Get lost in the Bermuda… cake
If I were ever magically transformed into a dolphin, cake is what I’d miss the most. That might sound an odd way to begin this post, but that predicament is basically what happens to Michael, the hero of The Storm Bottle. Without warning – and for reasons I won’t go into here – Michael finds himself lost in the Atlantic Ocean, inhabiting the body of a dolphin.
Why exactly this has happened, and what the consequences are, I’ll leave you to find out, if you’re interested. But boy, does Michael miss his cake. I know Bermuda well – it’s where my stepmother was born, and much of my family still lives out there. And unlike me, my stepmother is truly a deity in the kitchen, and one of her (not very well kept) secrets is the world-famous Bermuda rum cake. ‘World-famous’ isn’t an idle boast, either, as this stuff is so moist (and, frankly, so sozzled in rum) that it’ll keep over a long-haul flight, and probably a sea crossing too. And if you’re attacked by sharks on the way, you just throw ‘em the cake and they sink. In fact this cake is the best rational explanation I’ve yet come across for the disappearance of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle.
I can’t think of a better way to enjoy ‘The Storm Bottle’ than with a large slice of Bermuda Rum Cake at your elbow, so I’ll share my stepmother’s recipe as well as I remember it. She gave me the ‘cheating’ version that uses instant cake mix and pudding mix, but I expect real cake masters will know how to do it the long way round, if the fancy takes them. Me, I’m in too much of a hurry to eat it.
This version takes about an hour and a half to make, all together. Bon voyage!
For the cake itself:
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
1 18-1/2 ounce yellow cake mix
instant vanilla pudding mix – four servings’ worth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum (Goslings rum for authentic Bermuda cake!)
For the glaze:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease the cake tin. Mix all the cake ingredients in a bowl, then beat well before pouring into the tin. Bake for 1 hour, take out and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the water and sugar.
Boil for five minutes, stirring all the while. Take off the heat and stir in the black rum.
Now turn the cooled cake upside-down onto a plate, prick with a fork and drizzle the glaze over it. Leave to set and you’re done!
p.s. Even my cat eats this stuff. Store it in a secure place!
The Storm Bottle
Swimming with dolphins is said to be the number one thing to do before you die. For 12-year-old
Michael, it very nearly is. A secret boat trip has gone tragically wrong, and now he lies unconscious in
But when Michael finally wakes up, he seems different. His step sister Bibi is soon convinced that he
is not who he appears to be. Meanwhile, in the ocean beyond Bermuda’s reefs, a group of bottlenose
dolphins are astonished to discover a stranger in their midst – a boy lost and desperate to return home.
Bermuda is a place of mysteries. Some believe its seas are enchanted, and the sun-drenched islands
conceal a darker past, haunted with tales of lost ships. Now Bibi and Michael are finding themselves in
the most extraordinary tale of all.
‘I loved it… An absolute winner.’
– LA Weatherly, author of the Angel Burn trilogy
‘A writer who knows how to grip the imagination, make you sit on the edge of your chair, and make you
laugh out loud.’
– Michelle Lovric, author of The Undrowned Child, The Mourning Emporium and The Book of Human
‘If you only ever buy one Kindle book in your life (although that sounds a bit unlikely, now that I stop and
think) this has to be it.’
– The Bookwitch blog.
Author Nick Green
Nick Green is a UK children’s and YA author, best known for his trilogy The Cat Kin, published in the UK
by Strident Publishing and in Germany by Ravensburger, and also as a BBC audiobook. He has appeared
on BBC radio talking about his books, and has been shortlisted for two UK children’s book awards. He
regularly does school visits and other children’s literary events. The Storm Bottle is his first straight-to-