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Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystal Rum Glaze

Updated February 23, 2016
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This inviting holiday cake is the next best thing to eggnog in a cup. The dense yet tender cake showcases the incomparable flavor of eggnog, while rum, nutmeg, and currants add a complementary dimension. Bake it in your favorite patterned Bundt pan, and brush the warm cake with the rum glaze. As the cake cools, the crystallized topping clings attractively to the crevices, creating a special effect.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free

Equipmentelectric mixer

Mealdinner, tea

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturefruity, light, spiced, sweet, winey

Type of Dishcake

Ingredients

  • Scant ½ cup (2¼ ounces/65 grams) dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or water
  • 3 cups (13¾ ounces/390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (14 ounces/400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (8 fl ounces/240 ml) store-bought refrigerated (rather than canned) eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (5¼ ounces/150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

Before baking:

In a small bowl, combine the currants and rum and set aside to macerate for 15 minutes. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F if the pan has a dark finish).

Butter a 10 by 3-inch Bundt pan, lightly coat it with nonstick spray, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Or, butter and flour a 10 by 4¼-inch tube pan with or without a removable bottom. If the pan has an intricate design or detail, iI take extra precaution, spreading it first with solid vegetable shortening, followed by a coating of nonstick spray, and then a dusting of flour to ensure the finished cake releases in one piece. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.

To make the cake:

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in four additions alternately with the eggnog in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition until incorporated.

Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla during the final moments of mixing. Detach the paddle and bowl from the mixer, and tap the paddle against the side of the bowl to free the excess batter.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the currants and any remaining rum. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the spatula.

Bake the cake just until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center and the sides are beginning to come away from the pan, 55 to 65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.

To make the Crystal Rum Glaze:

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rum, and water and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended.

Without delay, tilt and rotate the cake pan while gently tapping it on a counter to release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the pan. Slide a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the glaze. Using a pastry brush, coat the top and sides of the warm cake with all of the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

To serve, slide the base of a tart pan, a small rimless baking sheet, or a large offset spatula under the cake and carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Cut the cake into thin slices with a sharp or serrated knife.

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