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Chocolate Caribbean Rum Cake


½ cup toasted walnuts, crushed
1½ cups granulated white sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp canola oil
1¾ cup all-purpose flour or cake flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp.baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 box instant chocolate pudding
¾ cup chocolate milk
½ cup canola oil
4 large eggs
¾ cup dark rum, not Navy Rum, (Bacardi 8, Havana Club Anjeo)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Glaze:
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup water
¼ cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup amber rum

Preheat oven to 325° F

Cake

Grease a Bundt pan heavily with butter or shortening, then flour the greased pan - shake out excess flour. Make sure you get the cone in the middle covered as well! You can use walnut meal, or almond meal, or pecan meal instead of flour.

Spread crushed walnuts evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a mixer, combine the 1½ cups granulated sugar with the ½ cup butter and 3 tablespoons oil on medium speed until mixture is well incorporated - about 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cocoa powder, pudding mix and salt.

Once well blended add to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix at medium speed until the mixture resembles damp sand - about 1 minute.

Pour the chocolate milk in a large bowl then add the ¾ cup rum, vanilla extract, and remaining ½ cup vegetable oil, whisk together well. Add the eggs and finish whisking it until well blended.

Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix at medium speed until it is well combined and no lumps remain, about 2 - 3 minutes. The batter will thicken as it mixes. (I know, I know, I know... I should use the blade mixer and not the whisk. So sue me!)

Pour mixture into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, or until a dry knife blade inserted into the cake comes out clean and dry. Once ready remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Do not remove it from the pan yet!

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze:

Place the butter, water, cocoa powder and sugar in a heavy gauge saucepan, cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid mixture is uniform in colour.

Remove from heat then add the rum and vanilla. Stir well.  Careful! - When making this it likes to try to boil over!!

Drizzle the hot rum glaze over the cake a little at a time - continue until all the rum glaze has been absorbed by the cake. You may want to use a skewer to poke small holes throughout to allow for deeper penetration.

Once the glaze has been absorbed, gently hit the side of the pan with the palm of your hand.  Thump it all around.  Once the cake feels loosened from the sides of the pan shake it gentle side to side until it begins to make thumping or slapping sound, the sound indicates it has “released” from the pan.

Place a plate or cake server over the pan and then turn it over. The cake should fall to the plate.  There may be some walnuts left behind so gather them up and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Let the cake sit overnight uncovered (8 hours at a minimum) before serving. It can sit for a few days even and it just keeps getting better and better as it does.

Top with whipped cream, powdered sugar or serve it plain.

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