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The rum baba is basically a yeast or sponge cake fortified with an easy-to-make rum syrup. I grew up with an Italian version that included pastry cream in the center. That's why the Twinkie makes a great shortcut to a festive dessert, and a fun conversation piece for holiday trays.
Makes 10 Twinkies (there are 10 to a box)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
1/3 cup good dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 Twinkies (1 box of Twinkies, regular or banana flavored)
Homemade Whipped Cream or Coconut Cream (recipes follow)
Use a pastry brush to generously brush the top and sides of the golden cakes. Repeat the brushing. Then set your timer for 5 minutes and wait for the syrup to be absorbed by the cake. Repeat this a few more times until most of the syrup is used up. This process may take as long as 20 minutes, but be patient! You want to give the cake time to absorb the liquid without losing its shape or integrity.
Step 3 - Chill, baby: Place the plates in your refrigerator for 1 hour or your freezer for about 20 minutes. This chilling will allow the cake to regain its solidity and allow you to gently transfer it to serving plates. Serve with whipped cream (recipe below) and, if you like, a few fresh raspberries or blackberries.
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The police dismiss "sleeping beauty" as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects--from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches--and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn't solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.
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