My mom’s 60th birthday was yesterday, December 21st and we kicked it off (and her time in Vancouver) with a surprize visit from my sister, a trip to Cavalia’s Odysseo and dinner at Sula. It was an incredible day, and truly it was also a celebration of my mom’s retirement which began on Thursday! Odysseo was incredible, the horses were beautiful and so well trained. There were often 20 horses on the stage and as many people, moving around without problem. The acrobatics were incredible, as is to be expected from a Cirque du Soliel show. The set was incredible, with a hill climbing up the back, the set was like a real field. It’s hard to describe the vastness of the set, but trust me, it was amazing and I would recommend anyone to go.
Also, and probably most importantly, after my sister, mom, and I finished our dinner, Kellie went up to pay for her part while I went to the washroom. Kellie mentioned that I, her sister, would be paying the other half. The cashier said, “Oh nice, are you all sisters?” Well my mom was just tickled! She does look young for 60, and clearly they thought she was young enough to be a sister to us, her daughters in their 20’s! There mom, now EVERYONE knows!
So The Kraken rum is dark, smooth, and almost most importantly, comes in a gorgeous bottle. The design and the name inspired my purchase but the rum inspired my baking. I love rum cake. The first time I tried it was a few years ago when a colleague came back from some rum-producing nation and baked us a batch. It was heaven and I’ve made it a couple of times since then. But, baking for a large group means that cakes aren’t particularly fun to haul around, so I tend to cupcake things that might not normally be cupcaked. This is one of those times. Also, full pun-credit must go to Genesis, he is the one who masterminded the Kraken pun. He is also very handsome, this may or may not be unrelated.
Adapted from this all-homemade recipe for Rum Cake.
- 3/4 cup walnuts, crushed
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 tbsp + 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil (low flavour), separated
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup DIY vanilla instant pudding mix (or packaged mix)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup dark rum (The Kraken)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin, and distribute a layer of crushed walnuts (making sure to keep enough for other rounds).
- Cupcakes: In a large bowl cream the sugar and the butter. Add the oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt combining until evenly distributed. Mix in the pudding mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, water, rum, vanilla, and remaining oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well. The batter will be smooth, thinnish, and will pour easily.
- Ladle (a new trick that I should’ve discovered years ago) into the prepared cupcake liners, about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cupcakes comes up clean.
- While the cupcakes cool on a rack, prepare the rum syrup.
- Rum syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the rum, butter, water, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over, it will bubble a lot.
- Place copious amounts of wax paper under your cupcakes, or even better, a baking sheet (to catch the excess syrup). Spoon the hot rum syrup over the cupcakes and let soak for 8 hours (overnight).
Rummed and ready for the oven.
Release the KRAKEN! (into my belly!)