Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scotch Cake - good idea? Bad idea? Awesome idea? Let's find out ... together.

Rumcake is a hallowed tradition in my family. Made from a recipe* passed down from generation to ... well, one generation so far. Also it was stolen from a family friend who got the recipe from god knows where. I can't imagine from Family Circle or anything because the recipe calls for about 12 shots of rum (3 of which are for the cook).

Yesterday, in the proud tradition of taking family traditions and messing them up horribly, I tried to make Scotch Cake. I knew you could make Whiskey Cake but I did not have whiskey when I planned a completely random birthday party. I just had scotch, and not even enough to really make the recipe as planned.

The alcohol comes into play two ways: first when you add it to the batter and second when you make the glaze. It's necessary to add it to the batter because you're also adding in pudding mix for extra moisture, thickness, and "holy crap this is good"ness.

However I didn't think you taste much of the rum in the actual cake and that most of the flavor came from the glaze, which is really just butter, sugar, and rum (and if the thought of those combined didn't make you drool, you sir or madam are not human).

Thus I just added extra water to the mix that made a good cake but not an amazing cake. I can tell you though that the glaze itself was incredible, which makes up for it. Next time - more scotch.


Cake Recipe -
1 box yellow cake mix**
1 box (large) cook n' serve vanilla pudding
1 cup rum or scotch

Glaze Recipe -
1 stick melted butter
1 cup rum
1 cup sugar (split between white and brown sugar if you like, otherwise just white)

Bake according to box directions in a very well greased and floured bunt pan with hazelnuts or pecans in the bottom. Let cool, pop onto plate or into a large bowl that will let the glaze sit in the bottom without spilling all over the darn place. Melt butter in the microwave but try to not melt it all the way (helps the glaze stick better) and mix in rum and sugar. Poke holes in the top with a toothpick or fork and SLOWLY drizzle glaze all over. If it forms a nice little shiny surface over the top of the cake you did it right. If not, doesn't matter, it still tastes gooooood.

* yeah not really a recipe if it involves a box is it
** see previous

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by krylonultraflat
A high-output LED flashlight ≥ a flash snoot. I need to buy a more powerful one.

Pictures from Amy's Birthday and Taco Extravaganza are here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


"The problem with Miami is that everyone is on vacation, and it's like day 3 of a trip where you just start to lose your mind slightly but stretched out over a lifetime."
Jose, the most sage 16 year old I know

The problem with Miami is that social interaction doesn't progress past a 10th grade level.
Me, at some point last week

"The problem with Miami is people who say 'the problem with Miami is...' too much"
You, after reading this blog entry

Monday, September 7, 2009

somewhat random blog post about booze and math

Preface - I am horrible at math. However doing mental calculations for no good reason I find endlessly entertaining.

From an Ars Technica article:
What really impressed me about the study, however, were the hard numbers the authors were able to put on the phenomenon: "A multivariable model revealed that a 10-cent increase in cost per gram of ethanol at on-premise establishments was associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of exiting an establishment intoxicated." I realize that college students are perpetually broke, but I certainly wouldn't have expected a dime to make that much difference."

A bottle of crappy beer is around 5% alcohol. One fluid ounce of water roughly equals one dry ounce, so for beer we can equivocate them.*

So that means there are .6 dry ounces of ethanol in a 12 ounce beer, which equals 17 grams.

At ten cents per ounce, that's an increase of nearly two dollars. So in other words - you make a 3$ beer and make it a 5$ beer, or if you assume it takes 5 beers to get someone drunk, 15$ versus 25$.

Here is where I should point out that this study came from the University of Florida and was no doubt conducted in Gainesville, where an across-the-board 60% increase in the price of beer would cause riots.

I'm pretty sure the author was aware of everything I just stated but still decided to feign shock to "punch up a story". I can't stand it when people do this.

* Beer is mostly water with some flavoring and ethanol (5% of the latter, as mentioned). Ethanol is less dense than water so I can't make this equivalency with, say, a shot of whiskey.