Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- January 2012
(This recipe has been adapted from the recipe that appeared on the packaging of my Nordicare Heritage Bundt pan, which I purchased in December 2011 from Williams Sonoma.)
Vanilla Velvet Bundt Cake with White Rum Glaze
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a shelf in the lower third of the oven.
Carefully grease your bundt pan, taking care to get the grease in every nook and cranny; don't skimp, but don't leave visible globs either. Flour the pan generously, then tap out the excess. (I highly recommend greasing a bundt pan with a pastry brush; I use a round, natural-bristle pastry brush. It fits well into corners and doesn't become easily misshapen the way flat pastry brushes do.)
For the cake:
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 level tsp. coarse kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 tsp. white rum
3/4 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 cup half & half, room temperature
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar (sifted, or be sure to use 10x)
1and 1/2 to 3 Tbsp. white rum (depending upon how thick you want the glaze to be, and how much rum flavoring you prefer)
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Stir the milk and half & half together in one container.
In the large bowl of your mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter for about 30 seconds, just until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the granulated sugar, still on medium speed; beat for approximately 5 minutes, until fluffy; stop to scrape as needed.
Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, scraping periodically. Pour in the vanilla and white rum, and beat for about 1 minute, until combined.
On your mixer's lowest speed, add in the flour alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour (3 equal portions of flour and 2 equal portions of milk). Don't worry if the batter looks sort of curdled at the start of this process. Mix each addition only until incorporated, pausing between additions to scrape the bowl and beaters.
Carefully spoon the batter into the pan; don't pour it from the bowl. Using the back of your spoon, urge the batter up the inner and outer sides of the pan (you'll be creating what looks like a shallow trough).
Bake the cake on the rack set in the lower third of the oven, for about 50 - 60 minutes (mine took 55 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake looks like it's beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. (Try to resist opening the oven at all until the cake's been in there at least 45 minutes. That's my advice.)
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake cool for 15 minutes only. Now pick up the pan by its edges and, still holding it upright, tap it firmly against a hard surface. Hold the cooling rack over the pan and invert the two. Carefully lift the pan off of your cake, and let it finish cooling on the rack.
To make the glaze:
In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and the rum, adding the liquid in slowly until the glaze is the texture you prefer; add more sugar if needed to thicken it. Stir until no lumps at all remain. Set the cake on its rack atop a sheet pan, and drizzle the glaze over the almost-cooled cake. Let the glaze set before slicing and serving the cake.