It was my birthday! And yes, I made my own cake. To my likeness as well!
And by that I mean, it wasn’t much to look at, sounds really good on paper, and was delicious once you cut it up and gave it a try. That’s me in a nutshell!
I have been toying around with making a Chocolate Guiniess Cake for a long time. However, during all of my research, I couldn’t find a recipe I liked. Finally, one day at work, I was approached by a co-worker for a dessert idea for some party she was going to. I had this Red Wine Chocolate Cake from Smitten Kitchen that I’ve made a bunch of times on the brain. I then tried to find it on my own blog, and even though, I could have sworn I’ve talked about it, it seems that I never did! Strange. Nevertheless, I pointed her in that general direction.
Next time I saw her she raved about the cake, and offered up a tidbit. If I substitute beer for the red wine, it totally works too. Done and Done!
Now, I made this the morning of my birthday. I went out on a very early morning run on one of my favorite loops round the Rockefeller Preserve, then came home, showered, and made a cake before heading off to brunch with friends. So, not all of my ingredients that needed to be at room temperature really were (20 minutes on the counter does not mean room temperature). It worked anyway. This also explains the horrid lack of pictures….sorry kids!
For the cake:
I basically followed her recipe to the letter except for the following notes:
I used what was left of my Kerrygold Irish butter and a small stub of Land O Lakes butter.
Even though I usually skimp on the sugar significantly, this time I only did by a few grams. Since I was using a beer, I think if you skimp on the sugar, then the bitterness of the beer comes through even more. So keep all the sugar in. I also used a light brown sugar since that is what I usually have on hand.
I used a Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter. It’s an Ale with Coffee and Vanilla Beans, and it tastes so good.
For the Frosting:
I totally eyeballed this one after reading through the general ingrediant list for peanut butter cream cheese frosting.
In my mixer bowl, I threw in a stub of butter (maybe 1/4 of a stick), and maybe 1/4 of an 8 oz package of cream cheese and with the paddle attachement beat the two until light and fluffy. Then I added maybe a little less than a tablespoon of natural unsalted peanut butter and beat until combined. Then I added a touch of vanilla extract and maybe three tablespoons of powdered sugar and just kept the mixer going until the frosting looked combined and smooth. I turned off the mixer every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl and check on consistancy.
Once it’s all done, and the cake is cooled, spread the frosting on top. I made barely enough to cover the top of the cake, but the good thing is, the frosting added an extra dimension without overwhelming the cake.
The cake came out super chocolatly and a great mix of cake like and fudgy without being dense. It tastes like there’s beer in there, but I feel like the beer helped boost the chocolate flavor even more than shine as a main ingredient (might have been the coffee).
Chocolate + Beer + Peanut Butter = My kind of birthday cake!