Here we are again with another Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. This weeks recipe is Rum-drenched Vanilla Cakes that Wendy of Pink Stripes picked. Please be sure to drop by her blog and check out the great pictures of her version...yummy!
I had every intention of making this as the recipe is written. That is my usual routine. I don't often vary from the instructions. I am not that adventurous. At least not when it comes to baking. But, I guess the past year or so that I have been baking with TWD has loosened me up a bit. I have come to realize, mostly from reading the posts of other TWD bakers, that it is not only okay to vary from the recipe, sometimes it can be fun.
Take this recipe. As I mentioned, I was going to play it safe and make this as Dorie suggests. However, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the dark rum...I stumbled upon a bottle of hazelnut syrup I had in the pantry. That made me go "hmmmm". I know the hubby isn't crazy about rum in baked goods. I have tried it a couple of times and he says he can taste it and doesn't like it. So, when I saw the bottle of hazelnut syrup I thought "why not?". In addition to the syrup I decided to toast some hazelnuts I had and add them to the batter.
I followed the recipe exactly for everything else, only I halved it and baked just one cake rather than two. I had some vanilla sugar on hand that I made a while back with some vanilla beans I had and I used it in the recipe.
I loved how wonderful it smelled while it was baking. I did have to tent it after about 30 minutes of baking as it seemed to be browning rather quickly.
When it was out of the oven I poked holes all over with a wooden skewer and then brushed about 1/3 cup of the hazelnut syrup over the top. Then I was struck with a ingenious idea...Nutella!! I got out my jar (I always have a jar on hand) and spread a little over the top of the still warm cake.
The verdict? The flavor was fabulous...nutty and buttery with the flavor of vanilla mingling throughout. The texture was terrific. A nice tight crumb, moist and tender. The crust around the edges and sides had a nice crunch to it. I ate a small slice and then decided that I should eat another one, just to be sure it really was okay. :)
I can see making this one again. Next time I will bake two loaves. Swing by TWD and see what everyone else thought of this one.