Ponche de Creme Cake (Gluten Free)
Most people would say that living in Trinidad and Tobago is sweet. The people, the vibe, the never ending fetes and of course the food. We've taken notes from cuisines all over the world and infused our special brand of sweetness into it.
Take Ponche de Creme or as most would say Ponche ah Creme. A French inspired name for a drink that resembles the more well known eggnog but with a decidedly Trini twist. Ponche de Creme was traditionally made with Puncheon Rum and as every Trini would know that is one potent drink, boasting 75% alcohol by volume, making eggnog look like a second cousin. Ponche de Creme is sweet, creamy and full bodied.
This recipe gives you all the sweet, creamy goodness in a light and airy cake (I also dubbed this a Very Boozy Eggnog Cake). Yummo! Made extra easy for you, because unlike my usual recipes I've started with a pre-packaged cake mix from Bob's Red Mill (distributed in Trinidad and Tobago by Anthony P. Scott). All the reviews say this cake is delicious, a hit! Fair warning...this is not a low calorie dessert. Enjoy and no you don't have to wait until the end of the year...
1 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Gluten Free Cake Mix*
¼ cup skimmed milk powder
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
2 large eggs (separated)
1 ¼ tsp lime juice
1 tsp Angostura bitters
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tbs sour cream
½ cup rum
1tsp brandy (or rum) extract (optional)**
1/8 cup evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup rum
¼ tsp Angostura bitters
½ tsp lime juice
1 tsp brandy (or rum) extract (optional)**
pinch of grated nutmeg
*I have not tested this but I believe that you can also use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour mix. Add the following to the cake ingredients, mix together and continue with the recipe:
1 1/2 cups 1 to 1 mix (instead of the cake mix)
1/3 tsp salt
3/4 - 1 cup white sugar (start with less, taste and adjust)
2 tsp baking powder
**It is my humble opinion that Puncheon Rum from Trinidad and Tobago is potent enough to be considered an extract
Preheat your oven to 350 ° F. Grease the bottom only of a medium-size loaf tin or an 8” round baking tin.
Combine the cake mix, skimmed milk and grated nutmeg. Add the the egg yolks, 1 tsp of lime juice, Angostura bitters, vegetable oil, sour cream, rum and extract if using. Mix until combined.
To whip the egg whites get a clean bowl, preferably copper, stainless steel or glass not plastic or wooden and never aluminum, (be sure that there are no oil or grease particles in your bowl). Clean and dry your whisk thoroughly as well.
Begin whipping the egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add the remaining ¼ tsp lime juice to the egg whites and continue to whip, increasing the mixing speed from medium to high until soft peaks form (when you lift up the whisk, the tip of the peak falls over).
Continue whipping at high speed until firm peaks form (when you lift up the whip, the tip of the peak curls slightly over). Do not over beat, in this recipe the egg white foam is not critical to the leavening of the cake so it is better to fall short of the perfect peaks.
Add a third of the egg whites to the cake batter and fold them in gently. Continue with the rest of the egg whites and fold until no white streaks remain.
Gently pour the batter into the baking tin, place in the oven and bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
While the cake is cooling prepare the glaze.
Combine the egg, evaporated milk, sugar, rum, Angostura bitters, lime juice, extract if using and nutmeg. Mix well. Place this mixture in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly cook to to an internal temperature of 160 °F. The mixture will thicken slightly and will be able to coat the back of a metal spoon. If you do not have a thermometer, when the mixture begins to thicken and if you see any small lumps beginning to form remove from the stove right away! This process should take no more than 2 – 3 minutes. Pour the mixture into a heat safe bowl and allow to cool completely. Once cool run the mixture through a sieve or strainer to remove any lumps that may have formed. You have now made Ponche de Creme, you only need about half this amount to make the glaze, so go ahead and chill the rest to have as a drink later!
To half of the Ponche de Creme mix add ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Continue adding until the glaze has thickened enough but is still pourable.
Once the cake has cooled completely, pour a generous amount of glaze over the cake. There will more than likely be cracks at the top of the cake, those are great for holding extra glaze and just makes the cake better! Slice, serve and enjoy