Monday, January 06, 2014

The Post Chocablock Full of Recipes

The minute you sit down these days, Fred's in your lap.  Isn't he a big boy?
I'm sorry I left those of you uninterested in my GGBoE with the post up for an extra day.  I was busy making this guy's birthday cake.  You see, today is his birthday and he wanted to celebrate it last night (he and Nan and Pop all returned to work today after a lovely two week break). 

The cake he chose for me to make was a Guinness chocolate cake with Bailey's frosting.  I made the cake and then cobbled together two recipes to create a Bailey's chocolate buttercream frosting. 

Holy cow.

The cake is a moist, decadent delight. 

The frosting?  Well, let's just say it's goodVery good.

It's a bit squat because I used 9" pans instead of the 8" the recipe calls for because my 8" pans are junk and my 9" pans are lovely and I figured what could it hurt, really?  It made a squatty cake, but it doesn't matter.  That baby is over-the-top GOOD.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

1 cup of Guinness Extra Stout
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of unsalted butter
3/4 of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease two 8" round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.   (As you can see, 9" pans work, but it's short.)

Combine butter, cocoa, Guinness and vanilla in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking to incorporate all ingredients until smooth. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Pour chocolate mixture in with dry ingredients and whisk together.  Whisk in the eggs.

Pour into cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.  Cake is done with toothpick comes out clean.

Now, how about that frosting? 

I ran into trouble right from the start because I didn't have any Bailey's.  I texted my friend, Courtney, telling her I was bummed that I was going to have to scrap the frosting and she said, "Why don't you just make it?"

Wha...?  You can make Bailey's??

Why yes, yes you can!  There are any number of recipes out there.  I pulled together what ingredients I had (I had no Irish whiskey so found a recipe using vodka--which also called for eggs which I left out--salmonella is nothing to play around with) and got to work. I pulled parts and pieces from a couple different recipes and this is what I came up with:

 Homemade Bailey's

1 1/4 cups vodka
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 T instant coffee (I used 1 teaspoon instant espresso and then filled in with the coffee)
2 T chocolate syrup  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in blender and mix until well blended. 

(Um, wow this is some good stuff.  I put it in the container above and am storing it in the fridge.  I have a feeling it will last awhile given the alcohol content.  ;o))

So, I put this to work in the frosting. 

Bailey's Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 pound butter, softened
7 cups confectioner's suga
1 cup cocoa
~1/3-1/2 cup Bailey's (Start with 1/4 cup plus 2 T and go from there)

Beat butter until fluffy.  Combine sugar and cocoa in bowl.  Begin by adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar/cocoa mixture to the butter at a time. Add slowly until all of the sugar/cocoa is incorporated.  Add the 1/4 cup plus 2 T of Bailey's, and then add more as needed to get the consistency you want. You will need to scrape and scrape and scrape the sides as you work, and oh, by the way, this makes A TON of frosting. 

I used maybe half the batch (so, yes, you can half this and it will probably be close to enough, but I truly don't believe there's such a thing as too much frosting on a cake so I make more than enough and then use up the leftovers...) and put the rest in an airtight container in the fridge to be used on Guinness chocolate cupcakes for a get together Friday night. :o)

And, because this seems to be the post for recipes, here's one last one for good measure. 

Sticky Chocolate Orange Loaf (Adapted from Nigella Lawson)

10 Tablespoons butter, softened
oil for greasing the syrup spoon
2 T dark corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar (I used light and it comes out just fine)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (the original recipe calls for baking soda, I made a mistake and used powder and it was so good we kept the booboo)
3 Tablespoons cocoa, sifted (I don't sift it)
2 eggs
zest of two oranges, the juice from one of them
2 pound loaf pan

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Beat butter with syrup and sugar until smooth.  Mix flour, baking soda, and cocoa together and beat into butter/syrup mixture--1 T dry ingredients first, then one egg, then more dry ingredients then second egg.  Add the remaining dry ingredients (scraping sides will be necessary), zest (I find it best to add it little bits at a time as it has a tendency to want to cling in big ol' clumps to my paddle if I don't), and finally the juice. 

(As you can see from the two previous photos, it's a rather lumpy messy looking batter.)

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes.  Check five minutes before and be prepared to keep it in five minutes longer if needed. 

A toothpick will NOT come out clean as the point is a slightly sticky cake.   This means the center will be a bit soft to the touch but fairly firm.

Remove from oven and cool in pan on cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and finish cooling. 

So, there you have it, four recipes in one day. ;o)


This beautiful girl. :o)

Sure, she may leave notes like this stuck to the freezer (what is she saying about my junk food habits??),

But, that doesn't stop me from worrying about her and her cold little hands.  I made her (and her sister) flannel handwarmers packed with rice.  Zap those puppies for 30 seconds and you have toasty hands (just in time for tomorrow and the big chill moving our way).

Nor does it stop me from wanting to make her something fun. :o)  She chose the fabric and decided how she wanted to use the bag. 

Because I happen to adore her big bad sister as well, Beanie also got a bag.  :o)

Can you tell I'm having fun with my new sewing machine?  :oP 

2.  My new sewing machine. ;o)

3.  A warm house and heat and electricity.  It's going to be vicious tonight and we're not in the cold part of the country.  So, I guess that could be edited to say "vicious for here". 

4.  My sweet boy who is 38 today.  He is a wonderful husband and father.  I love so many things about him and appreciate him more than I think I let him know.  It's that whole dailyness of living thing, you know? 

No milestones.


korinthia said...

Oh my gosh I love the hand warmers!!! What a great idea. I may make some for the kids tonight when I get home from work.

Bailey's Leaf said...

An Epiphany baby! Happy birthday!

Peg said...

1. Happy birthday to B!!
2. you are seriously my crafting very cool.
3. I need to make the investment and get me an Erin have really gotten my organization juices going
4. Our black cat Oreo basically sits on anything someone is doing whether it's homework, the computer, reading the paper, sleeping...
5. Sounds like your holidays were lovely. It was really nice to see the girls and their smiling faces.

Anonymous said...

That cake looks wonderful!! I know at one point you mentioned your husband was going gluten free. Has that changed or have you just not received the go-ahead to change his diet?

Rebekah Thomas said...

Happy birthday to your hubby!

S in LA said...

My husband's birthday is next week. He's a huge Guinness fan since our trip to Ireland. I'm so going to make this cake for him! Thanks for the post.

Rach said...

Hi Anon,

You know what, you're right, I forgot to follow-up with that.

After his biopsy in August they found no signs at all of celiac. He was shocked. I was shocked. We were ALL shocked.

So, we still have a gluten-filled household. I can't say we're sad about it.

Thanks for asking!

Jori said...

Yay! You have been turning out some good looking baked goods! I love that so many things can be substituted for other ingredients. Lovely,lovely google. I can always find a sub if I am out of something. So glad your sweet B had a great day!

Rachel said...

Happy birthday to B! I hope it was happy.

I couldn't help myself and made substitutions to make the chocolate orange bread gluten-free for my family. It was so good!

Thank you for always sharing recipes!