Dear Georgie Girl Confections Supporters,
I’ve spoken before about my quarterly dinner club, where several couples get together each quarter for a potluck, and what we make is based on that quarter’s food theme. For our most recent dinner club, we selected beer as the theme. The men were in charge of the unique beer selection, while the ladies created the food menu. Food items included garlic and stout marinated lamb skewers, mussels cooked in beer, and shrimp marinated in garlic and beer.
The dessert idea – a chocolate stout cake – came purely by accident. A few weeks before the dinner club, my husband and I went to Lenox, MA for the Diana Krall concert at Tanglewood (I highly recommend this experience!). While at the hotel dining room for breakfast, the manager was talking up the guests and suggested we try Barrington Brewery after hearing my husband likes to brew beer. At the Brewery, we were chatting with our waitress who told us about this amazing chocolate cake they make on premise and was written up in Bon Appetit, so we decided to order it. Wow! I happened to mention I run a baking business, and the waitress said they actually give out the cake’s recipe, and it is the only recipe they give out. How perfect! I am a baker, and I need something beer-oriented for an upcoming dinner party.
Below is the recipe for the cake, but before you scroll down, I wanted to share that I decided to add a bit of a twist to this recipe by adding cayenne pepper to the frosting. How much? Well, I just kept adding, stirring and tasting, until it finally had just the right kick. The dinner party group LOVED this. I could not believe how easy this cake was to make….and how delicious it was, especially relative to the amount of effort required.
Barrington Brewery Chocolate Stout Cake Recipe
2 cups stout
4 sticks unsalted butter cut into 1-in squares
1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour)
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup sour cream (I used low-fat)
3 cups whipping cream
1.5 pounds bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 3 8-inch cake pans with 2-inch high sides. Line with parchment paper rounds. Butter paper. Bring stout and butter to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt butter. Add cocoa, whisk until mixture smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl. Add stout mixture to egg mixture, beat just to combine. Add flour mixture. Beat just to blend. Fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among pans.
Bake cakes until tested inserted into center comes clean (35-45 minutes). Transfer to rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack, remove parchment and cool.
For icing: Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Chill until spreadable, stirring often. About 2 hours.
Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 1 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 1 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
Fourth of July is such a great holiday – sunshine, BBQs, friends, family, and of course, Flag Cake! I’ve been making a Flag Cake since college and look forward to doing so every year. Depending on the size of the party I attend and how much time I have determines whether I use a Sarah Lee pound cake or make my own. This year, I decided to make my own pound cake for the base using this recipe from Paula Deen, which I highly recommend. I doubled the recipe, using half for the Flag Cake and the other half for a bundt pan.
Check out my photos to see how I made this yummy and refreshing summer dessert!
I always love introducing new products, but this is one I am most excited about. After making it, I gave samples to some of the top gym instructors in New York City, and they all raved about it. And now, it is time to introduce this to you. The Ki-Nwa Bite – made for those with a sweet tooth who don’t want to feel so guilty. How can that be? Quinoa, protein powder and almond butter give it protein, while dates and coconut nectar give it sweetness. Chia seeds and ground almonds add texture, while coconut oil binds it all together. What about chocolate? Must have chocolate, right? The Ki-Nwa Bite contains cocoa powder (unsweetened) and cocoa nibs. And if you really like chocolate, you can order Chocolate Covered (with 85% dark chocolate) Ki-Nwa Bites. I highly recommend clicking on the ingredients with links so you can learn more about why adding these foods to your diet can be good for you.
How are they are packaged? They come in a ziploc-able, food-safe cello bag that is heat-sealed to help maintain its freshness. It’s approximately 46 grams for the plain and 78 grams for the chocolate covered Ki-Nwa bites. They freeze very well!
Yes, this item is gluten free but know that Georgie Girl Confections has a kitchen that contains wheat so if you have a severe wheat allergy, this is not for you.
I look forward to sharing this product with you! Check it out on my Specialty Items page.
Last year, friends and I created a Dinner Club where each quarter, we get together for pot luck. Each couple makes 2 dishes, where the host picks the theme of these dishes. We’ve done Italian picnic, outdoor grill, and Indian. This quarter, my husband and I were hosts and decided on a Moroccan theme. How did we come up with this idea? I sign up for the NY Times recipes, and a few weeks before our scheduled dinner, I received several emails about Moroccan dishes and it spoke to me.
Admittedly, I was a little concerned this time because the men in our group love their meat and we had only one meat dish – a chicken tagine. Everything else was vegetarian. My worries quickly dissipated when one of the guys said, “Wow! We have really perfected the variety we bring to this Dinner Club. The food is amazing!”
What did we make? As I mentioned earlier, we made a chicken tagine and because I am the baker of the group, I also made a M’Hannche (Moroccan serpent cake). We also had a carrot red lentil soup with asian spices, vegetable medley, couscous, and lots of wine!
Some of the recipes are below:
- Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with Asian Spices: http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/2012/01/carrot-and-red-lentil-soup-with-asian.html?m=1
- Chicken Tagine: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/north-african-chicken-tagine-recipe/index.html. We used a bit less saffron and stock, doubled the cumin, cardamom, and bay leaves, and omitted the olives (’cause my hubby doesn’t care for them).
- M’Hannche: http://www.natalieskillercuisine.com/2010/09/moroccan-desserts-project-food-blog.html
Check out the slide show of how to make the M’Hannche. It was quick and easy….and everyone loved it!
Next quarter? I think we will try a Beer Tasting Dinner Party.
This past weekend, I had a birthday party and a dinner to attend. Now that I have my baking business, I enjoy going to such things so I can create new recipes and test them out on others. Since I’ve been making a lot of cookies and cupcakes lately, I thought I would change it up a bit and try cake and macaroons.
What’s better for a birthday party than a cake!? Given that many of the attendees were French, I thought I would try something, well, French! I made a chocolate genoise cake, which is a lighter, fluffier version of what we normally think of as chocolate cake. Also, the chocolate flavor is a bit lighter, which worked for this cake because I used lots of chocolate elsewhere. Where, you may ask? I cut the two cake layers in half, making it a four layer cake. Each layer was soaked with a vanilla syrup and topped with a whipped chocolate ganache, which I seem to use a lot of these days! I then topped the cake with a light, airy chocolate Italian buttercream. OK, I could have done French buttercream, but the Italian is so good! The results? The birthday girl approved!
For the dinner, I decided to make French macaroons, yes, sticking with the French theme. I know there are so many flavors out there now, which I am looking forward to experimenting with. For now, I made hazelnut macaroons filled with a whipped chocolate ganache (there’s that ganache again!). It was delicious. I made almost 2 dozen and decided to bring them all over for just the four of us (plus a 2 year old). By the end of the evening, there were six left…and the picky 2 year old ate three! The conversation quickly went to, “How can you market these, Georgie?”
Honestly, I love to bake, but I think I love it more because of people’s appreciation for what I make.