After a long month of final papers, a thesis presentation, a wine exam, and two weeks of travel, I suddenly find myself waking up at 6.30 every morning and wondering what to do with my day until school starts again. Well, what's a future pastry-chef to do but to bake, of course! The most delicious thing to come out of the oven in the last week has been this Chocolate Stout Cake, made with 1 cup of Guinness or other such stout beer.
My boyfriend asked me to bake a cake for someone's going away party at work last week. When I suggested this one, he figured it would appeal to all the macho types at work. Beer is macho, no? So a Macho Cake it was to be. Except for the first batch, I accidentally splashed water into the bowl of butter-stout mixture, effectively ruining it. The second batch came out much better, and came out of the oven smelling divine. Only I forgot to double-check for doneness when using a new oven. When I removed the cake from its silicone baking pan (best thing since sliced bread guys, seriously), one side (the one closest to the door) had not cooked properly, resulting in a collapsed, lopsided cake. There was seriously about a 15-degree gradient between one side of the cake and the other, which no amount of chocolate ganache could hide on a bundt cake. So I had to start from scratch again.
Macho cake indeed...more like masochist cake. I ended up baking for five hours total, but here's the end result. The lopsided cake we ate ourselves and shared with the neighbors. While it's not going to win any prizes for good looks, it made up for it in improving its flavor over the next three days. The other one I made pretty with a few slices of strawberries...nice, huh?