I love holidays! And 19 years ago, I met a guy who introduced me to several holidays I hadn't quite been celebrating yet. (Thanks, hun!) Then I married him and had two little leprechauns who thoroughly enjoy celebrating these holidays as well. And as a mom of two young kids, I have to admit that holidays take up quite a bit of my time - Christmas, Easter, Halloween to name a few. These special days demand so much from us moms - planning, shopping, decorating our house only to remove the decorations a few weeks later, among other things.
Well, today is St. Patrick's Day! A less major holiday but having Irish descent in our family, it is one to celebrate nonetheless.. And you all know how I celebrate - copious amounts of flour, eggs, butter, sugar........ :-) When thinking of what to bake for today, two things came to mind - green and beer. I was not too keen on doing something so literal as green this year, so I focused on the beer.
My husband loves a good stout. With its deep, complex flavor, color and aroma, I'd have to say as a non-beer drinker that I prefer it over other types of beer as well. I've always wanted to make a chocolate stout cake. Stouts and chocolate go quite well together and I knew a cake would be no different. I selected Guinness, since we had it on hand and found a wonderful recipe that brought out the taste of the beer but in a very subtle way. My hubs seemed to taste the beer much more than I did in the cake, which seemed to make sense to me since he drinks it a lot more than I do. Either way, it is an intense ultra-chocolatey cake with great moisture and texture.
Another great feature of this cake is that it's not too sweet, which makes it the perfect vehicle for any frosting you desire. I chose a peanut butter buttercream with a blanket of salted caramel between the cake layers. I felt the salted caramel would work well to cut through the sweetness of the buttercream. The result was a cake that is dangerous to keep in my fridge. I'm glad I'll be giving this one to my friend when I see her this weekend. The recipe I used is not complicated at all. It took me around 20 minutes to get it into the oven. It can also be made as a pound cake which I would imagine would be amazing with a blizzard of powdered sugar over top.
Happy St. Patty's Day, friends!