Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nutmeg Cake

We all have our favorite spices that are used often in baking, however, there are some that rarely come to mind. One of these is nutmeg. While nutmeg is used in holiday baked goods, it usually is only one element of a combination of spices called for in a recipe. This particular recipe focuses on nutmeg being the primary flavor.

Do not let the plain appearance fool you. Moist, light and packed with the special taste of nutmeg, one slice will make you a true fan. A delicious choice if you have not yet experienced nutmeg as singular spice. Also, if you make this, do not omit the rum syrup - it is an important flavor component to the cake.

Nutmeg Cake
Adapted from Warm Bread and Honey Cake

Ingredients/Syrup Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs rum

1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
9 tbs butter
1/2 c plus 1 tbs light brown sugar/packed
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup flour

Start by making the sugar syrup. Place sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Whisk together then heat at medium temperature on stove. As it cooks, let it come to a boil then reduce heat. The sugar will dissolve and the the mixture will come to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until it reaches room temperature.

As the syrup is cooling, prepare a standard size loaf pan by buttering the interior. Then line the bottom and two sides with parchment and butter the surface. Dust the inside with flour and tap out excess. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, sift together baking powder, salt, flour and nutmeg. Set aside. Fill a bowl of a stand mixer with butter and beat at medium speed until smooth and silky. Then add sugar and cream ingredients together, beating at medium speed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl at intervals during the process.

Using a small bowl and a whisk, blend the eggs with the vanilla extract. Add half of this mixture to the sugar/butter blend. Beat at 30 seconds and then add the remainder. Blend together, beating another 30 seconds.

Fold 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the batter. Then mix in 2 tbs of the milk. Blend in half of the remaining flour mixture. Add the last of the milk, mix and then the remaining flour blend. Once all is thoroughly mixed and batter is smooth, fill the prepared pan.

Bake until tester comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack.

The sugar syrup should now be at room temperature. Add the rum and stir until completely distributed in the syrup. Take a skewer and poke holes in the top of the cake, all the way to the bottom of the pan. Then pour the rum syrup over the top. Let the syrup soak in and the cake cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For the best flavor-wait 24 hours before serving.

                              **LAST YEAR: Favorite Cookie Round Up**