½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons rum, preferably dark
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
Caramel Rum Frosting:
6 Tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1¼ cups firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/16 teaspoon salt
¼ cup whipping (heavy) cream, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
3 tablespoons rum, preferably dark
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch Bundt pan or fluted tube pan; grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
- Place sugar in a small heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved and becomes liquid. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the sugar reaches a temperature between 320 and 325 degrees F, a light caramel stage. Immediately remove pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches 300 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 320 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the sugar reaches 320 or 325 degrees to prevent it from going over. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will cause serious burns if you touch it.
- Slowly pour in the whipping cream, stirring constantly. Don’t worry if the mixture seems to harden. Return the pan to medium heat and stir until completely combined, continue to cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cool, stir in the rum. Set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, then add the brown sugar, taking an additional 3 to 4 minutes, beating until the butter and sugars are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light color with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugars, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the burnt sugar mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and burnt sugar mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 60 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Caramel Rum Frosting:
- In a medium size heavy saucepan; preferably non-stick, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat on low heat until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat, gradually stir in the whipping cream. Return the pan to the heat; bring back to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes to let the bubbling subside and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Pour hot sugar mixture into a large bowl of an electric mixer; add confectioners’ sugar and rum and beat on medium speed until completely smooth and free of lumps. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Let stand until cooled and mixture is stiff enough for frosting, 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. To speed the cooling, either place in the refrigerator or set the bowl in a large bowl of ice water.
- When frosting is cooled and stiffened, stir again to loosen and make fluffy. If the frosting seems too stiff, stir in a few drops of water; if the frosting seems too soft, stir in a little more confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Frosting should be used immediately. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting thickly over top and partially down the sides of the cake.
- Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small heavy-bottomed pan combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 320 degrees F, a light caramel stage. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup. Immediately remove pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches 300 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 320 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the syrup reaches 320 degrees to prevent it from going over 320 degrees. F.
- Carefully pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet spreading it out thinly. The caramel will start to harden immediately. Be careful, the caramel is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. When ready to use, break into shards by tapping the caramel with a knife.
- Place caramel shards around the top of the frosted cake. Do not refrigerate as the caramel shards attract moisture and will become sticky.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.