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Archive for June 4, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Put A Cap On The Coffee

As tempting as it may be to buy two different
bags, don’t buy more than a week’s worth.
Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

If you want your home-brewed coffee to taste as good as café-brewed, don’t brew “old” coffee. Air is the enemy of ground coffee—you can notice the decline in flavor at the end of the first day.

Whole beans aren’t impervious; they are at peak flavor when fresh-roasted, but then start to decline—though not as quickly as ground coffee.

For a more flavorful cup:

• Don’t buy more coffee than you can use in a week.

• Store the coffee bag in a plastic storage bag; squeeze out the excess air before sealing.

• Keep the bag in a cool, dry, dark place—but not the fridge, which has very moist air.

Now that you’ve got the beans down, here’s how to brew a great cup of coffee.

Find our favorite coffee (including organic and Fair Trade), plus lots of great coffee information, in our Gourmet Coffee section.

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PRODUCT: Island Treasures Rum Cake

We taste a lot of rum cake. Some of it does not pass the taste test of a picky palate. Some lines taste artificially flavored—or don’t taste like very much at all.

Island Treasures Gourmet rum cake—rum-infused pound cakes in Banana, Chocolate, Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coconut, Lemon, Raspberry, Vanilla (Original)—is the latest we’ve tasted, and it’s good.

We enjoyed all of the flavors except Raspberry, which obviously appeals to a lot of people or they wouldn’t be selling it. We felt that the raspberry flavor needs some tweaking.

The cakes are very lightly infused with rum—just a touch. Some people may not even realize it’s there, it so harmoniously blends with the buttery pound cake. This brand will appeal to those who don’t like a liquor-soaked cake.

While we ate every bite and called for more, we do like “soaked” rum cakes, so we made a batch of rum syrup to pour over it. We preferred it; most of the other tasters enjoyed the cakes as is—without the syrup.

Enjoy a slice any time of the day. Photo by
Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

Rum Syrup Recipe

1. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved; then stop stirring.
2. Bring syrup to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons light rum.
4. Let cool completely. Pour into a pitcher to serve at the table.

You also can serve the cake in simple slices at any time of day, or make a fancier dessert with plain or rum-infused ice cream and a side of berries, sliced peaches, bananas or other fruit.

The cakes are available in a 32-ounce size bundt and a 5-ounce mini loaf that serves one cake enthusiast or two people who want a smaller piece. Read the full review of Island Treasure Gourmet Rum Cakes.

Find more of our favorite cakes and recipes in our Gourmet Cakes section.


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