The Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery is a five minute drive from our restaurant in Camana Bay. On my last trip down in April, for Slow Food Day, it was time for a visit. Miami New Times’ Laine Doss and I hopped in the Jeep, headed south on the left side of the road through two traffic circles and before the turn for the airport, pulled off onto a gravel road. Passing what appeared to be a junkyard and some tall weeds, the distillery appeared, centered neatly on a freshly-paved patch of asphalt like Dorothy’s house transported to Oz but in a torrent of the tropical kind.
Owner Walker Romanica met us in the tasting room where the tour began as one might expect, with his first rigged distilling device. Into the warehouse we went, the sweet smell of cane in the air, learning about spirit safes, copper pot stills and why one of the towers was so high (a new cane vodka in the making.) As we finished back up in the Tasting Room, the islands’ national drink in-hand, the conversation shifted west, to cooler climes. This Rum Swanky was headed to n0ne other than the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Walker explained. Two thousand miles away in distance, and thousands more in sense of place, this annual summer food festival and the Rock have more in common than meets the eye.
For a few years now, the Department of Tourism has activated a presence at the most respected culinary summit in the U.S., and this year it was going to be a sweet one. Walker would be sampling his Seven Fathoms label, which had just gained distribution stateside, at the Last Bite Party, and he needed a dessert to pair with it. I mentioned we would be there for another event with Royal Caribbean on behalf of Michael’s Genuine Pub and that we should talk. One month later, Walker called me with good news. They wanted Michael’s Genuine and executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith to create a rum dessert and present it in Aspen.
Enjoy Hedy’s Stormy Seven Fathoms Cupcakes with Coconut Lime Frosting in the recipe below, at the Last Bite Party at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen in two weeks and at Michael’s Genuine’s Sunday Brunch in Grand Cayman. Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery suspends its oak barrels of rum 42 feet under the waters off Grand Cayman’s shores, gently agitated by the waves for maximum liquid-to-wood surface contact. These cupcakes have it all — a sweet exotic bite with a tangy, sweet frosting finish. A taste of the tropics, with its favorite spirit baked right in. Hedy will travel to the island the week following Aspen for another sweet event, this time pint-sized in our first-ever Genuine Summer Bake Sale. For all the details, visit our newly updated “Upcoming Events” page.
A sweet summer indeed…
Stormy Seven Fathoms Cupcakes with Coconut Lime Frosting
by executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman and The Genuine Hospitality Group
Makes 10 to 12 cupcakes
½ cup dried figs, chopped
½ cup dates, chopped
½ cup golden raisins
8 ounces ginger beer
¼ cup Seven Fathoms Cayman Islands Premium Rum
2 tablespoons Governor’s Reserve Dark Rum
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 2 limes, plus long strands, for garnish
2 tablespoons molasses
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup candied ginger, chopped
½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Seven Fathoms Cayman Islands Premium Rum
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup toasted shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the figs, dates, and raisins in a small bowl and pour the ginger beer and rum over the fruit. Cover and chill for 24 hours. Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid, and set aside. Have ready well-buttered muffin tin. Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, lime zest, molasses, and white and brown sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste and grated ginger. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the reserved ginger beer/rum, starting and ending with the flour. Mix on high speed for 1 minute. With a wooden spoon, fold in the dried fruit, candied ginger, and coconut.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely before glazing.
In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar and fresh lime juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and let set for about 20 minutes while you make the frosting.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until soft and smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, rum and salt and beat on medium-high speed for 2 more minutes, until light and fluffy.
Frost each cupcake and top with the shredded coconut. The cupcakes taste better the longer the sit; they’re yummy after 2 days. Store at room temperature.