Years ago I took part in Ramsgate week – we both sailed and partied hard. Each crew were given a sheet of drinks tickets – valid for one free drink each, every day in the bar. Of course those less honest; or to put it more charitably, more enterprising than I, photocopied the drinks tokens ensuring that the drinks flowed literally freely all night.
I am sure that I would not be able to keep up with it now, but still do enjoy the occasional (sole) dark and stormy.
I’ve used the classic pairing of ginger and rum to make these dark and stormy cakes – the batter is based on my bung it all in whizz and go Easy Peasy Ginger Cake – made entirely from store cupboard ingredients it remains the most popular recipe on the site and is well overdue a new airing and photography.
I would like to learn more about rum – I know that they are at least as complex and as varied as whisky, and are a drink to be savoured in their own right rather than mixed in cocktails. I have tried a few good rums over the years and have enjoyed them. The latest bottle was Ron Zacapa 23 from Alexander & James retailing at just under £50. Made from sugar cane in south-western Guatemala the rum is then matured in the romantically named, high altitude House in the Clouds. Once mature the rum is blended, the Ron Zacapa 23 is a blend of rums between 6 and 23 years old and then the rum is returned to casks that once held whisky, sherry and wine.
The resulting rum is magnificent, and in all honesty probably far too good to bake with (but they do say never cook with wine that you would not drink, and surely the same applies to rum?) It is the colour of fresh conkers, a deep reddish brown and intensely flavoured with caramel, raisins and dark chocolate. Delicious! A perfect seemingly seamless hand woven palm band surrounds each bottle. It would make a lovely present for a rum lover and comes packed in an attractive burgundy box.
Recipe: Dark & Stormy Mini Cakes
Makes 14 – 18 Small Cakes
For the Cakes
175g Plain Flour
110g Sugar (I use soft light brown for colour and flavour but any would work)
50g Cooking oil (Sunflower or rape/canola)
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g golden syrup
30ml dark rum
For the Rum Cream
150g double cream
25ml dark rum
25g icing sugar
Pre heat the oven to GM4/180C
Place all the ingredients for the cake into a mixing bowl and beat until you have a smooth batter – you can do this by hand but I use a hand held mixer.
Dollop into a greased mini muffin pan (or into fairy cake cases in a baking pan) and bake at 180C / GM4 for 15 – 20 (depending on the size of your cakes) minutes until risen and springy.
Remove from the oven, allow to rest for a few minutes, then remove from the baking pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the rum cream place the cream, rum and icing sugar into a bowl and whisk until it holds a peak.
Slice the mini cakes in half horizontally and sandwich them together with a teaspoon of the rum cream (if you have made cupcakes then simply put a dollop of cream on top).
Keep in a cool place and serve the same day.
This is a commissioned recipe for Alexander and James.
You also might like these rum or ginger recipes