This spongy cake is made without butter and is moistened with syrup made of sugar, water, red food coloring and rum. It is not found in bakeries as frequent as before, but it still remains a classic favorite for Dominicans. My husband’s childhood memories of this cake are of a street vendor with a wooden box on his head selling this cake. I only remember the “helado borracho” drunken ice cream, it was my favorite. Can you imagine my disappointment when I found out this ice cream was discontinued? Due to this tragic, unfair reality, hence my eagerness to learn how to do this cake and now I have my own version of this recipe.
I specifically wanted to bake this cake this past Christmas and share the recipe with you, but time slipped by. I am happy that I finally published it as I promised and fulfilled the request of many readers who have asked for this recipe. Hopefully you can prepare this recipe soon at home.
Why this cake is not sold as much as before? The reason why it is not sold as much as before is because the delicious, intense pink, raspberry extract is no longer found in local stores and supermarkets. What’s being sold now is an imitation concentrate to flavor food products in general, but it doesn’t taste like the original. We call it "frambuesa” and it is the most important ingredient in this cake because it adds the dark red color that characterizes this drunken cake.
(Mari's Cakes version inspired and translated from the book Mujer 2000)
For the cake:
5 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted (145g)
½ teaspoon of baking powder (omit if using wine)
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups sugar (250g)
2 cups water (437ml)
½ cup of red wine or rum (118ml)
2 ½ teaspoons of red food gel coloring (optional)
3 drops of blue food gel coloring (optional)
1 tsp. raspberry extract (optional)
To Sprinkle on Top (optional):
¼ cup powdered sugar (32g)
¼ teaspoons cinnamon powder
The recipe called for 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon to ¼ cup of powdered sugar making a cocoa color sugar. I like the contrast of the white sugar on the red, so in this recipe I use less cinnamon to get a soft beige color instead. I do use both sugars. There is a photo almost at the end of the post that shows the cake with both sugars and I think using both makes it look interesting.
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Grease and flour an 8 x 10 inch rectangular cake pan, or one 9-inch round tall pan.
2. Separate the yolks from whites, beat with a half cup of sugar until pale yellow and foamy (on speed # 8 / high for 2.5 minutes).
3. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining half cup sugar until soft peaks form (on speed # 10 /high for 1 minute). Incorporate the beaten egg yolks and flour to the egg whites by folding- stirring gently to keep air bubbles in. Poured batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20 - 30 minutes or until it is golden and when inserted the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan.
4. Prepare the syrup: combine water and sugar, bring to moderate fire, and boil for 10 minutes. After it has cooled, add the rum or wine, coloring, extract and mix. Bathe the sponge cake with syrup until it is completely soaked, and bring to refrigerator. Sprinkle cake top with the mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon before serving. This cake can last up one week in the fridge. Serve cold. ENJOY!
If you will pour syrup to the sponge in the same pan were baked instead of cutting into slices and place them on a tray as indicated in the notes below, you can follow the processes of pricking holes in the surface of the cake with a knife or skewer. This helps the cake absorb the syrup much better. You can see how a pricked cake looks like in Tres Leches Cake post.
b) Decorate as you please with Meringue – use half of this recipe: Meringue Frosting.
c) This cake will rise very high in the oven then shrink a little due to air incorporated in the beaten eggs and little stabilizer, if this happens it is OK.
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