Chocolate Stout Cake for Matt’s 22nd Birthday

Matt, my boyfriend, LOVES beer.  So for his birthday I obviously had to make him some kind of treat with beer in it, and he chose this cake, which I adapted from The Beeroness.  The cake has Rogue Double Chocolate Stout in it, and the ganache has Maui Brewing Co.’s Coconut Porter.  This cake takes a very long time to make, but it’s worth it.  It was a moist and positively delicious cake!

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup Rogue Double Chocolate Stout
  • 1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled

For The Filling (Brown Sugar Buttercream):

  • 1/4 cup very hot water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 12 tbs of butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

 

 

For The Ganache:

  • 2 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter

 

 

 

Directions:

Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  4. Put the dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted.
  5. Add the melted chocolate to the sugar/egg mixture and blend well.
  6. While the mixer is on a medium-low setting, add the stout and then the coffee, continue to combine until well mixed.
  7. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.
  8. Grease and flour your cake pan(s). I used 8 inch square pans. Bake for between 25 and 35 minutes (depending on your cake pan size) or until the cake is set in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Filling:

  1. While the water is still very hot, add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Microwave it if you need to.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, salt and powdered sugar until combined.
  3. Add the brown sugar mixture and mix slowly until mostly combined, then turn the mixer on high and then whip until the frosting is fluffy and well combined.

Ganache:

  1. Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. In a pot on the stove, cook the beer over medium heat until reduced by half, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the beer, that you have reduced to 1 cup, over the chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
  3. Place in the fridge and allow to cool completely about 30 minutes.

Assembly:

  1. Place the first layer of your cake on a a cake plate.
  2. Top with  your brown sugar butter cream.
  3. Add the second cake layer.
  4. Pour the warm ganache over the top and allow it to run down the sides. Spread with a knife if necessary.

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A Belated Birthday Thank You

It has now been twelve days since my twenty-first birthday and I have yet to write real thank you notes or this public thank you to all of my loved ones who yet again showed me just how loved I am!

Thank you to my boyfriend, Matt, for brewing a batch of beer just for me!  He may think it is too fruity but it is just what I wanted!  Everyone can learn more about it at mAltintel.

Thank you to my dad, who got me a cake carrier and wire cooling racks so I can now treat my baked goods properly when they exit the oven.  He also gave me a fabric steamer so I never have to iron again (the bane of my existence!!).

Thank you to my sister, who was a proper bad influence and mailed me a shot glass, single shot of Patron silver, a lime, and a plastic knife to ensure that I would do a birthday shot.  She also sent me beautiful engraved wooden spoons, one of which you can catch a glimpse of in my birthday cake post.

Thank you to my brother who gave me a beautiful purple picture frame which I will be filling with a photo of us from his prom day, as we were both appropriately wearing purple!

Thank you to my Aunt Mary Jo, (who actually I am thanking for the Easter gift she sent me)- an adorable set of rabbit napkin ring holders that were my grandmothers.  Someday I will host an Easter brunch with pretty napkins and use them proudly.

Thank you to the Leahy family who sent me a new bunt pan to replace my crappy one, such a thoughtful gift from a family I am so happy to think of as my own and to have grown up with in my life.

Thank you to my many relatives who sent cards and money, so I can now fuel my expensive cooking and baking habit even more.

And, as usual, an enormous thank you to my mom.  She is a beautiful, generous, inspiring, and thoughtful woman who showered me with gifts from kitchen heaven, William Sonoma, including, but not limited to, a Breville personal pie maker, recipe books, cute cupcake papers, an epically awesome icing gun (which looks like a weapon from outer space), and a mermaid bottle-opener (after all I did turn 21).

Keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of many of these gifts in future posts!!

This post does not suffice to express how thankful and grateful I truly am to all of these people.  As I use all of these gifts over the years I will think of you all and my heart will grow warm and tears will come to my eyes, because I know I am lucky, and I am happy to have such wonderful people who care so dearly for me, and encourage me to keep doing what I do.  I had a wonderful birthday, and I have all of you to thank for being such a wonderful part of it and of my life!

Pink Champagne Cake for my 21st Birthday

I knew for my 21st birthday I had to make something with alcohol in it, so I turned to Booze Cakes, a recipe book by Castella and Stone full of cakes containing alcohol.  I decided to go with their recipe for a Pink Champagne Cake, because it was very girly, and I love champagne and though champagne was appropriate for a celebration such as this big birthday!  Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out as I expected.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • a few drops red food coloring
  • 2 cups champagne

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a few drops red food coloring

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (I don’t have round pans so I used a square one).
  3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Add vanilla and egg whites (one at a time) to butter and sugar.
  6. Mix in food coloring to reach the color you desire.
  7. Beat in flour mixture and Champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour to prevent curdling.
  8. Pour batter into pans and bake 35 minutes.
  9. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat butter 1 minute.  Gradually add the confectioners sugar, champagne, milk, vanilla, and food coloring; beat until smooth and creamy.

 

I followed all of these instructions EXACTLY, but the frosting was a horrific mess.  It was the runniest frosting I have ever seen, thinner even than a glaze.  I tried every trick I knew for thickening frosting, but it was hopeless.  I was so disappointed and frustrated that I gave in and went to the store and bought frosting (which I then made pink with food coloring).

My frustration may have caused me to go overboard decorating, but what girl doesn’t want her birthday cake to sparkle (from pink sugar crystals), be covered in flowers (wilton sugar flowers), and have strawberry slices on it?

The cake ended up being good, though I hate the artificial taste of store-bought frosting.  I will never use this icing recipe again, and I will never recommend it to anyone.  This is the first recipe I have made from Booze Cakes, and I hope that they don’t all turn out to be as disappointing.

 

Pistachio Cake

I got this recipe from my mom, it’s one she has made my whole life.  Our good family friends were coming to visit and they have always loved it, so I made one for them!  This is a great cake for people who don’t like icing, or for brunch/tea parties, or just whenever!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box butter cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package pistachio pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Butter and flour bunt pan.
  2. In an electric mixer, mix cake mix, eggs, sour cream, pistachio pudding, and vegetable oil mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
  4. Pour half of batter into pan, top with 1/2 sugar mix.
  5. Pour rest of batter and top with sugar mix.
  6. Put in a cold oven, set at 350, and cook 1 hour.
  7. Share with friends!