It became clear to me soon after inciting a rum cake challenge between Tortuga and Pusser’s that I may not be the best person to oversee such a contest. This doesn’t mean I don’t know cake or rum, of course (You have been following along, right?)… It’s just that my Mom was an excellent baker. Breads, muffins, cookies – all of this and more she made from scratch and usually straight from memory with just some cursory aid from an odd cookbook or two. My brothers and I were those kids at school who always had the great lunches that everyone wanted a piece of. While everyone else ate Wonder Bread or Holsum, we had thick, wholesome homemade wheat bread. While everyone else ate Oreos, we enjoyed homemade cakes.
My Mom’s mastery in the kitchen combined with my predisposition toward fine rum has left me with a fairly hoity-toity attitude when it comes to rum cake. How hoity? Let’s just say that a rum cake just isn’t a rum cake to me unless I smell the rum… before biting into a slice.
I like my rum cake dripping with the sweet stuff, and I don’t just mean 80-proof rum either. Cruzan 151 is my absolute favorite for rum cake, but I’m sure Jamaica Overproof Rum would do the trick as well.
Neither the Tortuga nor the Pusser’s cake could live up to my Mom’s for me – nothing can – but what would other people think? I enlisted the help of my wife and a few friends yesterday to gauge their opinions. Slices of each cake were placed on paper plates with lines drawn down the middle. Each side of the plates were labeled “A” or “B” with none of the participants knowing which cake was which.
The result? Well, the plate pictured below was typical of the response.
Both cakes were judged to be light, moist and liked by everyone, but as you can see, “B” was the preferred choice. Why? Everyone said the same thing: “B” just had more rum flavor. Not as much as I’d like, but definitely more than “A”.
So, if you like your rum cake light on rum flavor, choice “A”, Tortuga, is the one for you. Click here to order.
If you want a heavier, more robust rum flavor, then “B”, Pusser’s, is the one. Order here.
If you’re like me, though, either can suffice… as long as you have a bottle of Overproof on-hand to pour over ’em. I tried it late last night and had a nice little memory of Mom at Christmas.