So I just watched the movie High Fidelity for the first time. It's fabulous.
My favorite part of the film is this concept about The Top Five. In the film, your Top Five is a crucial part of your identity, a musical litmus test of your hipness, snobbishness and finally, personality. I've been thinking about my Top Five:
And then I'm stuck. I like all these whiny singer-songwriters, and I feel like I need a real BAND to complete my list. The thing is, I love so much, and picking my fifth... It's too hard. Maybe Louie Armstrong, but he's not a band. I kind of have this serious thing for The Rolling Stones. I'm actually reading this book right now:
It's really interesting. It's also very, very long. He did a lot of drugs.
Anyways, I'm just not sure about who my fifth is.
On a similar musical note, since winter break began, I've rediscovered my adoration of Earth Wind & Fire:
It's kind of embarrassing.
I don't think that Earth Wind & Fire is exactly Top Five material for me. Maybe Top Ten, but no one cares about your Top Ten. I don't think my love of Earth Wind & Fire would impress the music snobs in High Fidelity. Actually I doubt that any of my Top Four + One I Haven't Figured Out Yet will impress anyone, music snob or not.
Anyways, I started wondering what's in my Top Five of Favorite Things to Cook/Bake:
Desserts With Rum and Whiskey
Desserts with Rum and Whiskey are undoubtably The Best. There is something about the boozy, luscious quality of the liquor, that when paired with sugar and flour and butter, simply equals perfection.
This Chocolate Whiskey Rum Bundt Cake is no exception.
I mean, this cake is basically the reason to have a Top Five of Favorite Things to Cook.
This recipe calls for American Whiskey, and forgive me, but I am not really a snob about liquor and figured no one would never be able to taste any difference, so I used what was left of our Irish Whiskey and then some Rum, because I really like Rum, and because I couldn't find any American Whiskey in our kitchen. Anyways, as soon as I had combined this inventive duo with the rest of the batter, my brother informed me that we had a massive handle of Maker's Mark in the pantry. C'est la vie.
Also, I added frosting, because obviously, a Chocolate Whiskey Rum Cake is not decadent enough.
Also, did you know you can spell Whiskey two ways? Whiskey with and 'e' and Whisky without an 'e'.
Who and what are in your Top Fives?
Chocolate Whiskey Rum Bundt Cake
barely adapted from Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process), plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
1/2 cup American whiskey (Or Irish Whiskey or Rum or a combination of them all or whatever)
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large eggs, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 F. Butter Bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder; knocking out excess.
Combine coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining 1 cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and heat over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add sugar, and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into warm chocolate mixture until well combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly).
Pour batter into Bundt pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack.
Run a thin knife around sides of pan, then invert cake onto a rack. Sift confectioners' sugar over cake OR frost with My Favorite Chocolate Frosting.
My Favorite Chocolate Frosting
Adding this frosting unfortunately makes this cake look like a large chocolate doughnut. Which is okay. Only, massive doughnuts however delicious they actually are, are not photogenic or attractive looking. Also, sprinkles are always nice.
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost and sprinklelify.