Alright so this dessert is a little next-level, I will fully admit. However most of the time spent is passive, waiting for the yeast to rise, and I will tell you firsthand it is worth the wait! So take the time and make this dessert from start to finish and you will end up thanking me!
In France it is tradition to serve this “with rum,” which in many bistros means they simply place a whole bottle of rum on your table and you serve yourself! Delicious, non? Serve it any way you like it, but the fact is this cake needs to be soaked with rum before serving. I have also called for it to be served with rum-poached cherries, because why not just keep going over the top when you are already!
Chantilly Cream puts this over the top as a super French dessert. You can splurge on a star-shaped pastry tip and pastry bag, and pipe out pretty star-shaped mounds of chantilly all over the plate. But as always rustic wins the day and there is nothing like a good old dollop of whipped cream to make people happy!
So, for the cake: prepare a bundt pan with baking spray. Preheat your oven to 350F and position a baking rack in the bottom third of the oven. In a small saucepan, warm the milk till just room temperature, at most barely warm to the touch. Add the yeast and sugar and let sit. You want the yeast to get bubbly and active– if this does not happen you may have to start again! Perhaps your yeast was old and dead or the milk was too hot.
Once it bubbles and looks ‘alive,’ pour the yeast mixture into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On low speed add the eggs and beat till well-blended. Then add the dry ingredients, and the melted butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 6 more minutes. Take the bowl off the mixer and scrape the dough away from the bowl—it will be very soft at this point. Put a towel over the bowl and in a warm corner, allowing it to rise until it nearly doubles in size.
Fold the dough over itself until it collapses, then pour and spread evenly into the prepared pan, connecting the two ends as best you can. Cover again with a towel and let rise till one and a half times the size.
Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool until handleable and turn out onto serving tray. Pour a few shots of rum mixed with simple syrup over cake, while it is still warm.
For the poached cherries, simmer cherries, rum, sugar, and vanilla bean in saucepan until fruit is just beginning to break down, 3-5 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Whip all the chantilly cream ingredients together, keeping them very chill. Place in pastry bag with star tip if you like, or simply serve the chantilly cream with a large spoon and allow guests to help themselves!
Slice the cake, garnish with cherries and cream, and serve with another shot of rum!