The holidays are done and with it, for the most part, the obligation to eat all the things that come out only around the holidays. Our neighbors, an older couple, seemed to think our place was a good place to dispatch the rest of a home-baked cake gifted to them that was more than they could hope to eat.
It was a nice little cake. But I took one look at what was left and knew even the entire Wolfe pack wasn’t going to be able to finish it. It had dried fruits and tree nuts. The middle child is allergic to tree nuts. It wasn’t going to keep well either, the way a proper fruitcake would, because it hadn’t been soaked in bourbon, or brandy, or rum.
(This, by the way, is the problem with nearly every commercial fruitcake. Don’t these bakers know the ONLY way to make a proper fruitcake is to bathe it in booze once a week for at least six weeks?)
That meant I was going to have to take it to work. Just for fun, I made a hard sauce to go with. I didn’t want to put out any kind of memo about the sauce — after all, it reeked of bourbon — but I explained over and over how one might want to warm the cake, and then put a dollop on, and then it would come a little closer to a proper fruitcake. Or maybe make the cake a bit more like bread pudding.
Two of us took home the extra hard sauce. One of the editors on the night desk said he added it to hot chocolate and that was pretty good. I took a bit, too, and left it with the chocolate pound cake we made for Aunt Regina and her 94th birthday. It does appear that Hard Sauce goes with everything.
1/2 cup butter, left at room temperature for a few hours until very soft
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 T. bourbon
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the bourbon until incorporated. Chill until firm. Put a heaping tablespoon on a warm dessert, and let it melt in.
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