Corduroys, grayish black and cozy as all get out. A flannel shirt with snaps. Snaps. Wool running socks. Large snow flakes. Cold crisp air. A Large Americano. A scarf that matches nothing and clashes with everything but makes me insanely happy for no good reason. Gray skies and a frozen lake. Saturday morning market trips.
Cardigans with pockets. Snowy runs. The Moth podcast and Bob Seger Radio on Spotify. The baying coonhound next door. Lemony hot toddies. Cinnamon sugar toast with browned butter. Horizons that disappear. Scandal and This Old House. Too many books and too little bookshelf space. Dogs with beards and hoping they’re named Wallace or Howard or Frank. Daily journaling. Citrus. Real maraschino cherries.
Just a few things that are making me happy these cold snowy wintery of winter days.
Today I give you Browned Butter Vanilla Rum Bread. And I use the word bread ever so loosely because while it is in the shape of a loaf that is where the similarities halt and where it becomes more of a snacking cake. It’s crumb light and flavor sweet.
It is so much a cake that I refuse to use the word bread any longer. And this is a total lie. But I think it belongs in the list above. Next to the Americano and its crumbs can be found on that scarf. That my friends, is no lie.
- 12 tablespoons butter (1 + ½ sticks)
- 1+1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1+1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons dark rum
- 2 tablespoons water
- ⅛ cup sugar
- ⅛ cup dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan (9x5x3in) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until butter becomes amber in color and the butter solids are golden brown. Its aroma will be nutty. It will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer butter to a heatproof bowl and let cool slightly. You will need only ½ cup of the browned butter. Save any extra for toast in the morning.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until will combined. Whisk in vanilla extract followed by the cream and then the rum.
- Gently stir (with whisk or rubber spatula) in the dry ingredients in 3 additions - the batter will be thick yet smooth. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top with spatula. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. While cakes are baking, prepare syrup.
- Combine water and sugar together in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until sugar melts and then let it come to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Transfer to a heat resistant bowl and let cool while cakes finish baking.
- When the cakes are done baking, remove from oven and let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cake from loaf pan and place it right side up on wire rack. Place wire rack over a piece of parchment paper or baking tray. With a cake tester or sharp knife, poke holes all over cake. Using a pastry brush, gently brush cake all over with syrup. Do this slowly so the cake has time to soak up the syrup. Let the cakes cool completely to room temperature before enjoying.
- Store wrapped well in plastic wrap or tinfoil and this cake does freeze well.