This pound cake is very simple to make — just bowls, a whisk and a spatula are necessary. The cake itself is flavored with orange, vanilla and dark rum. Just as the cake comes out of the oven, we drench it with rum syrup. Divine. The rum used really needs to be dark and strong — otherwise it gets lost. We use an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan for this. If you are using a 9-by-5-inch pan, check for doneness 5 minutes before the baking time stated below.
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour, we used Gold Medal
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (240 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350º F. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together, set aside.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together until the sugar is moist and fragrant with the orange. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until blended then whisk in the cream and rum.
Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Fold in the melted butter in 2 parts. The batter should be smooth and thick.
Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Make the rum syrup as soon as the cake goes into the oven.
After 30 minutes in the oven, check the cake for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
As soon as the cake goes into the oven, stir the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Transfer syrup to a heatproof bowl or cup and let cool.
When the cake is done, transfer it, in the pan, to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the cake and place right side up on the rack. Position the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
Using a toothpick or thin skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Brush the cake with the syrup. Do this slowly so the cake has a chance to absorb the syrup. Cool the cake to room temperature, slice and serve. (We love adding a dollop of whipped cream. Fresh fruit is also nice).