I turned these Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes into Vanilla-Drenched Vanilla Cakes because who doesn't like vanilla? Plus, I don't really mess around with alcohol. I find things are good without it, so why bother?
This recipe called for the pulp of two vanilla beans (or extract if you don't have them), and I actually had some beans that I was saving for something. I'm not sure what I was saving them for, so I figured I give this recipe the "honor" of my vanilla beans. I was very intent on getting everything out of those beans, and as a result, I think I got a little more than just the seeds in my mix. I think I got a little of the fibrous insides in my batter from all my scraping that didn't quite break down with baking. So I have a few larger than tiny specks dotting my cakes. But now I know better. I had to learn sometime, I suppose.
I was a little surprised at these cakes. I thought they would puff up a little and have that nice domed look that loaf cakes normally have, but mine actually kinda sunk in the middle. That was unexpected.
And I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I guess I was just expecting a little more flavor out of the cakes, but they were decidedly plain vanilla. Now that I write that, what was I really expecting? I had decided to make these vanilla-drenched vanilla cakes so they better taste like vanilla and nothing more. So yeah, don't know what I was expecting. I think some of my disappointment was stemmed from my baking earlier that day a semi-yeasted cinnamon bread (that recipe will come Thursday) that smelled up the kitchen like warm cinnamon rolls, and this cake was just not as fragrant. And I made the mistake of trying the cinnamon bread first then this cake, and they didn't really compare. But I think a lemon or orange version of this cake would have been quite delicious. If I make these again, I will definitely try one of those. But the cakes as they are would be great layered with some fresh cream and berries. As I have neither of those things, I'll just have to dream about eating my cake with all that yumminess.
Be sure to check out what the other TWDers whipped up this week. And be sure to check back on Thursday for the cinnamon bread recipe. So easy, and so good. You'll really not want to miss it. I promise!