Chocolate Stout Cake with Irish Cream & Chocolate Frostings

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stout Chocolate Cake w/ Irish Cream Frosting

For Easter, my mom wanted a chocolate cake. I had been planning on making just a normal chocolate cake. Nothing fancy. However, I just couldn't do it. I had to experiment. So, this cake was born. I made a chocolate cake with stout beer, which actually just tasted like a richer version of chocolate cake. I also had to have two frostings-- Irish Cream for the inside and a plain old chocolate for the outside. The recipe below is a few different ones that I cobbled together for the final masterpiece. It definitely was a highly successful cake!

Stout Chocolate Cake w/ Irish Cream Frosting

I found the Chocolate Stout Cake recipe at Smitten Kitchen, but she used the original one from Bon Appetit (which incidentally is a magazine my dad requested for his birthday-- I know, odd to me too).

Chocolate Stout Cake w/ Irish Cream & Chocolate Frosting

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Cake prep:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray 2 8" round cake pans well. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter evenly split into prepared pans. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cakes out onto a rack.

Once cool, carefully cut each cake in half horizontally. Lay one half on a cake stand and line remaining platter with parchment paper to keep it clean as you frost the cake. Spread a thin layer of the Irish Cream frosting and place another cake half on top. Repeat until remaining cake has been layered. Spread chocolate frosting on top and sides to complete the cake and sprinkle with cocoa nibs for garnish. Carefully remove parchment paper.

Irish Cream Frosting

2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
4-5 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the Bailey's and half of the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth. Add the second half of the sugar and beat until smooth.

Chocolate Frosting

Coming soon... I can't find my notes on it at the moment and am too lazy to look for them. I promise I will get this up soon.

Ali & Alex

A couple weekends ago I took some pictures of the lovely Ali & Alex. Aren't they gorgeous girls!



Grilled Chicken & Butternut Squash with Mango Salsa

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grilled Chicken & Butternut Squash with Mango Salsa

I have done it! After numerous attempts to cook squash in a way that will actually make me like it, I have succeeded! This may seem silly, but to me it is a BIG event. Growing up, it was a most hated dish but once we started getting it in our boxes from The Farm, I decided that I must like it. Last fall I tried recipe after recipe in hopes that I would learn to love it. Sadly, I did not. I was rather upset this past week because the dreaded squash appeared randomly in our box again. I definitely did not want to deal with it, but decided that I might as well try to make the best of it. I hadn't yet tried grilling the squash and invented this dish around the concept because we also had a buttload of mangos from The Farm to use up.

This is one of my better creations, if I do say so myself. The mango salsa is a conglomeration of several different recipes. It is also delicious with tortilla chips and I can imagine would be good with fish, if you were into that type of thing (and not allergic, like me). The garnish is the perfect finishing touch and really is a nice tangy & cool counterpart to the sweet mango.

Grilled Chicken & Butternut Squash with Mango Salsa

1 butternut squash
1 lb chicken
olive oil
salt & pepper
Cooked rice of choice

For salsa:
1.5 cups cubed mango
1/3 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped (4ish Tbsp)
juice from 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

For garnish:
1 cup sour cream
juice from 1/2 lime
pinch of salt, to taste

Mix salsa ingredients and let sit while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Peel butternut squash, cut in half & scoop out the seeds. Turn so flat side rests on the cutting board and cut into thin strips lengthwise.

Cut chicken into strips the same width of the squash. To save time, you can buy the precut chicken tenders.

Grill the squash & chicken over a medium heat after brushing with olive oil and seasoning with salt & pepper. The squash only took around 4-5 minutes per side and the chicken not much longer than that.

Mix garnish ingredients.

Layer squash & chicken pieces over rice, then add a scoop of mango salsa and the sour cream garnish.

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