a lot) of taste testing, we arrived at a clear winner.  This cake cannot be made with anything but Cruzan Coconut Rum.

So now, after months of waiting...without further ado...

Coconut Rum Cake (printable recipe)

For cake:
  1 box Betty Crocker Butter Recipe cake mix
  1 box vanilla pudding mix, cook and serve type (not instant!)
  4 eggs
  1/2 c. Cruzan Coconut Rum
  1/2 c. vegetable oil
  1/2 c. water
  1/2 c. shredded coconut
For glaze:
  1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  1 c. sugar
  1/4 c. water
  1 c. Cruzan Coconut Rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl.  Add the eggs, rum, oil and water.  Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients until well blended (about 3 minutes).  Prepare a bundt pan by spraying it with cooking spray and sprinkling coconut on the bottom and sides of pan.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and immediately begin the glaze.  Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the water and sugar.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool.  Slowly stir in the rum.  If it starts to bubble, let the mixture cool a little more before adding the rest of the rum.

Remove the now slightly cooled cake from the pan and use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake.  Pour half of the glaze into the bundt pan and then carefully place the cake back in the pan.  Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and let it soak in.  Once all of the glaze has been absorbed by the cake, turn the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely.

Grab a fork and go to town!

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