Rum and kahlua cake

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In honor of fat tuesday and mardi gras, I wanted to give some booze to my fellow coworkers. Well, perhaps indirectly in a form of bundt cake.  Who says you can’t eat your cake and drink it too? So, make this cake and lift everyone’s spirits.

I did not want to make an all rum cake since I was given some kahula.  Besides, I finally had a reason to use up the Appleton Jamaican rum I got on our vacation to Jamaica awhile ago.   I had a lot of positive comments regarding this cake.  It even tasted better than the Tortuga cake from the caribbean.  I usually would bring rum cake from the caribbean places that I visited it.  I would haggle to get a good price.  Hey, I just love to haggle period.  Well, no more searching the tourist shops for me,  but you want a bite of this, you may try to haggle a slice from me!

So, add some booze to your life and share it if you feel like it (or if there are still some left)



This recipe is actually from a cake mix that has been jazzed up.  I am usually not fan of cake mix but somehow it works for this recipe.

Rum cake:

Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix

1 small pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding ( I used french vanilla flavor)

4 Eggs

½ C Meyer’s white Rum (I used 1/4 c of rum and 1/4 c of kahula)

½ C Vegetable Oil

½ C Water

 In electric mixer, beat eggs; add the remaining cake ingredients beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.  Pour into a well greased Bundt pan and bake at 350⁰ for about 50 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.


1 stick (8 Tbsp) Butter

¼ C Meyer’s dark Rum

½ C Water

1 C Sugar

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then stir in the remaining ingredients; boil for 3 minutes.

Pour over the warm cake still in the Bundt pan.

Cool for 1 hour before removing.

This cake is best on the second day.

Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing

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They say that you revert back to a child as you get older.  I recently found this to be true since I am suddenly into peanut butter (and jelly) lately.  I would make a PBJ sandwich for my son and eat half of it before handing it to him.  There is just something about that sticky peanut butter on the roof of your mouth that is so satisfying.

With that, I decided to take my new found love for peanut butter and combine it with my true love: chocolate.  Just don’t speak of this in front of my hubby.  But, I think he is starting to realize that he cannot compete with chocolate.  Just like a reeses peanut butter cup,  this cupcake is a combo made in heaven.

I feel that the slight saltiness from the peanut butter enhances the sweetness from the chocolate cupcake.  To take it a notch up, I garnish this little babies with a few caramel balls.  Now, that is like a red cherry on top of a great dessert.



Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing (source: Barefoot Contessa)

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Peanut Butter Icing:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

fruit tart

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I tried to be a bit fancy by making a fruit tart.  I thought I would give pie or tart making a try.  I must admit that making pie crust is not my forte.  Somehow, the simplest thing is the hardest for me.  The crust is made of ground almonds and it was sort of like a cookie crust.  The crust was crumbly as I tried to roll it with my rolling pin.  So, I gave up and press it directly into my tart pan.   Admittedly, I need to work on the crust so that it does not break so easily.  However, the pastry cream was divine.  It was not overly sweet but it was not firm enough.  I must say that tart is not a dessert that is easily sliced and serve.  Although it makes a beautiful dessert, it is a pain to slice. So, I thought of putting the broken crust and the cream into a individual parfait.  Am I not a genius?  I must say that small desserts are great way to cover up mishaps.  Other examples is using the brownie edges or any broken cookies as desserts jars as well.