Chocolate Rum Birthday Cake

I made this for my dad’s birthday the other day.  I wasn’t sure how the kids would like it because of the rum, but it was a hit with them too.  It’s safe, though, because the baking process removes most of the alcohol.

I found the recipe years ago in a magazine, calling for strong coffee rather than rum.  I’ve been making it that way for years, and recently tried it with rum – they’re both great!

What you need:

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup cocoa, sifted

1/2 tsp salt

5 eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 & 1/4 cups sugar, divided

2/3 cup rum (or strong coffee)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the icing:

2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup cocoa, sifted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

What you do:

1.  Prepare two 8-inch round pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper or wax paper.  Cut them into circles so they fit right in the bottom of the pans.  Don’t grease the sides of the pan – the cake needs to be able to cling to the sides of the pan so it can rise properly.  This is why I prefer to use pans that don’t have a non-stick coating.  Preheat the oven to 325F.

2.  Combine flour, cocoa and salt.

3.  In a large bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar, then gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form and set aside.

4.  Beat the egg yolks and the other 3/4 cup of sugar until it turns very light in colour.  Stir in the rum and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients.

5.  Fold the mixture into the egg whites.

6.  Pour the batter into the pans, then bake immediately for 35-40 minutes.  Test the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.  If not, it needs a few more minutes.

7.  After removing from the oven, allow cakes to rest for 10 minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge and invert onto wire racks to cool.

8.  To make the icing, place the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a bit of a stir.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, then beat until stiff.  Ice the cake, then refrigerate before serving.  This one is best served straight out of the fridge so the whipping cream doesn’t get too soft.

Don’t forget the candles!

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