I like the idea of eggnog, but when push comes to shove, I decline a glass of the creamy stuff every time it’s offered to me. When I was younger, I used to get really nauseous whenever I thought about eggnog. Something about its texture and thick nature made me gag. It probably didn’t help that the only people I saw drinking eggnog were my annoying teachers who thought wearing ugly Christmas sweaters to school was really cool. These teachers also didn’t seem to understand that wearing socks with Birkenstocks was rather tragic and pointless, and that deodorant is a necessity, not just a privilege.
I guess you can understand why I avoided eggnog like the plague.
But, after reading the recipe for Flo Baker’s Eggnog Poundcake, I decided to toss my nog bias out the window and try it out.And man, am I glad that I did because this cake totally rocked my world. Who knew that eggnog could work as such a fantastic baking ingredient. Well, I guess others have found out about its hidden talent, but I am here to join the bandwagon.
Don’t know what eggnog is? Yes, me either. That’s why I am so grateful for the folks at Cookthink for properly schooling me about this delicious seasonal treat. A blend of eggs, sugar, cream, and liquor, it practically screams “BAKE ME!”
While this cake takes a little time to put together, it is completely worth it. Putting the cake together isn’t a tedious process (especially when you compare it to making éclairs or something) but it dirties a lot of pans and makes for big cleanup patrol. But the minute the cake appears out of your oven, you won’t care. Actually, the minute the cake’s scent fills your kitchen, you will forget all about the flour and sugar on your kitchen floor, or the screaming children in the other room, or the annoying roommate clanking away. All your sense will be glued to the cake in the oven. Consider it a moment of zen.
And don’t forget about the rum. Ah yes, R-U-M. Who knew three letters could evoke such warm feelings… While you can’t make out the rum flavor in the actual cake, it definitely makes its presence known. As you bite into the soft cake, you will be wondering, “What IS that?!” And then proceed to eat more and more.
Instead of making one big cake, I used some foil loaf pans so I could gift wrap these cakes and send them on their merry ways to loved ones. Pound cakes are notorious for standing the test of time and in fact, they get better with each passing day. On the second or third day, the cake becomes more dense and moist, but not heavy. The crumbs tighten and soften at the same time. Am I making any sense? It’s hard explaining baking magic. All I know is that I could barely resist these little loaves after a couple of days. Good thing I gift wrapped my big loaf cake or else it would’ve been devoured in between paper presentations. I didn’t make the crystal rum glaze because shipping the cakes with the glaze would be all bad, but I can only imagine how yummy the cake would be with just a drizzle of this hot, sugary rum glaze.
While I still can’t stomach it on my own (the mere idea of an Eggnog latte from Starbucks makes my stomach churn) I will use it much more frequently in baked goods, especially around this time of the year. I’m thinking about making eggnog cupcakes or an eggnog cheesecake. The possibilities are endless.
Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystal Rum Glaze
Origin: Baking for All Occasions:A Treasury of Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Flo Baker
Yield: Makes one 10-inch tube cake, 20 servings (3 thin slices per serving)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 to 65 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 10 minutes
● 1/2 cup dried currants
● 2 tbsp. dark rum or water
● 3 cups all-purpose flour
● 2 tsp. baking powder
● 1/4 tsp. salt
● 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
● 8 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
● 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
● 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
● 1 cup
● (8 fluid ounces) store-bought refrigerated (rather than canned) eggnog
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the crystal rum glaze:
● 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
● 2 tbsp. dark rum
● 2 tbsp. water
1. In a small bowl, combine the currants and rum and set aside to macerate for 15 minutes. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) or 325°F (160°C) if the pan has a dark finish). Butter a 10-by-3-inch Bundt pan, lightly coat it with nonstick spray, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Or, butter and flour a 10-by-4 1/4-inch tube pan with or without a removable bottom. If the pan has an intricate design or detail, I take extra precaution, spreading it first with solid vegetable shortening, followed by a coating of nonstick spray, and then a dusting of flour to ensure the finished cake releases in one piece. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in four additions alternately with the eggnog in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition until incorporated. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla during the final moments of mixing.
4. Detach the paddle and bowl from the mixer, and tap the paddle against the side of the bowl to free the excess batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the currants and any remaining rum. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the spatula.
5. Bake the cake just until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center and the sides are beginning to come away from the pan, 55 to 65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
Make the crystal rum glaze:
1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rum, and water and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended.
2. Without delay, tilt and rotate the cake pan while gently tapping it on a counter to release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the pan. Slide a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the glaze. Using a pastry brush, coat the top and sides of the warm cake with all of the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving.
3. To serve, slide the base of a tart pan, a small rimless baking sheet, or a large offset spatula under the cake and carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Cut the cake into thin slices with a sharp or serrated knife.