3/4 cup (175 mL) raisins
1/2 cup (125 mL) rum, preferably dark
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
1 cup (250 mL) canola oil
2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (3 mL) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) grated nutmeg
3/4 cup (175 mL) buttermilk
1/2 cup (125 mL) tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
3 tablespoons (45 mL) whipping cream
Rum from soaking raisins
Cake: Soak raisins in rum for 30 minutes or up to several hours. Peel sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) slices. Cook, covered in salted water, until very tender. Drain and mash. Measure out 2 cups (500 mL) and let cool. Grease and flour a 10-inch (25 cm) tube or Bundt pan. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add sugar and beat together until light and thick. Add oil and vanilla; beat to blend. Drain raisins, reserving rum. Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the rum to batter. Add sweet potatoes; mix thoroughly.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to batter alternately with buttermilk (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of wet). Fold in drained raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 60 to 80 minutes or until a tester inserted near centre comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert cake onto the rack. Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Glaze: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until mixture thickens a bit. Remove from heat and add remaining rum.
Place rack with cake on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drippings. Using a long skewer, poke holes all over top of cake. Spoon about half of the warm glaze over the cake. Allow remaining glaze to cool and thicken a bit (about 15 minutes); pour over cake, letting it dribble down the sides. Cool completely.
Note: This is an adaptation of a recipe by Regan Daley in her book, In the Sweet Kitchen (Random House, 2000).