Sunday, 11 May 2008

But Why Is The Rum Gone?

And just like that, school is over for good. I'm not even going to go into all the emotions and exhaustion and tearful hugging, but I will tell you the following: the boys' toilets are no longer the mystery they once were, likewise neither are the interiors of icecream vans, and candyfloss is very, very good (and can be added to the food-on-a-stick revolution: pure sugar on a stick! Why didn't I think of it earlier?).

Basically, I apologise in advance for any nostalgia that creeps into this post. Also I'm finding it slightly hard to concentrate, since the group outside the pub next door is singing loudly, 'YOU WASH YER FACE... YOU WASH YER ARSE-ENAL!' and it's a bit distracting. Not to mention oddly catchy.

This chocolate rum cake is a tradition among my friends and I - any momentous occassion (and some less momentous one - 'LET'S HAVE CAKE MONDAY IN THE COMMON ROOM!') has seen my friend Ed whipping one out of thin air. I'll never forget the first time - it was the last day of fifth year (when the usual school rules didn't seem to apply ^__^), and we got very silly on chocolate rum cake in our Art lesson (I have the notes from the time; Ed filled an entire page with 'rum rum rum' and announced that I hoovered up crumbs 'with [my] long proboscis'. Let me make it clear that I have no proboscis). Of course, Ed's recipe did differ a bit from the printed one:

'I put in the amount of rum it said... and then it didn't look like much so I put in a bit more. And then a bit extra for luck. And I put a bit more in the icing as well; and then as I was putting it all together I realised I had a bit left over... so I poured the rest of the bottle over the top.'

I have never eaten a more potent cake in my life XD. We couldn't let the teachers have any when they asked because it would be the equivalent of drinking on the job.

When it came to Leavers' Day, it was going to be difficult for Ed to bring one in, so I volunteered to make the rum cake (it was inconceivable for us not to have one) to eat at our barbeque in the evening. Obviously I a) bore the above approach in mind and b) knew this cake had to be a good one.

It's worrying when your friendship is symbolised by a chocolate rum cake, but to be honest, this cake is practically one of the gang.

Chocolate Rum Cake
Recipe from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book
As made by my friend Ed, many, many times.

For the cake:
200g plain choc, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter, cubed
3 eggs, separated
100g dark muscovado sugar
50ml dark rum
75g self raising flour
50g ground almonds

For the filling and icing:
225g plain choc, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter, cubed
about 4tbsp apricot jam, warmed
(I used raspberry since my dad had apparently eaten the apricot X__X)

For the chocolate ganache for piping (optional):
175g plain choc, broken into pieces
4 tbsp single cream
50g butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp rum

If you are Ed:
much more rum.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease/line a 20cm (8") deep round cake tin.

1. Melt the chocolate and butter slowly in a bowl (either in the microwave or over a pan of hot water) and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl till pale and creamy then add the cooled chocolate mixture and rum, mixing well. Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then lightly fold into the mixture. Turn into the prepared tin and gently level the surface (alternatively you could use two tins to save you having to slice the cake in half once it's baked).

3. Bake for about 45 mins or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes. If you are Ed, use a cocktail stick or skewer to make little holes all over the surface of the cake while it's still in the tin and pour more rum over it, but if you don't have an alcohol problem you can skip this. Turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

4. For the filling and icing, melt the chocolate, add the cubed butter, and stir until the mixture has the consistency of thick pouring cream. Split the cake in half horizontally (or if you made two, whatever), and use a little of the icing to fill it.

5. Warm the jam and push it through a sieve. Brush this over the top and sides of the cake and allow to set before pouring the icing over. Smooth evenly with a palette knife and leave to set.

6. If you want to make chocolate ganache to pipe rosettes around the cake (that was the plan, anyway; my piping bag exploded halfway through so I just dolloped blobs on and swirled them around to pretend they were meant to be that way); melt the chocolate and cream together then beat in the butter a little at a time. Beat in the egg yolks and rum and leave until cool and firm, stirring occasionally (this takes at least an hour in the fridge, let me warn you). When firm enough to hold its shape, spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle (pfft) and pipe rosettes of ganache to decorate.

Cool kids; I really am going to miss you guys so much in the autumn. We'll have to have alcohol/sugar-based reunions every other weekend XD. Love you all. ♥


test it comm said...

That chocolate cake looks so good! All of the rum in it sounds good as well.

Ginny said...

Looks amazing! Congrats on finishing school! :)

Anonymous said...

Fancy having a gorgeous cake as part of the gang! Sounds like an official rite of passage, somehow :P

Congrats on finishing school :)

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I love chocolate and rum together! Great combo!

Jerry said...

Congrats! And there is no better way to celebrate than with cake!
P.S. loved the pub chant you heard, sharing it with my non-arsenal friends

Anonymous said...

Wow, oh wow, oh wow...looks and sounds drunkenly delicious. Sign me up!

Pixie said...

First, Congratulations on your Graduation, I'm sure you will be a huge success! And it's cotton candy not candy floss :P

Your cake looks absolutely yummy-no one could resist.

grace said...

first, congratulations!

secondly, and possibly more important, what a stellar cake. the words dense and delicious and drool (and drunkard) come to mind. :)

Abitofafoodie said...

Congratulations on finishing school. I'm sure you have an exceptionally bright future ahead!!

This cake looks like the perfect way to celebrate and I'm slightly sorry that you didn't save a slice for me...

Anonymous said...

The cake was GORGEOUS Moomin =) Ah I do remember that time in Art...but as I recall we did feed it to one of the teachers n there was an exclamation of "is there -alcohol- in this cake?!?" hehe!
LOVE YOU muchly
PS. How goes the training of owls??

Maria♥ said...

Indigo looks absolutely delicious!!Anything involving Chocolate is the best way for a girl to celebrate!!


MrsB said...

your cake looks amazing! I bet your school mates loved it! Well done on finishing school! I loved my last day at school, it was awesom! I've added you to my blog roll! Save me some rum cake!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

first things first: what were you doing in the boys' toliets, and aren't they gross?!? i have never been inside an iceceam van, so i am a little jealous.

that cake looks sooo good! hope you had a happy graduation (how could you not with all that booze?)!

Gigi said...

Delicious! What a great way to end your school year. Here's to future full of happiness, good friends, and may your rum bottle never be empty.

Congrats on finishing school!

Anna said...

Thanks everyone! Particularly everyone who said congratulations on leaving school, hee ^__^.

Jerry - there are more pub chants where that one came from XD.

Pixie - cotton candy?! Pfft. We won't have any of that round here =P

Grace - you get bonus points for alliteration XD.

Ni - hello doll! Haha yeah I don't know how they noticed. The owls are doing beautifully... we had a few setbacks when they got a little tiddled on rum cake but we're back on track now.

Mrs B - thanks so much for adding me to your blog roll!

Steph - YES. They are ridiculously gross, haha. I don't see the point of urinals - there are toilets there! Why don't they use them?! Do they just want to pee in front of each other?!? But the icecream van was brilliant ^__^.

Gigi - haha, I love the 'may your rum bottle never be empty' wellwishing; thanks so much!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Heh. Wicked in every way. With cakes like this binding you lot together, your reunions will go on for many years, I'm sure ;)

Rosie said...

OMG this cake looks amazing Indigo!! All that rum inside it HAS to be excellent way to celebrate finishing school :)

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA That cake is better known to me than the majority of our casual acquaintances.

Top stuff *two thumbs up!*

Also liking the incorporation of the leavers pic, I reckon you just got about 500 more hits from cooks with st. trinians fetishes


p.s. emotional day indeed! :p

Anonymous said...

OMG I AM IN ONE OF THE PICTURES I CAN SEE MY RING!!!!!! I feel so happy now. Love you, love your cake. Gxxxxx

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA I spelt my own name wrong. Oh dear.

Ed said...

Anna Elizabeth Hoopoe Banana Sloth Broster.

I can't quite believe I'd forgotten about this page, you've indirectly nearly choked me for the laughter! The long proboscis, genius, the copious notes on rum all over my books, I'll never forget. Chocolately times, Good times, drunken times!