Thursday, October 31, 2013
Mr. Dave's Aged Holiday Boozenut Cake.
What is with me and making all of these "aged" holiday recipes? I don't know.... These sorts of flavors just seem to go with the season. So here we have an aged nut cake that I've come up with for this year's holiday season.
Usually, to get my boozey aged cake fix I go with a pre-made fruitcake that I soak in rum and leave to mature for a month or two. Last year I used a Genesee Abbey fruitcake. But this year I decided to start from the ground up. I researched and heavily adapted a couple of fruitcake recipes to come up with something that I think is going to be pretty good.
First thing was to lose the candied fruit. Strangely enough, I have never really been too keen on the actual fruit in fruitcake... I am a much bigger fan of nuts so I used all nuts in my version. I took about a cup and a half of a pecan/hazelnut/walnut mix and soaked it in a cup of bourbon and a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I let the mixture out overnight to macerate the nuts a bit.
For the cake part I creamed a stick of butter with 1/3 cup brown and 1/3 cup white sugar, beat in 1 egg, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a 1/4 cup of molasses. For the dry ingredients we had -- 1 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. salt. I added the dry ingredients into the mixer a little at a time alternating with 2 tablespoons of cream. Then I dumped in the whole nut/sugar/bourbon (I used Evan Williams) mess into the batter and continued to mix until incorporated. My batter looked a little loose at this point so I added approx. 1/4 cup additional flour to stiffen it up a bit.
To bake, I put a greasy piece of brown paper in the bottom of a loaf pan, poured in the batter, and threw in a 325 degree oven for an hour and 15 minutes.
After the cake cooled somewhat I removed it from the pan and gingerly cut off the top crusty bit. This helps with bourbon absorption and improves the final appearance me thinks. I tasted a bit of the trimmings and found it, at this point, to be delicious.
A lot of booze cakes call for elaborate and repeated alcohol spritzing regimens but I can't be bothered with all of that hooey. I used a more unorthodox method of introducing additional booze to the cake. I simply splashed on about 1/2 cup of additional bourbon and vacuum sealed the whole mess.
This keeps the booze in contact with the cake and helps achieve the compact texture one should look for in a boozey nut cake. I put the bagged cake into a quiet corner of my fridge where I will leave it to mature for the next couple months. I will probably break it out around the same time I break out my eggnog. So that is going to be a pretty good week. I will gorge on bourbon cake and bourbon nog until either my wife stops me or until such time that I am laid low by the gout.
Anyhow, there you have it -- Mr. Dave's Aged Holiday Boozenut Cake. I will let you know how gloriously improved the cake is by the aging process come the end of December.