Sunday, June 24, 2012

Proud, Drunk and Colorful

It's been a few years since Dan & I have done anything special to celebrate Gay Pride month, and many years since we've made it to the Pride Parade - held on the 4th Sunday in June each year here in Seattle.

I remember the first time I saw the parade was marching in it with my gay/lesbian/bi/trans youth group, with my proud parents also marching (with PFLAG).  Growing up gay can be very isolating - hiding a secret, being bullied, being afraid of what people think (and sometimes for my life) - and I remember how powerful the experience of being surrounded by THOUSANDS of other gay & gay-friendly people of all ages and backgrounds was for 17 year old me.  After my first Pride parade, I went to Lambert House - a LGBTQ teen outreach center that was throwing a dance for all us under-age gays.  It was the first time I slow danced with a boy.  The boy was from Montana and had a big scar on his cheek, and the song was "Crazy for You" by Madonna (of course).  Hearing it still sends me back to that night.

Although we still didn't make it downtown to watch the parade this year, we did get invited to a decidedly South Seattle celebration for Pride - getting together with old and new friends for brunch in Columbia City, then back to Jason & Jayson's place in the Othello neighborhood for some drinks.  The plan was to brunch at Geraldine's Counter, but they seemed flummoxed by the need for seating for 12 and said it would be a 40+ minute wait, so we took our business around the corner to Rookies, where they found a spot for us immediately.

After eating, we carpooled to The Ja(y)son's condo to hang out, have some drinks, enjoy the beautiful day on their rooftop deck, and relax.  Never one to miss an opportunity to bake, I decided to try out my new Booze Cakes
 cookbook.  There's been a bit of a trend on Pinterest of people making multi-colored cakes, and I'd seen some done as rainbows.  Since, after I turned 21, my Pride Parade memories are a bit of a blur of rainbows and drinking - I figured a rainbow bundt cake soaked in rum was perfectly thematic.

 I followed the Golden Rum Cake recipe as is, then colored one cup of batter at a time using gel food colorings (to avoid changing the consistency).  Into the bundt cake pan I layered the red, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple - then popped it into the oven.

An hour later it came out and I soaked it in a rum/sugar/butter glaze that made this cake extremely moist.  I could tell from the bottom of the cake that the colors remained vibrant inside, but from the top it looked like any old bundt cake - kinda sad and brown.  But slicing in revealed that not only had all the colors remained true, but a Pride Day miracle happened and the colors curved in an arc - a perfect rainbow.

Rainbow Rum Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/8 tspn salt
1 cup milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark rum

4 Tbspn (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour the bundt cake pan.  In a mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on low-medium speed, until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt - whisking the mixture to combine it well.  In a small bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract and rum.  Beat in flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, in three additions.  Scoop one cup of batter into a small bowl and add red gel food coloring, stirring until uniform in color - then pour evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Clean the bowl and repeat for the remaining colors - orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Bake 1 hour.

For the glaze:  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar and 1/4 cup water, and turn heat to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and carefully add the rum, whisking it in to create a uniform glaze.  When the cake comes out of the oven, invert it onto a serving plate and slowly pour the glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in.

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