Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

November 4, 2016

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I’ve got a delicious spicy dish for you today that will definitely warm you up this Fall…Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas. Oh my goodness! It is just absolutely delicious with that golden crispy skinned chicken and those devilish little harissa chickpeas that pack quite a punch! For folks unfamiliar with harissa, it is a spicy North African Red Chili Paste. It is available at most large grocery stores. You can sometimes find it in a can in the ethnic food section or occasionally you will find in fresh in the refrigerated section. I have also provided you with a link below if you wish to buy it online. I will warn you though that not all harissas are created equal. Some are much spicier than others, so although this recipe calls for 1/4 cup, you should definitely taste the harissa you are working with first and decide how much to add depending its spice level and your sensitivity. We love spicy in this household so we just shoveled it in!

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Besides being wonderfully flavorful, this dish is also great because you only need dirty one dish to make it. You want to use a large oven-proof skillet. My 12″ le creuset skillet was just perfect. Serve this dish over couscous with a little tzatziki or other yogurt sauce on the side to help cool the burn. Just the thing to warm you up as the temperatures cool down this Fall!

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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Tzatziki Sauce, for serving (Optional but can help cool the burn if your harissa is very spicy!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.

Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes (until it reaches 165 °F with meat thermometer). Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Enjoy!

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas:

Le Creuset Iron Handle Skillet

Harissa


Fireball Cider Cocktail

October 31, 2016

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Happy Halloween ya’ll! I’m sitting here with cocktail in hand and candy at the ready! I thought you might also like to enjoy a lovely cocktail that is just bursting with Fall/Halloween flavors – The Fireball Cider Cocktail.

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It is made with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and hard apple cider with a few slices of apples thrown in cuz you want to make sure you’re eating healthy and all… It is delicious and packs quite a punch! You can serve it over ice or if it is going to be a really chilly Halloween where you are, this cocktail also tastes great when served warm. You know…think mulled wine…’cept better, with a fiery cinnamon punch to delight the taste buds. Have one or two (or so…) of these tipples to keep you warm on your wanders. Happy Hauntings!

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Fireball Cider Cocktail

  • Servings: one cocktail
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: What’s Cooking America

Ingredients:

  • Ice Cubes (approximately 4 or 5 ice cubes)
  • 2 ounces Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  • 3 ounces hard apple cider
  • Apple slices

Directions:

Fill a glass (highball glass or white wine glass) 1/4 full with ice cubes.  You want to chill the drink and not water it down.  Pour in the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and then top with the apple cider. (If you chose to enjoy this drink warm, heat the cider and just before you are ready to serve, stir in the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. If you heat the whiskey too long you risk evaporating all of that lovely alcohol…)

Gently stir until mixed.  Garnish with apple slices.

Enjoy & Happy Halloween!

Fireball Cider Cocktails brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

October 27, 2016

 

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Oh ho ho! It’s getting close to my favorite holiday! No not Thanksgiving – not that I’m not thankful or anything…I am. But….I’m talking about Halloween! Whats not to like? You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact all of that fun stuff is encouraged. That is my kind of holiday! These White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels will be a welcome addition to all of your Halloween festivities. Quite tasty and maybe a bit more on the cute than scary side of things, they will prove to be very popular with all of the ghosts and ghouls your encounter on All Hallow’s Eve.

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Dogs can have white chocolate right?

Halloween actually has Celtic origins. Our modern Halloween celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. Oh and I shouldn’t forget mummies. Yup they’ll be about too.

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These treats are very easy to make. Just melt your chocolate in a double boiler. Use a spoon to pour chocolate over 3/4 of the pretzel rod. Tap the rod lightly against the side of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate and then just add the eyes and bandages. I actually made it a bit harder on myself because I was convinced that I didn’t want to eat those candy eyeballs which come oh so conveniently in a pack from the store. No, I decided it would be a good idea to use and upside down white chocolate chip for the white of the mummy’s eyes and then add a mini M&M for the iris bit. Well, that required me to whittle the pointy bit off of 40 chocolate chips so that they would sit flat on the mummy’s face, then stick the M&M to the chip with a bit more melted chocolate and finally to draw the pupils onto the M&M with an edible marker. Yeah….store bought candy eyeballs would have probably worked just fine! Oh well, live and learn. And you can benefit with the knowledge of my travails. Though the M&M eyes are pretty cute, you gotta admit…

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White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

  • Servings: 18 - 20 Mummy Pretzels
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Lets Dish Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 pretzel rods
  • 12 ounces white melting chocolate (such as Ghirardelli)
  • 40 white chocolate chips*
  • 40 mini M&Ms*

Directions:

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip pretzel rods into white chocolate, or use a spoon to coat, covering about 2/3 of the pretzel. Gently tap pretzel rod on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.

Place two candy eyeballs on each pretzel rod (if they slip off, let the chocolate set for about a minute first). Place on waxed paper to set. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Or if you want to spend a bit more time fussing over them, place white chocolate chips upside down on the mummies for the whites of their eyes. You will likely need to whittle the pointy bit off of the top of the chip so that it sits flat.

Carefully spoon remaining chocolate into a pastry bag, zip-top bag or squeeze bottle. If using a bag, snip of a small corner. Drizzle white chocolate over the pretzels to form bandages, being careful not to cover the eyes, to resemble a mummy. If using mini M&M’s for eyes, squeeze one drop of chocolate on each M&M and stick it onto the white chocolate chips you placed earlier. Use an edible marker to add the pupil of each eye in the center of the M&Ms. Let white chocolate set completely before serving.

Enjoy!

*You can just use store bought candy eyeballs if you prefer.

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels:

Wilton Candy Eyeballs

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Still looking for additional spooky Halloween treats for your festivities? Take a look at some of my past Halloween offerings.

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

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Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

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Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

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Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

October 14, 2016

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Sorry…Did someone say Bacon…Bourbon and Peanut Butter in one little cookie? And it is salted! Whaaaat?!! Can you do that? Yes indeed you can and that is just what I did here. These naughty boozy little cookies are completely amazing. With gooey peanut butter, smoky bacon, rich chocolate and silky smooth bourbon (Knob Creek is our favorite) all enhanced with a perfect sprinkling of flaky sea salt, how could they be anything other than oh so decadent and sinfully delicious! Wonderful with a glass of milk or maybe with another shot of bourbon for an indulgent nightcap.

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These cookies would be perfect for tailgating, a very welcome treat for any adult trick-or-treaters you might encounter and certainly keep these in mind when those Super Bowl parties fire up!

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Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Endless Meal

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • Maldon Sea Salt for Sprinkling over top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings and set aside to cool. Once cool, crumble the bacon, remove (eat) any chewy bits.

Beat the butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl with a mixer on until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the peanut butter until combined, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and light brown sugar and mix until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and bourbon and beat until light and fluffy, about two more minutes.

Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed, until just combined.

Stir in the crumbled bacon and chocolate chips

Form the dough into 1″ balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle Maldon flaky sea salt over the dough balls. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator and let cookie dough rest overnight. If you are rushed for time, you can simply let the cookies chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, though I think an overnight rest results in a more flavorful cookie.*

Once you are ready to bake. Place cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking tray 2″ apart. Bake for about 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 10 for crispier cookies.

Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

* You can also freeze the cookie dough balls at this point. Once the dough is frozen you can remove it from the baking tray and store in a ziplock bag. When you are ready to treat yourself to a cookie or two (or so…) remove from freezer and bake as directed above, but add two minutes to the overall baking time.

Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Zucchini Tots

October 11, 2016

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Wait….wait! I’ve got another delicious zucchini recipe to share before zucchini season is over. Zucchini Tots! Crispy on the outside and oh so tender on the inside, whether you serve them as a side, appetizer or the main event, these little nuggets are unbelievably addictive. The husband says he likes them better than regular Tater Tots. Now me…I don’t think I can go that far. Nothing against these zucchini tots, which are spectacular, but I love me some potatoes. Don’t really care how you make ’em…mashed, baked, scalloped – but fried can’t be beat. I think I’d categorize these little zucchini gems as a totally different thing. I probably should have called them zucchini bites. That being said, I certainly feel more virtuous having eaten Zucchini Tots rather than Tater Tots, so there is that.

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Another great thing about these tots is that they are really easy and pretty quick to make. Just be sure you squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as you can before mixing it in with the other ingredients so that you can achieve ultimate crispiness. You see I love the crispy bit, that’s why I rolled these tots in a bit more panko before baking them. But you can skip the panko roll step if you aren’t that into crispy or simply can’t be bothered. No matter what, these Zucchini Tots will still knock your socks off – guaranteed!

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Zucchini Tots

  • Servings: 20 tots
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 2 -3 small zucchini, shredded (you should have about 2 cups worth)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup small-diced yellow onion
  • ⅓ cup grated Asiago Cheese (feel free to use Parmesan, mozzarella, or even cheddar)
  • ¼ cup Panko (bread crumbs) plus 1 cup additional for coating tots
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t use foil – the tots will stick to it like super-glue. Trust me. Place 1 cup of panko in shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl using a large metal spoon.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the zucchini mixture into mounds. Drop zucchini mixture into the middle of the panko bowl. Gently roll to cover will Panko and gently shape into a tater tot shape. Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, gently flip over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tots brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Zucchini Tots:

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

 


Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

October 5, 2016

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Who doesn’t like the heavenly combination of bananas and caramel? Well this gorgeous Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake is blanketed with them! It is like Bananas Foster in cake form. So you know the topping is to die for, but the cake is pretty spectacular itself. It is incredibly moist and tender and would be delicious all on its own. But it isn’t alone at all. No indeed. It is topped with all of those sticky, buttery caramelized bananas. Sheer perfection I tell you!

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I made this cake for the Husband. I’ve told you how he just loves all fruit desserts. Well he definitely has a particular soft spot for bananas, so I knew he’d be over the moon for this cake. Lucky for me, it is very easy to whip together because I think it will end up being in high rotation on the dessert roster around here. I came across the recipe on the Broma Bakery blog, but did adapt it a bit. I added some spices and a bunch of rum because…well because how could I resist the delicious combo of bananas and rum? Yeah, I couldn’t. A little booze seems to make anything better, and this cake is no exception. A slice is lovely served solo but a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whip cream never goes unwelcome.

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The cake is easy to make and comes together quickly. In a little over an hour you can have it on the table. My my my….irresistible looks and heavenly taste – you can’t go wrong with this treat. So if you have some unclaimed bananas hanging around, you know what to do!

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Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

  • Servings: one 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Broma Bakery

Ingredients:

For the Caramelized topping:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Rum
  • 2 – 3 bananas, sliced

For the Cake:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon Rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter. Line with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper as well. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and place springform pan on it.

Place the butter brown sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat until the butter melts. Mix together well. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Pour the sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared  springform pan and spread it around evenly. Place the sliced bananas on top of the brown sugar in a circular pattern.

In a medium bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the mashed banana, melted butter, egg, buttermilk, rum, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the banana/ buttermilk/ rum mixture and stir until just combined.

Spread the batter evenly over the top of the brown sugar & sliced bananas in the springform pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top has started to turn golden brown along the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Invert cake onto serving platter.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or perhaps a little whipped cream!

Enjoy!

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Kitchen Aid Classic 9″ Springform Pan

9″ Parchment Paper Liners

 


Caribbean Rum Cake

September 30, 2016

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From what I hear, if you’ve travelled to the Caribbean, you’ve indulged in one of their famous Tortuga Rum Cakes. Truth be told, I haven’t been to the Caribbean. I tend to vacation in much more Northern climes…like Iceland.

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What my kind of holiday looks like!

But I do like Rum….so my interest was piqued. These booze laden cakes are rumored to be AH-Mazing and pretty dang difficult to find once folks have returned home. If that sounds familiar and you haven’t been able to satisfy that rum cake craving, don’t fret! I’ve got a recipe here for Caribbean Rum Cake that will taste just as good as those legendary island delicacies. This homemade Caribbean Rum Cake has it all going on. It is rich, it is incredibly moist and perhaps most importantly of all – it is absolutely loaded with booze! Yippee! There is a whole cup of that lovely libation in this cake – 1/2 cup in the batter and another 1/2 cup in the unbelievably decadent buttered rum glaze. Yes…you heard me…buttered rum glaze. And get this – the cake literally soaks in that boozy ambrosia overnight. In the morning you’re met with a cake that has such a velvety texture, I tell you it just melts in your mouth!

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Now this cake does pack quite a punch with all that rum. It might not be the best thing to take to a church social (or maybe it would …) or to a work luncheon (again….perhaps it would be just the thing…). And you may find that after a few slices you begin to talk like a pirate, “Arrrrr”. Dang! If only I would’ve posted this a couple of days early, you could’ve whipped it up for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is held on September 19th. Oh well, there’s always next year I suppose. In the meantime I’m sure you can find plenty of other occasions that would be greatly enhanced by the appearance of this incredible cake! So as those beloved pirates say:  Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

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Caribbean Rum Cake

  • Servings: one large bundt cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces,241 grams) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces, 298 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces, 99 grams) pastry cream filling mix or instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) vegetable oil (I used coconut oil – YUM!)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) white or golden rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter rum flavor (optional but excellent)
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 ounce, 23 grams) pecan or almond flour, for dusting baking pan*

For the Rum Soaking Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz. 113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz. 57 grams) water
  • 1 cup (7 oz. 198 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup 4 oz. 113 grams) white or golden rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spritz a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle on the pecan or almond flour and turn the pan to coat evenly. Set aside.

Place all of the cake ingredients except the rum, vanilla and butter rum flavoring in the bowl of your stand mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl after one minute. 

Add the rum, vanilla and flavor if using to the batter and blend for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread level with a spatula. 

Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes. You may smell the nut flour toasting at first, especially those not covered in cake batter. When done, the cake will test clean on a cake tester. Bundt cakes are difficult to test properly with a short toothpick. Instead try a piece of dry uncooked spaghetti or linguine. 

Leave the cake in the pan to cool slightly while you make the soaking syrup. 

In a medium-sized saucepan combine the syrup ingredients, except vanilla. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Use a long skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used. 

Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit out overnight to cool completely and soak in the syrup. When ready to serve, loosen the edges of the cake and invert on to your serving plate. 

Serve with hot coffee or tea. The cake is very moist, fragrant and potent. 

Yield: one large or two small bundt cakes. Cake freezes very well.

Enjoy!

*Dusting the cake pan with pecan flour is optional. You can just spray the pan with a non-stick spray. However, the pecan flour a layer of flavorful crust to the outside of the cake. It will also aid in easy release of the cake. I have included a link below if you would like to purchase some pecan flour. Or you could simply make your own by toasting pecans for about 5 minutes in a 350° oven. Once the nuts have cooled completely, place them in a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency you desire. 

Caribbean Rum Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Caribbean Rum Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Cuisinart Food Processor

Nordic Ware Bundt Cake Pan

Pecan Flour (Meal) or here

Butter Rum flavor or here


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