Friday, March 12, 2010

Rum Walnut Praline Cake

Does anyone remember the images from last months Superbowl XLIV, when the underdog New Orleans Saints coasted to victory over the prestigious, over-hyped and seemingly invincible Indianapolis Colts?

Errrr, actually I don't. Because I'm not a big American football fan. Any sport where there is a requirement for more technical apparatus than what NASA needs to send a spacecraft to the moon is to me quite, uhm, un-real-sportlike.

But I was tickled pink to see the underdogs New Orleans Saints win in such spectacular fashion. Actually, no, I lie. I was tickled pink because of this image permanently seared in my brain.
That would be hottie McHottie Saints quarterback Drew Brees with his 1 year old son celebrating their victory. And look at that cutie little headset!!!! And without earning any more wrath from the REAL football fans who are rolling on the ground moaning at my lack of enthu for this hallmarked sport as they read this, I now shall move on to the topic of this post - which is the very Louisiana, N'awlins Bourbon Pecan Praline Cake which I baked in honor of the Saints.....and Drew Brees....and those headsets on his cutie-patootie son...

Except I didn't have Bourbon. So I used Rum. Dark Spiced Caribbean Rum.

And I didn't have any pecans. So I used walnuts. Which do not even come from the same geographical region as pecans.

So I effectively made a Rum Walnut Praline Cake and transferred New Orleans' hard earned victory to some island in the Caribbean.

Which is about as relevant to football as the headsets on Drew Brees' son ....

I am utterly in love with the rich, dense nutmeg flavoured pound cake that forms the base of this cake, and the crisp praline on top of the cake (nuts roasted in brown sugar and honey) is a sweet and toothy addition that elevated this cake to Superbowl heights. OK, maybe I should lay off the football references. Just make this yourself and relish.
I made this cake in a bundt pan, whereas the original recipe calls for the use of a springform pan that has been lined, buttered and the outsides wrapped with foil. Which is probably the smart way to do it, else you will end up with chunks of sticky praline stuck to the base of your pan.

Rum Praline Cake (adapted from Food Network)
For Praline layer:4 Tbsp butter, plus more for greasing
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey + 2 Tbsp maple syrup (Orig recipe calls for 1/3 cup corn syrup)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (I used my trusty substitute)
2 Tbsp rum or bourbon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line bottom and sides with parchment paper and butter the paper. If using springform pan, wrap the outside of pan with foil.
2. Make praline layer: Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in brown sugar, syrup, honey, salt and vanilla. Spread in the prepared cake pan and scatter the nuts on top; set aside to cool.
3. Make the cake: Whisk flour, baking soda, nutmeg and fine salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and run or bourbon in another bowl.
4. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy (~ 10 minutes). With mixer on low, beat in eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Fold in the nuts.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until toothpick inserted inc enter comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool and invert cake onto a plate and remove paper. Serve with ice cream.


kothiyavunu said...

Tnx for stopping by kothiyavunu
& for the nice comments.u have a lovely space n collection of mouth watering dishes...:)
This cake is delicious and you have made it so perfect!

Mimi said...

I don't really love football, but I think I love your cake. It looks luscious!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh that is an adorable snap and wow what a cake, full of flavor and moist, love the Thai curry and hope you find the lime leaves


Joanne said...

Relevant or not, I'm gonna have to agree that this cake is way more interesting than football. Although Brees's son is pretty cute as well.

This sounds delicious!

Divya Kudua said...

Yummo it!!

sayantani said...

you are a big superbowl fan it seems. lovely cake to rejoice the win. adding rum to cakes is new in my kitchen and I know from my last experiment that they produces great result. perfcet and very pretty cake.

Rachel said...

That looks intensely rich and nutty!

Chef Aimee said...

Indeed, this has the goodness of Nawlins written all over the top of the cake! :)

tasteofbeirut said...

Reading your description of this cake and seeing the pics, I am totally in love with it too!

Yasmeen said...

Not a fan of football,the picture is cute though.The cake looks so moist and indulgent :D

Arlette said...

I am not a big fan of Football/Baseball I prefer soccer because this is what we used to watch and cheer for since we were children back home.

Your cake is a true masterpiece my friend, and I am going to try it this weekend.


An Open Book said...

I am sooo gonna try this today...shall tell ya how its turned out :)

ingridbuck@rum pralines said...

The cake is so delicious to look at. My eyes couldn’t stop staring at the cake. Thanks for this recipe. Now, I can bake my own rum pralines cake. But I’d like to try adding pecan nuts instead of walnuts.