The Cheats Rum Baba
This cake was originally made by the Victoria Sandwich (named for Queen Victoria) cake method i.e. of beating butter with sugar until light and fluffy, and then beating in eggs 1 tsp. at a time. Finally, folding in flour. Even with electric mixers this is time consuming, so my version of the cake is now made by the all-in-one method using well beaten, softened butter.
You can also substitute butter Crisco or stick margarine. This substitution retains the same fat content but eliminates the cholesterol in the butter. You need to add additional baking powder to give the same amount of 'rise' as would occur in the traditional method of cake making. If you use Crisco or margarine, the mix needs beating for 2 minutes only with an electric mixer but should not be beaten for longer as this will toughen the cake texture.
Update - November 2008
I recently made the coffee version of this for Cooks Corner at the request of a producer. If you are used to drinking wine and strong alcohols, then you might want to use more orange or coffee liqueur and less orange juice or coffee syrup to give you more of the 'wow' taste. If you are not used to strong liqueur then the alcohol flavor might be strong for you. It's your choice.
1½ sticks butter (6oz) or 'I can't believe it's not butter', Crisco or equivalent but not a 'lite' margarine
3 extra large eggs
1 1/3 c all purpose flour
2 tsp.. baking powder
¾ c sugar
½ c raisins soaked for at least 2 hours (or overnight) in 2 tbsp. orange juice plus 2 Tbsp rum or orange liqueur or 1/4 c liqueur or juice in total
Grated rind of medium /large orange or 1 tsp. Boyajian pure orange oil. This is very concentrated so don't be heavy handed measuring. Available at 'Angela's' in Manchester or through King Arthur Catalogue.
1¼ c orange juice
1/3 c sugar
2-4 tbsp. rum or orange liqueur or more orange juice if you don't care for alcohol
Method1.Preheat oven to 375° and grease and flour a 10" across Bundt pan with Pam.
2. Place softened butter in mixing bowl and beat until butter is very soft, creamy and white, 1-2 minutes.
3. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and orange rind in mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for at least 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Don't beat just until the mix looks combined. The more air you beat in the fluffier and smaller crumbed the texture will be.
4. If you are using margarine or Crisco, beat everything together in one bowl for 2 minutes. The raw cake texture will look different to the raw butter cake texture.
5. Gently fold in juice soaked raisins. The mixture might look slightly curdled with addition of the orange juice. Don't worry. The batter should fall gently off a spatula or spoon with a sharp shake, not run off. If a bit too dry then add 1-2 tbsp more of orange juice.
6. Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan, smooth top and bake in preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes until cake is well risen, deep golden brown and deeper brown around the edges. It might have a crack in the middle but this will be hidden when you invert the cake.
7. Remove from oven and leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then use a spatula or thin knife to release all edges of cake.
8. Turn cake out of pan onto plate. There is no need to let cake cool further.
9. Make syrup by dissolving sugar slowly in orange juice, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly and add alcohol.
8 Pour half of prepared syrup into Bundt pan and return cake to Bundt pan. (no need to wash pan first). Pour remaining syrup over cake and leave in pan for about 10 minutes until cake has absorbed all juice.
9 Turn out onto serving plate and leave to finish cooling. This cake does not need cream, but my mother would smother the cake in sweetened whipped cream and toasted almonds. Also try garnishing with canned mandarin oranges or fresh oranges with all skin removed.
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Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers a Personal Chef service, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, and makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.