Monday, June 23, 2008

A Birthday and a Trip to Paradise

I must say, life has become a little different now that I am all grown up and living on my own. Signs of adulthood are definitely seeping their way into my life. Today is my 24th birthday and I just can't believe how quickly time has passed. I remember being a little girl, seeing women who were around the age of 24 and just being in awe. I was so envious of them, I wanted to be grown up and where high heels, drive a car, have a job, and be able to do "grown up" things. I feel, in a way, I cheated myself out of childhood because I wanted to grow up so badly. And now that I'm grown up, it's not all it's cracked up to be :)

My younger days were spent worrying about who I would hang out with at recess, whether or not I should spend my allowance on the Boys II Men C.D., and making sure to get all the Disney character's autographs every summer that we went to Disneyworld. Now, being a grown-up, my yearly family vacations have come to an end :( With everybody working it's so hard to coordinate schedules, and to find somewhere to go that fits into every one's budget. So although this year had some great milestones, it also brought up milestones that I never thought I would've encountered.

Seeing as how I badly need a vacation and don't have the time, the money or the company to go with, I made myself a little mini vacation to Jamaica...and I didn't even have to leave my apartment! I had recently purchased "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" and saw a great recipe for a Banana Rum Cake. So I figured that if I can't go to Jamaica I would bring Jamaica to me. This cake was my saving grace for my stint of adulthood depression, and one I'm sure I will turn to frequently as the years start accumulating!

Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor

Dark Rum Glaze
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c water
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c dark rum
(I was short on time when making this recipe so I actually made a glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and some rum)

1 1/2c toasted chopped pecans
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 c sugar
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temp
1 c mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp dark rum
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c sour cream

For Glaze
Combine butter, water and sugars in heavy bottomed saucepan over med-high heat and bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat, stir in rum, set aside and keep warm.

For Cake
Position rack in middle of oven, preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-cup tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle pecans in bottom of pan and set aside.

In large bowl with an electric mixer set on med speed, beat butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in mashed bananas, vanilla and rum. Sift flour, baking soda and powder, and salt over the batter and fold in using a rubber spatula, just until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in sour cream. Spoon batter over nuts in the pan and spread to the edge using the back of a rubber spatula.

Bake until wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 60-80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Use wooden skewers to poke holes all over the cake and pour 1/4 c of glaze over the cake. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes more. Place a serving platter of the cake and invert to release the cake onto the platter. Spoon the remaining glaze over the cake, a little at a time, and let stand until the glaze is completely absorbed in the cake. As the glaze hardens, this will encase the cake in a rummy, sugary shell.

Let the cake cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving. This cake will last 2 to 3 days when covered well.

1 comment:

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Happy Birthday! You gave yourself one hell of a b-day get-away! That cake looks and sounds gorgeous!