The phrase “use it or lose it” always rings a tone of desperation to me. It makes me feel panicky. Unfortunately, it is how I feel about my 8L of homemade rumtopf (read about its story previously). For a “dry” household, why did I feel the need to make such a ridiculous amount of fruit in rum? It all started with a very logical decision for risk management. Four smaller jars would surely give me a higher chance of success than one big jar, right? Lucky me, all four jars turned out to be awesomely delicious and I am stuck with the enviable problem of having too much rumtopf than I can realistically consume.
I have no head for alcohol. Even a small serving of boozy tutti frutti would quickly get me smashed. Among the great list of ideas from Well Preserved, using the rumtopf to bake a cake caught my attention obviously. Fortunately, my appetite for cake and my ability to share cake fare much better than my drinking prowess. Besides, I was confident a drunken rum cake can make a serious dent in my rumtopf supply. I need to come up with a recipe.
There is certainly no shortage of rum cake recipes but I have one specific requirement. I want a recipe that can accommodate large amount of rum-soaked fruit pieces. Not only do the fruit add extra moisture to the cake, they are heavy too.
I found my inspiration from Dan Lepard. Back in 2006, he published a whole wheat rum cake recipe that takes 250g of drained canned pineapples in addition to a whole lot of sweetened dark rum. I adapted his recipe to take advantage of my homemade rumtopf and common North American baking ingredients.
What a glorious treat. Every tender bite of the cake burst with sweet dark rum, sticky medjool dates, and fragrant almonds. Moist, complex, and irresistibly boozy. The rumtopf fruit pieces melted into the crumb, drunken and yielding. It is not the rum cake that makes you think of sunny Caribbean (for that, you have to make this). This is a rum cake for cozy winter evenings around the fireplace. Better yet, serve it with mugs of rumtopf-spiked hot cider!
Sticky Rumtopf Cake
adapted from Dan Lepard’s rum cake in Short & Sweet
- 125g unbleached all purpose flour
- 125g whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 225g dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 125g grapeseed oil
- 75mL + 200mL liquor from your jar of rumtopf
- 150g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 100g almonds, chopped
- 250g chopped and drained fruit from your jar of rumtopf
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or coat it with cake release baking spray. Have all the ingredients scaled out.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Put brown sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium high speed using the paddle attachment for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to medium low and gradually pour in oil and 75mL of rumtopf liquor until incorporated. Mix in the flour mixture on low until just combined. Stir in dates, almonds, and drained fruit.
- Immediately pour the batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer insert into the centre of cake comes out clean. The cake may sink a bit in the middle but that’s okay.
- Pour in 100mL of rumtopf liquor evenly over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding. Set a baking tray under the wire rack to catch any drips. Brush on remaining 100mL rumtopf liquor over cake. Keep in airtight container at least overnight before serving so the flavour has a chance to age a bit. This cake keeps well for a few days but we usually eat it too quickly to find out.