Tuscan Ring Cake

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted (6 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup white rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and flour for cake pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix together the flours, baking powder and salt. Combine milk or half-and-half with the melted butter, rum and vanilla. Lightly butter and flour a round tube pan.

Beat eggs with a wire whisk, gradually beating in the sugar. When sugar is thoroughly combined, use a spatula to fold in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the liquid, then another third of flour, another half of liquid and, finally, the remaining flour mixture. Fold to blend thoroughly, but do not overmix.

Pour  batter into the prepared pan, and bake 30 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, invert on a cake rack and leave to cool and settle.

This very plain cake may be served as is, with sliced summer fruits (berries, peaches, plums) or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Or before baking the cake, peel and slice a firm apple or pear very thinly, and arrange the slices over the batter.

Yield: 10 servings.
Total time: 45 minutes

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 320 calories, 9 grams fat, 85 milligrams cholesterol, 95 milligrams sodium, 7 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrate.

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