I'm happy to say that my maple rum concoction was delicous. It was rich, but, so so good. The vegans and non-vegans alike seemed very happy with it. I'd definately make it again for a special occation...right now I'm thinking it should be Christmas dessert because that would mean I can make it (and eat it!) again in a few weeks.
As per several requests yesterday, I wrote up the recipe in a more standard format. Since I might put this in my cookzine, I looked up stuff about tortes (that's what the recipe that gave me the inspiration for this called it) and I think that this not really a torte. Tortes seem to involve fruit and nuts ...so I guess it's just a cake; little less sexy, but I'll err on the side of accuracy. Now I want to make a real torte though.
One thing that I would change when making this again, as I've noted in the recipe, is that I would add another tablespoon of rum. When I made the mixture it seemed like it might be too strong, but when it all came together the rum flavor got a little lost. I think the little extra rum would have really been good. Of course, you can drink rum while eating it, which would take care of things.
This might look like an unbearably long process, but it's really not too bad. Enjoy!
Maple Rum Cake
Stage One: Bake a Cake
2 “eggs” worth of egg replacer
2 ⅔ cups unbleached white flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ cup room temp. margarine
1 ¼ cup soymilk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Set oven to 375.
Mix up egg replacer and set aside (I use Energy Egg Replacer. As it sits, it will gel up a little, you want it to have thickened like that before adding it to the batter.)
Shift the dry ingredients together and set aside
In a separate large bowl, cream the sugar and margarine. (This is easiest if the margarine is room temp. Use a fork and mash the sugar and margarine together until smooth) Add the vanilla when smooth.
Alternate between adding the wet ingredients (soymilk and egg replacer) and the dry mixture to the creamed margarine, stirring it all in until the batter is smooth.
Pour into one oiled pan or divide the batter between two pans and bake for 35-40 minutes (less if the batter is divided between two pans, more like 30 mins.)
When a fork comes out clean, remove from oven and set on a rack to cook in the pan for about 10 mins. Then gently tap the sides and bottom of the pan to loosen the cake before inverting it on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting (a cake can hold heat inside of it for longer than you might think. If you frost before it’s completely cooled the frosting is likely to melt and it will generally be harder to get nice smooth coverage.)
If you’ve made one cake, cut it in half. I do this by gently pulling unflavored dental floss through the cake. It tends to give me an evener cut than if I do it with a knife.
Stage Two: Rum.
¼ cup maple syrup
2-3 Tablespoons dark rum (I used 2 this time, I’d use 3 next for a slightly stronger flavor)
In a small saucepan heat the maple syrup to boiling. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat and stir in the rum.
With a pastry brush (grab one for a buck at the store—they are very useful for baking, and brushing oil on for grilling, broiling, etc.) brush the maple rum mixture onto the sides and tops of the cake. Continue brushing it on until all the mixture has been used up.
Stage Three: “Buttercream”
1 cup margarine (typically I used a hydrogenated margarine like Willow Run, but I used Earth Balance “Buttery Sticks” this time with good results)
1 16oz. bag of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
a little dash of rum
maple syrup added until smooth
Combine margarine, powdered sugar, vanilla and rum in a food processor and mix (I’ve used a blender too—harder, but you can get it to work.) Slowly add maple syrup until the mixture is smooth, spreadable, but still stiff.
Spread the buttercream on top of one of the cakes and then set the other half on top of it. Continue frosting the tops and sides. It is best to frost right after you’ve mixed up the buttercream. I use a butter knife and smooth it on evenly. Set some buttercream aside for decorations if desired.
Stage Four: Chill
Put the frosted cake in the freezer for an hour.
Stage Five: Ganache
About 10 minutes before taking the cake out of the freezer make the ganache.
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup soymilk
Melt the chocolate chips. This can be done over the stove by heating up water in one saucepan and resting another saucepan with the chocolate in the hot water or the chocolate can be melted in a microwave.
With a fork, mix the chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
Slowly add the soymilk to the chocolate and stir until smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Stage Six: Final Touches
Remove the cake from the freezer. Carefully pour the ganache onto the center of the cake. As it pools it should spread itself out pretty evenly and drip down the sides of the cake, if not, you can help it along by spreading it with a butter knife or spatula.
Allow the ganache to firm before adding any final decorations.
On an unrelated to maple rum torte note: I was recently gifted with a flickr "pro", which while I'm no pro is really nice to have. It allows for greater organization of photos, so I've created a folder for my cakes, general food pictures and I just did a set of all the food from our recent Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I have the folders up I am going to try to take more pictures of the food I make, so if anyone is interested they can check out food pics here: My Flickr