As I've noted before, along with music, tradition, and the Catholic faith--food is a major part of Cuban (and all Hispanic) culture.
Today's recipe comes courtesy of my cousin Marina Páez, a fabulous cook!
What makes this rum cake uniquely Cuban, you ask? Choosing Bacardi rum, of course--whose beginning as a company dates back to the 1860s in Cuba!
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 181/2 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix*
1 31/4 oz pkg Jell-O* Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filing
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup Wesson oil
1/2 cup of Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)
*If using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix, omit instant pudding, use 3 eggs instead of 4, 1/3 cup oil instead of 1/2.
1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)
Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Grease and flour 10" tube or 12-cup Bundt* pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour.
Cool. Invert on serving plate. Prick top. Spoon and brush glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat till glaze is used up.
Glaze: melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum.
An optional idea is to decorate with a border of sugar frosting or whipped cream. But honestly, there's no need.