April and May are busy months for birthday within my family and circle of friends. So you can imagine how many parties and cakes we eat in these two months. Today you can find about a thousand different types of cakes to celebrate with. The usual chocolate and vanilla are standards. Red Velvet, Orange blossom, Oreo, not so standard but very popular.
But what about the good old fashion Italian Rum Cake? As a kid that’s all we ever had. I don’t particularly remember liking it, however, it became a staple at every birthday. Imagine 4 and 5 year olds gathered around a rum cake when all our American friends would boast about fudgy chocolate cakes with cartoon characters on top. The most we got out of a decorative cake was three or four roses and almond coating around the cake.
When we got old enough to start ordering our own type, chocolate or vanilla became our choice of cakes.
This past weekend we celebrated my cousin Chicky’s 40th birthday. Over 70 people attended a fun party at a chinese restaurant. (yes- chinese) What Italian doesn’t like Chinese food??? – save that for another time.
My cousin is probably the only one of all the cousins who really enjoys Italian Rum Cake. As I grew older I learned to appreciate the exciting flavors of an Italian Rum Cake again; filled with creamy chocolate and vanilla cream, bits of peaches and strawberries in between two layers of soaked rum (sugar) spongy cake.
Photo of Italian Rum Cake from Modern Pastry, Boston, (North End)
I laugh everytime birthdays come around and the conversations I have with my cousin over what kind of cake are we having tonight!
My birthday is coming up in May – I’ll have a choice of different cakes of course, but it will be tough — maybe I’ll just go old school and order an Italian Rum Cake… you really can’t go wrong with that!