Enlightened Eggnog Rum Cake 

Yield: 16 servings
1 recipe Candied Almonds (See recipe below.)
99% less-residue, no-stick baking spray with flour, non-aerosol cooking spray, or vegetable oil
1 box yellow super moist cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 small package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix
¼ tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup fresh eggnog
½ cup gold or dark rum (You can replace the rum with ½ cup additional eggnog.)
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 recipe Rum Eggnog Glaze (See recipe below.)
Before making cake, prepare Candied Almonds and set aside until ready to use. Reduce oven heat
to 325 F.Spray a regular or nonstick 10-inch Bundt cake pan with 99% less residue baking spray with flour. You can also use a non-aerosol cooking spray or spread 1 tsp. vegetable oil over pan’s surface, then dust with flour. Set pan aside. Note: You can use a 99% less residue no-stick baking spray with flour on all baking pans; it will not damage nonstick surfaces.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk cake mix with pudding mix and nutmeg until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk eggnog together with rum, eggs, and vanilla.

Pour liquids into the mixing bowl with dry and beat all ingredients together on medium for 2 minutes. Do not over-beat mixture.

Pour batter into pan and smooth out top. Bake at 325 F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake on to a serving plate and remove pan.

About 30 minutes before cake is done baking, prepare Rum Eggnog Glaze, cover and set aside.

Prick top and sides of cake lightly with a fork or toothpick, then brush glaze evenly over cake, allowing glaze to absorb. Before glaze has a chance to dry, sprinkle almonds evenly over top of cake and drizzle any remaining glaze over nuts. Allow cake to cool completely before covering. Cake may be served at room temperature or chilled.

CANDIED ALMONDS 
99% less-residue or non-aerosol cooking spray, and/or parchment paper or parchment baking sheets
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sliced almonds
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. egg white
pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with cooking spray or line baking sheet with
parchment and spray sheet liberally with cooking spray.

Put almonds in a small bowl and toss together with sugar, egg white, and salt.

Using a spatula, spread mixture over sheet evenly and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and
stir/turn nuts in caramelized sugar. Return to oven for another 6 to 8 minutes or until nuts are lightly
browned. Remove from oven and stir nuts with sugar again, keeping in an even layer. Once nuts are
cool enough to handle, separate any that are stuck together, then set aside until ready to use.

RUM EGGNOG GLAZE 
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup gold or dark rum (You can replace the rum with ¼ cup eggnog.)
2 tbsp. regular butter
¼ cup fresh eggnog
Combine sugar, rum, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat. Whisking constantly, continue to boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Whisk in eggnog and set aside covered until ready to use.
Nutritional Information with Candied Almonds: 265 Calories; 6g Fat; 44g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Protein; 59mg Cholesterol; 345mg Sodium

Traditional Version: 425 Calories; 24g Fat; 55g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 62mg Cholesterol;
571mg Sodium

Talking Points for Enlighted Eggnog Rum Cake
This recipe is so easy and delicious you won’t believe it’s lower in fat, calories, sugar and cholesterol.
Rather than making a cake from scratch, this recipe uses a yellow cake mix. You can use any brand of yellow cake mix. I personally like the Betty Crocker Super Moist. Box cake mixes are so well engendered do not need to add the called for ½ cup of oil or butter without compromising the cake’s ability to bake correctly.

I replaced the 1 cup water the box recipe called with 1 cup eggnog (regular not light). The added fat in the eggnog helps keep the cake moist without adding butter or oil to the recipe.

In addition, to the eggnog, I’ve also added a small package of instant pudding. The pudding mixture also helps adds moister to the cake and they are a traditional ingredient added to Bundt cakes, which tend to be heavier than a regular layer cake.

This is a rum cake, so I’ve added ½ cup gold rum to the cake ingredients. When you are rehabbing a cake recipe, you want to keep the ingredient ratios equal to what’s originally called for. That way you don’t end up with a cake that is too dry or too wet. For this recipe, it works out perfectly with 1 cup eggnog replacing the water and ½ cup rum replacing the oil for a total of 1½ cups liquid.

The box recipe calls for three whole eggs, however, I’ve added an extra egg to give the pudding a little extra moister. Eggs are a perfect food. They are low in fat and although high in cholesterol, they do not increase human serum cholesterol as once believed. Fresh whole eggs give baked goods a richer texter than egg whites. Which only add volume.

The glaze is made with only two tablespoons real butter rather than ¼ to ½ cup.

The Eggnog Rum Glaze also contains ¼ cup less sugar than the traditional recipe.

The Candied Almonds are made using egg white rather than butter or oil to bind the caramelized sugar to them while baking.

Courtesy of Chef Mary E. Ross