Last Christmas (it’s hard to write that without singing aloud), I received a copy of The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. It’s a huge book with pages and pages of recipes, tips and techniques to use in the kitchen.
The main reason I wanted the book is because my favourite blog Hint of Vanilla has referenced the book a lot in her recipes. Her blog is absolutely wonderful and the patisserie she creates is amazing. So I wondered if there were any secrets hidden in this book that might help me.
It’s a fantastic book, although I’ll be honest I’m used to working in grams and the focus in this book is mainly in ounces. Whilst both amounts are included, you need a set of digital scales because this cake has amounts like 468g and 562g, I didn’t want to risk rounding them up or down, so I just used them as instructed and the cake turned out perfectly.
This is the first item I’ve made in my brand new AEG SteamBake oven and it helped to produce a perfect cake. The steam function has become available because of it’s success in professional kitchens and bakeries. AEG will now have SteamBake technology as standard in all of their new multi-function ovens from June 2016.
The SteamBake function couldn’t be simpler, you just add 100ml of water to the cavity in the bottom of your oven, set the oven to ‘True Fan Cooking’ press the ‘SteamBake’ button and select the desired temperature. The oven will beep when it has got up to temperature and you can begin cooking. It can be used for a whole of host of baked goods from bread, pastry and even Yorkshire pudding.
I was lucky enough to have a demonstration of the AEG SteamBake ovens at The Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School in London. Richard Burr of The Great British Bake Off demonstrated how to use the ovens and cooked an array of tarts, breads and Yorkshire pudding canapes.
This rum bundt cake or tortuga rum cake comes from the Caribbean and whilst delicious it has a lot of rum in it. The cake is baked with rum, soaked with rum after baking and then covered in a rum glaze. If you wait 24 hours to eat this cake, the ground almonds soak up all of that rum syrup and the cake becomes moist and doughnut like. It’s completely delicious.
I’m not entirely sure how authentic the recipe in The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook is, but it tastes amazing. You need to use dark rum for this and try not to scrimp on the cost. I used Havana Club 7 year old and you can really taste it in the finished cake.
The cake also has a crunchy sugar crust because the bundt tin (or kugelhopf which I used) is coated in butter and granulated sugar before placing it in the fridge to harden up. This adds another texture to the cake along with the icing and rich centre.
This makes a really big cake, so you’ll have lots to share round. I made the batter in my KitchenAid and it nearly filled it! So you will need a big bowl and a strong arm if you don’t use a food mixer for this, but it’s worth it.
As I know none of you will have a SteamBake oven, I have included the baking instructions for an oven without this technology in the recipe below.
- ***Rum Cake***
- 468g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 562g Granulated Sugar
- 468g Ground Almonds
- 150g Plain Flour
- 562g Eggs (Approx 10 eggs)
- 75ml Dark Rum
- ***Rum Syrup***
- 50ml Dark Rum
- 50g Granulated Sugar
- 50ml Water
- ***Rum Icing***
- 180g Icing Sugar
- 15ml Dark Rum
- 15ml Water
- Preheat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/325F. Brush the bundt pan with butter and refrigerate to harden the butter. After about 15 mins, take the bundt pan from the fridge and place a large spoonful of granulated sugar in the pan. Rotate the pan until there is an even coverage of sugar, tip away any excess sugar.
- Sieve the ground almonds and plain flour into a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- Add the sugar and mix until fluffy, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
- Turn the mixer to a low speed and add a third of the eggs, mix until just combined, scrape down the bowl and add the remaining eggs.
- The mixture will be really runny and fully mixed, be sure not to over mix the eggs. Add the flour a third at a time.
- Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all of the dry ingredients, when fully mixed take 250g of the batter and stir in 75ml of the rum, mix until fully combined.
- Add the batter and rum mix to the cake and stir well with a spatula, don't be alarmed if the finished mixture is not smooth.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared bundt tin, spreading the mixture round as evenly as possible. Tap the tin on the worktop to ensure it's distributed evenly and move the tin bake and forth to distribute the batter evenly.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Set the pan on a cooling tray and leave for 10 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make the rum syrup by boiling the sugar and water together until all of the sugar has dissolved. Add 50ml of rum and leave to cool.
- Turn the cake out onto the cake rack, placed over a baking tray or some greaseproof paper and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the cake evenly with the rum syrup and allow to cool completely.
- To make the rum icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the water and dark rum, mix until the icing is smooth, place the bundt on a cake stand or plate and spoon or pour the glaze over the bundt.
- The cake is better the next day when the ground almonds have had a chance to soak in the rum. In an airtight container this cake keeps well for 5 days.
I’ll go into more detail about the AEG SteamBake oven on the blog and try to show you the difference by producing some bakes without steam and some with SteamBake so that we can all compare how much steam helps with your baking.
If you have any questions about the new oven, SteamBake technology or the delicious rum bundt, let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.