Dark 'n Stormy

Rum Cake ft. Ginger-Rum Glaze + Ginger Frosting + Pineapple-Lime Salsa

The tale of the Dark 'n Stormy remix begins with a day that 'twas overcast and drizzly, but we can pretend it was dark and stormy. If you're hitting a mid-winter slump and craving some sunshine, this cake brings a bit of  the Caribbean to your neck of the woods. Hailing from Bermuda and trademarked by Gosling's (of Gosling's Black Seal Rum), the Dark 'n Stormy cocktail consists of ginger beer topped off with a shot of dark rum, served over ice and garnished with a lime.

The key to this remix (as discovered through a test run) is to soak the baked cake overnight in the ginger-rum glaze. Since the alcohol of the rum in the cake batter will bake off in the oven, the trick is to add it in again and again for flavor and moisture. Another key - fresh ginger. You can buy ginger ale and you can buy ginger powder, but nothing beats the fragrance and flavor of fresh ginger, and a small root will go a long way when grated.

Not surprisingly, Gosling's also recommends using Gosling's Ginger Beer when concocting the Dark 'n Stormy. Ginger beer of any sort (not served in a bar) actually proved difficult to find when shopping for ingredients so I settled for a ginger brew/ale in the recipe. This may even be better in the end because ginger ale is carbonated and has a higher sugar content than ginger beer, which is fermented, and will therefore make a better syrup, glaze, and frosting. If possible, go with bottles with pieces of real ginger inside, like Fresh Ginger Ale or Maine Root (over brands like Schweppes or Seagram's) for maximum flavor.

Last but not least, a Dark 'n Stormy is typically garnished with a slice of lime, so I decided to introduce another citrus twist with a pineapple salsa. Chunks of lime would be a bit sour so just slice up some pineapple (fresh or canned) and toss with lime juice and fresh ginger. You can spoon the salsa in between cake layers or serve on the side of cake slices.

You can also make dark 'n stormy cupcakes, fill the center with pineapple, and frost as usual. No matter which route you take, I highly recommend accompanying your voyage with a touch o' Beach Boys 'n Jack Sparrow.

ginger-rum glaze (prepare before or during cake-baking)
2 tbsp. butter
2 c. ginger ale
1/4 c. rum
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
Use a knife to peel skin off of a small piece of ginger root and grate the pulp until you have at least a tablespoon of gratings. In a small saucepan on the stovetop, melt butter and pour in ginger ale, and grated ginger. Bring to med-high heat and let mixture boil for 7-8 minutes, then add in rum (heat will burn off alcohol so it's best to add this afterwards). Set aside while you bake the cake.

rum cake
1 box vanilla cake mix
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. dark rum (for an official Dark 'n Stormy - use Gosling's)
1/2 c. ginger beer (or ginger ale)
1 tbsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease round cake pans with butter or a non-stick spray like PAM. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, rum, ginger beer, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, crumble brown sugar into cake mix and sift. Slowly add dry mix into wet ingredients and beat on a high speed for 1 minute until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into greased pans until each is 2/3 of the way full. Bake according to the times on the back of the mix box, depending on the types of pans you are using. Use a toothpick to check doneness - if the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cakes, remove from oven and set on cooling rack.

While cakes are still warm in the pans, use a toothpick to prick a dozen holes in the top of each. Run a knife or spatula around the edges to loosen from the pan. Use a pastry brush to paint the prepared ginger-rum glaze onto the tops and sides of the cakes. Repeat until glaze has been used. Cover cakes (still in the pans) with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let soak overnight.

Use a knife or spatula to loosen the cakes and remove from pans.

ginger frosting
1/2 c. butter
3-4 tbsp. ginger ale
2-3 ginger syryup
4 c. powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, ginger ale, and ginger syrup (see below) until blended. Slowly add in sugar and continue to mix on high until frosting forms.

ginger syrup
1 c. ginger ale
Heat 1 cup of ginger ale in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, while stirring constantly to keep it from sticking. Let mixture cool and thicken for 2 minutes until syrup forms.

pineapple lime salsa
1 c. diced pineapple
1 tbsp. lime juice
freshly grated ginger
Cut pineapple into slices and then dice into smaller quarter-inch pieces. In a small bowl, toss pineapple chunks with fresh lime juice and grated ginger.

You can fill the fill the cake layers with the salsa or serve on the side. For cupcakes, use a melon baller to scoop out a chunk of cake and fill with a scoop of salsa before frosting (see below).

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dark 'n stormy cupcakes
For cupcakes, use a standard ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners and bake for 20-24 minutes. Remove from oven, prick surfaces with a toothpick, and use a pastry brush to paint ginger-rum glaze onto warm cupcakes. Let soak overnight.

Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out a chunk of cupcake, replace with a scoop of pineapple-lime salsa, and frost using a large star tip.