Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com
http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/guest/recipeID/4944/Recipe.cfm

Rum Cake Italian Style

Servings: 12
Comments:
In Italy, cake making is an art and the cakes taste as wonderful as they look. This Italian Rum Cake is one of their specialties. Serve it for birthdays and for other festive celebrations. Decorate the top with whipped cream rosettes and put lots of sliced almonds around the sides of the cake for an attractive presentation, or decorate as desired.

Topping the cake with fresh fruit, such as whole strawberries, makes a beautiful look for a centerpiece for your dinner table before serving dessert with coffee or tea.


Ingredients:
Italian Sponge Cake:
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind (optional)

Italian Pastry Cream Pasticciera Cream:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon butter

Chocolate Pasticciera Cream:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
2 ounces baking chocolate, grated
1 tablespoon butter

Rum Syrup:
1/4 cup light or dark rum or 1 tablespoon rum flavoring
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Stabilized Whipped Cream-Corn Syrup Method:
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Stabilized Whip Cream-Gelatin Method:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For Decoration (optional)
Sliced almonds, for decorating sides of cake
Whipped cream, for piping rosettes around top of cake


Instructions:
For the Italian Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Butter and flour two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until lemon colored. Add flour, a little at a time, blending it in well. Add vanilla and lemon rind (if using it).

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into cake mixture.

Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and turn out of pans onto wire racks to cool completely.

Note:
Cakes can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated overnight, or frozen (up to 3 weeks) for future use.

For the Italian Pastry Cream:
Place sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon rind (if using), and vanilla in a saucepan and mix together well.

In a separate saucepan, scald milk. Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point. Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well. Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.

If using as a filling, chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).

For the Chocolate Pastry Cream:
Place sugar, egg yolks flour, and vanilla in a saucepan and mix together well.

In a separate saucepan, scald milk. Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point. Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Add chocolate and while stirring, cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well. Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.

If using as a filling, chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).

For the Rum Syrup:
Note:
If you prefer not to use rum syrup, you may sprinkle/brush cake layers with 1/3 cup rum which has been diluted with 1/4 cup water.

Mix together the water, sugar, and rum in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool before using.

For the Stabilized Whipped Cream-Corn Syrup Method:

In a large chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat cold cream until it just starts to thicken. Add corn syrup and vanilla from the side of the bowl, and beat until stiff peaks form.

For the Stabilized Whipped Cream-Gelatin Method:

Prepare Gelatin:
Soak plain gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Dissolve by placing it in a container over a small pot of simmering water, stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool before using.

In a large well chilled bowl, with well chilled beaters, beat cream with electric mixer. Just before it becomes soft and billowy, slowly add the sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream at the sides of the bowl, continue to whip as you do. Whip the cream until barely stiff.

Add melted and cooled gelatin all at once to cream during whipping. Stop whipping when cream forms soft peaks. Finish beating with whisk to adjust consistency to stiff peaks.

Use or serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.

If peaks have softened during refrigeration, re-whip by hand using a whisk.

Assemble Cake:
Slice sponge cakes in half (horizontally) to form two layers. Using a long, thin bladed knife, cut/split each layer in half lengthwise making four thin layers.

Place bottom sponge layer on platter cut side up, sprinkle/brush with about 1/4 of the rum (be careful not to get the cake too wet, or layers will become soggy). Allow sprinkled/brushed rum to soak into the cake for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle/brush remaining sponge layers (on the cut side) evenly with remaining rum.

Spread a layer of vanilla pastry cream on the first sponge layer.

Top the vanilla cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.

Spread a layer of stabilized whipped cream on the second sponge layer.

Top the whipped cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.

Spread a layer of chocolate pastry cream on the third sponge layer.

Top the chocolate layer with the last layer of sponge cake.

Frost the top sponge cake layer and sides of cake with remaining stabilized whipped cream, and if desired, decorate top of cake by piping rosettes using whipped cream and cover sides of cake with sliced almonds, or decorate as desired. Place cake in refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

Store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe adapted from Recipezaar.com


Date: January 25, 2008