Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Week 25: Ahoy Mates! Rum Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Dollops and a Dark Rum Glaze and Piourette Straws

Hi friends! As I am sure I have mentioned before, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have many wonderful memories growing up there. The constant sunshine, the beach and the rainforest. As a kid, who could ask for more? I am sure growing up on an island is where my insatiable need to be near the water and always searching for seashells came from. Ironically enough, my third grade teacher is today my son's Spanish teacher in the third grade, here in New York. Talk about a small world!!

I have an early memory of when I was in the second grade, my school had a class field trip to the Bacardi Rum Factory. I am certain we did not get "samples" but I seem to remember we all got little bags filled with samples to take home to our parents.

It was commonplace to eat rum cake around the holidays. I always remember how moist and dense the cake was with a slight crunch from toasted pecans. It was not until a few years ago when one of my co-workers began making it at Christmastime that it rekindled the lost memory. I recently made a batch of rum cupcakes for my aesthetician, Ruthie, who absolutely loved them! She contacted me before Valentine's Day and asked me to make a special batch for her.

Naturally, I have added a Cupcakery twist to the traditional Rum Cake recipe. It seems to be a hit. If you are not a fan of alcohol, remember the alcohol will evaporate in the baking process and you are left with the wonderful flavor of what rum truly is made of, and that is distilled sugarcane juice or sugarcane molasses. The most common raw material to make rum is black molasses which is a by-product of the sugar making process. When you make the glaze, you can make the buttered rum glaze and add the rum before taking it off the heat and allow the alcohol to evaporate. You will still be left with remaining flavor, alcohol free.

The finest rums in the world are produced in the West Indies but many of the best rums come from Cuba and the islands of Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Most of the factors responsible for making a good whiskey are common to making a good rum. These factors may include the type of yeast used for fermentation, temperature maintained, maturation process, and the blending skill that only years of experience can perfect. The result is often spicy rums, dark rums or the more popular flavored rums available today.

I have made this rum cake recipe so often, each time I think of a slightly different variation of how I would like to use it the next time. For example, when the rum cake is made in a Bundt pan which is a traditional way to bake the cake. I then re-created the cupcakes topped with butter rum glaze, vanilla buttercream dollop drizzled with remaining glaze and a vanilla pirouette. But how delicious would the leftover Bundt cake taste thinly sliced and served as French toast for breakfast with cinnamon syrup, or with a dollop of whipped cream? Or perhaps chunk the cake and add fresh whipped cream, fruit and create a trifle! The possibilities are endless, but so flavorful. Maybe you are looking for a recipe to send in a care package, look no further! Wrap it up in a double layer of plastic wrap and it will ship very well.

However you create it, rest assured, this is a crowd pleaser and you will certainly serve up a smile with this delicious confection!

Best!
Rum Cupcakes

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 18-1/2 ounce yellow cake mix
1 1-3/4 ounce (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Sprinkle toasted pecans on the bottom of liners.

3. Combine all cake ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on high with electric mixer.

4. Pour batter into prepared cups.

5. Bake for 27-29 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center completly clean.

6. Cool on a cooling rack. Prick top of cupcakes with toothpick.

7. COOL CUPCAKES COMPLETELY, then dip cupcakes into Buttered Rum Glaze.

Buttered Rum Glaze

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum


1. Melt butter in saucepan.

2. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Be very careful when adding the rum, it will cause steam, so you do not want to brn yourself on this step!

Buttercream Frosting

1 package(s) 16 ounces, confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp milk, plus up to 2 tablespoons more, as needed

1. Before starting, place your stainless steel bowl and the arms for mixer into the freezer, for about 5 minutes. The cold bowl and arms form stiffer peaks in your frosting.

2. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-low speed, beat sugar, butter, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons milk until blended.

3. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

4. Beat in more milk as needed for easy spreading consistency.

5. Once the cupcake is glazed, a dollop of of buttercream frosting added, drizzle remaining glaze over the top of the buttercream and insert a vanilla filled Pirouette cookie.

3 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

oh this looks dleicious. I was just searching for rum cupcake recipe :)

Wendy said...

Hi SNOOKY: You won't believe how moist these cupcakes are! The buttered rum glaze is what seals in the flavor. I hope you love it as much as I did! :-) xoxo

Sunny said...

these are perfect for the Talk Like a Pirate Day party i'm going to tomorrow! I'll have to make these for sure! i'll be sure to credit you and post a link to your site :)

www.sunnysideuprecipes.com