Top Pick Of The Week

January 27, 2009

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Rum Cake - Great Spirits Baking Company

This rum cake is made with Pyrat XO Reserve Rum. You can’t get better than that!

WHAT IT IS: Super premium “rum cake” and other spirits-infused chocolate and orange cakes.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: These individual mini-bundts are made with premium ingredients, including the finest spirits.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These are the best spirits-infused cakes we’ve had. We’re grateful that they’re portion-controlled in mini-bundts—a regular-size cake would be too much temptation.
VALENTINE GIFT PREVIEW: America’s Boutique Chocolatiers, Part III. Don't wait until it's too late!

The Great Spirits Baking Company: Beckoning You With Spirit-Infused Cakes

CAPSULE REPORT: As pre-teens, when one might have thought us too young to appreciate it, we were enamored of the rum cake made by an old Italian baker. The cake was fragrant and moist from the rum syrup in which it had been soaked. A favorite of our mother, it would be ordered for holidays and special occasions. Our family enjoyed it for years, until the inevitable day that the baker from the Old Country retired, and the cake was no more. Styles had changed; the town was into fancy French patisserie. Thick buttercream and piped flourishes trumped alcohol-soaked pound cake.

In the decades since, we have had other spirits-soaked cakes, most not worth a second bite. Some, like the ones from the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory, were a passable fix for what we remembered from times past. Even the ones on restaurant menus disappointed as cloying or too alcoholic. Finally, we happened upon the spot-on mini bundt cakes from The Great Spirits Baking Company, and we are happy again. They are noteworthy for top ingredients (Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Patrón XO Café Tequila Coffee Liqueur, Patrón Citrónge Extra Fine Orange Liqueur, Callebaut chocolate) and small-batch production. These factors, plus great recipes turn out memorable chocolate and orange cakes. They are irresistible and sumptuous without being rich. (We’ll leave that word for those cakes laden with buttercream.)

With Valentine’s Day close upon us, a sampler trio is an excellent choice for gentlemen who don’t fancy a box of fancy chocolate. It’s a no-fuss dessert for two (just add whipped cream, and maybe a pairing of Patrón and Pyrat). Read the full review below.

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Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Classic Cake Cookbooks

The Cake Bible Maida Heatter Perfect Cakes
The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This book has remained in hardcover since its publication in 1988, when it was named “Cookbook of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The recipes are classic and the knowledge is thorough: it’s a must-have. Click here for more information or to purchase. Maida Heatter’s Book Of Great Chocolate Desserts, by Maida Heatter. Another classic and a James Beard Award-winner, this book is newly available after being out-of- print for 10 years. Grab a copy and start baking up a chocolate storm. Try the Chocolate Pumpkin Cake before the season is over. Click here for more information or to purchase. Perfect Cakes, by Nick Malgieri. With stellar recipes and a teacher’s approach, Malgieri, a James Beard Award-winner, serves up everyday treats like Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Orange Poppy Seed Cake, and ends with showstoppers like Bûche de Noel and Passion-Fruit Bavarian Cream Cake. The photos tempt you to make them all. Click here for more information or to purchase.


The Great Spirits Baking Company: Beckoning You With Spirit-Infused Cakes


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Introduction To The Great Spirits Baking Company

The Great Spirits Baking Company is a relatively new specialty food company that recognized a gap in the marketplace. There’s a thriving business worldwide in rum cakes, but try to find one infused with premium-brand spirits. Bob Dow and Lynne Berentson, career marketing executives, felt that fine retailers, specialty food stores and other luxury venues would bite at the opportunity to offer an upscale rum cake to their customers...and, while they were at it, why not branch out beyond rum cake and infuse cakes with other premium spirits, as well?

And they did!

The first three cakes are scrumptious, and so much better than any spirits-infused cakes we’ve encountered, either packaged or in bakeries or restaurants. We hope they’ll be a huge success, because as we enjoy each forkful of the premium cakes, and give them as gifts, a portion of sales is donated to Share Our Strength, a national hunger relief organization that assists hungry children.

Orange Liqueur Cake

Orange and almonds are a delectable combination, showered with Patrón Citrónge Extra Fine Orange Liqueur.

Continue To Page 2: Varieties Of Spirits-Infused Cakes

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