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Soaked in liqueur, these cake will keep ... under the tree or in the mail.

Soaked in liqueur, these cakes will keep . . . under the tree or in the mail

Rich cakes soaked in liqueur can be a delightful surprise this holiday season. Because they store well unrefrigerated, they make perfect gifts to leave under the tree or to send to loved ones in distant places. Each recipe makes four cakes.

You start by baking vanilla or chocolate pound cakes in loaf pans. Then pour sugar syrup, flavored with your choice of liqueurs --including almond, hazelnut, coffee, chocolate, or orange--or rum over the top. For cakes of different flavors, you can divide the syrup recipe and use different liqueurs. Cakes will absorb all the syrup within minutes.

Eat right away or store (as directed on page 157) for later enjoyment. Cakes taste best at room temperature but will keep longer in the refrigerator. To send by mail, wrap each cake securely to prevent liqueur from leaking, then pack in a sturdy box or gift tin; wrap with heavy brown paper and reinforced tape, and mark as perishable.

Liqueur Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

3 3/4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups cake flour

Liqueur syrup (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until creamy. Sift powdered sugar; gradually add to butter, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Gradually mix cake flour into creamed mixture.

Butter 4 loaf pans, each about 3 1/2 by 7 inches. Dust pans with flour. Scrape the batter evenly into pans; smooth the top surfaces.

Bake in a 300| oven until a slender wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each pan and turn cake out; immediately return cake to pan. With a slender wooden skewer or a fork, poke 1-inch-deep holes, about 1/2 inch apart, all over top of cakes. Immediately pour an equal amount of syrup over each cake. Let cool on a rack about 30 minutes.

Remove from pan and serve; or wrap securely and store in a cool area up to 2 weeks, in the refrigerator up to 1 month, or in the freezer up to 6 months. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 4 cakes, 4 to 6 servings each.

Liqueur syrup. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water. Set over medium-high heat and stir slowly until mixture simmers. Continue heating, without stirring, until mixture boils. Cover and boil until sugar dissolves and liquid is clear, about 1 minute. (If you don't cover the pan and if you stir while the syrup boils, crunchy sugar crystals will form in the finished cake.)

Remove from heat and uncover; let stand to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/4 cups rum, or almond-, hazelnut-, or orange-flavored liqueur. Use; or cool, cover, and let stand at room temperature up to overnight. Makes 3 1/2 cups syrup.

Chocolate Liqueur Pound Cake

Prepare liqueur pound cake, preceding, but decrease powdered sugar to 3 cups (12 oz.). Combine the sugar and the butter, then add 5 ounces melted semisweet chocolate. Cakes develop a thin crisp top crust as they bake.

Prepare liqueur syrup as directed, preceding, but decrease water to 1/2 cup, and increase rum or liqueur to 1 1/2 cups. Options include almond-, hazelnut-, orange-, coffee-, and chocolate-flavored liqueur. As syrup soaks through cake, the top crust softens.

Photo: Individually wrapped cakes (above) are ready for giving. Make them ahead and wrap securely to keep in syrup. To serve, cut the tender vanilla pound cake (left) into moist, liqueur-soaked slices

Photo: Pour liqueur-flavored syrup over hot cakes. One recipe makes four small loaves, so you'll have plenty to share
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Dec 1, 1986
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