I apologize for going through the whole first week of February without posting. It’s been a very busy past several days and, while I am quite tuckered out, I couldn’t let this week pass without messing about my kitchen at least once. 😀
A sale on bakeware last week resulted in the purchase of three new cake tins: a sunflower-topped semi-bundt mold, a rectangular tin, and a rather fetching heart-shaped one that showed up just in time for Valentine’s Day. I decided to break the last one in by making a rather ambitious Saturday afternoon treat.
I’ve been baking rum cakes for about a month now, experimenting with new flavors to make my cakes more appealing than those sold by most commercial bakeshops. I’ve made cakes with chocolate liqueur and Kahlua and I’m seriously thinking of baking mango-flavored ones (with chopped fresh and dried mangoes, mango flavoring, and mango liqueur) for this summer. Since Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – along with Chinese New Year – I decided to make a lovely pink cake in my new heart tin. Thank goodness, then, for raspberry-flavored Vodka Cruisers and strawberry extract!
This particular recipe started out as a banana-infused rum bundt cake from Southern Living magazine. However, why must one conform with the use of banana liqueur when people in this part of the world hate the stuff! And so, I am pleased to state that a month of mixing and matching flavors has paid off and the end results are just fabulous.
What one gets is a gorgeously buttery cake with a slight fruity tang that keeps it from getting too rich. Top the whole thing off with a raspberry-infused chocolate ganache frosting, and you have quite a romantic dessert.
La Coeur de Framboise avec Chocolat (Raspberry Heart with Chocolate Frosting)
For the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup all-purpose cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1-1/2 cups softened salted butter
- 2 teaspoons strawberry flavoring
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup raspberry-infused vodka or Framboise liqueur
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
For the syrup:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup raspberry-infused vodka
For the ganache:
- 1 100-gram dark chocolate bar (at least 50% cocoa solids), broken
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
- 1/2 cup all-purpose cream
- 2 tablespoons raspberry-flavored vodka
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and soda. Set aside. Grease a 9- or 10-inch heart tin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4.
Cream together the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well-combined. Add the strawberry extract, rum, and raspberry vodka and stir till the mixture looks curdled. Add the cream; stir, and add 1/2 of the flour. Add the milk; stir, and add the remaining flour. Mix until well-combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 55 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the syrup and cook over medium heat till the butter melts and the syrup starts to boil. Lower the heat and simmer whilst stirring till slightly thickened.
Poke holes into the surface of the baked cake with a wooden skewer and pour the syrup evenly over it. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
In a saucepan, add all the ingredients for the ganache and cook whilst stirring over medium heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for about five minutes.
Turn the now-syrup-soaked cake onto a serving plate. Pour over the cooled ganache and spread evenly over the surface.
Makes twelve servings.