A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The insanity has shifted a bit here at Alternate Dementia. The shopping is practically done, and the cards are almost done. Gifts have to be wrapped, still, but that's a job for next weekend.
Other things are picking up, though. DH has been in the choir at church for several years, and I've just started singing with them as well. Last night was my first real choir practice in, oh, about 20 years, and with Christmas music to work on, practice lasted about 3 hours. I think I did okay, though - I got asked if I would be joining permanently.

I am finally the proud owner of a laptop. It's a used one - DsS got a new one as his Christmas present, and I inherited his old one. I see why he wanted a new one - this one (a Presario 2100) has serious issues with the power jack - one has to have the AC adapter in *just right* and the planets have to be in perfect alignment for it to charge. Apparently this is a disturbingly common issue with Presarios. Fortunately, my laptop has a docking port, and I just ordered a little docking station, so it'll just bypass the power issue altogether.

Tonight is my one and only baking night for this holiday season. In the oven are two of my now-famous rum cakes. I'd been asked by several coworkers about them, and since tomorrow is our holiday social, tonight is bake night.

What is this rum cake I speak of?

Double-Chocolate Rum Cake (aka "Sin on a Plate")
1 pk Chocolate cake mix (18 1/2oz) (I use devils food)
1 pk Instant chocolate pudding
4 Eggs
1 c Dark rum
3/4 c Water plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 c Vegetable oil
1 pk Chocolate chips (I use mini chips or chocolate chunks)
1 Jar Raspberry preserves (10 oz) (I use seedless black raspberry)
2 tbsp Shortening
1 oz Vanilla baking bar (Or white chocolate)
1 shot Chambord or other raspberry liqueur, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10in tube or bundt pan. (I use a 12-cup bundt pan) Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, 1/2 c of the rum, 3/4 c of the water and the oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until ingredients are moistened, then two minutes at medium speed. Stir in 1 cup (about half the bag) of the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan, finish cooling on a wire rack.

GLAZE: In a small saucepan, heat preserves and remaining 1/2 c rum (or rum and Chambord, if desired) to make glaze. Strain through sieve to remove seeds (if you didn't go seedless...). Place cake on serving plate. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork or a tooth pick (great stress relief!). Brush the raspberry glaze evenly over the cake. Use all the glaze, although this does take a few minutes.

ICING 1: In a bowl, combine remaining 1 c of chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir to make a smooth icing. Drizzle chocolate icing over the cake. Let stand about 15 minutes.

ICING 2: In a small bowl, combine vanilla baking bar and remaining 1 teaspoon of water. Microwave on high 30 seconds (or until melted). Drizzle vanilla icing over the chocolate icing.

Serve and enjoy. It's very rich, so use in moderation.

Ah, there is the timer now...

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