Lime Sunflower Cake
For the cake:
- 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbs. dark rum
- 1 tsp. lime oil
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
For the glaze:
- 6 Tbs. water
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sifted confectioners' sugar
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350ºF. Grease and flour a sunflower cake pan.
To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the milk, rum and lime oil and stir to mix; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread the batter so the sides are slightly higher than the center. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, granulated sugar and butter. Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted and most of the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth.
Tap the pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Serves 16.
Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle Books, 2000).