Thursday, March 15, 2007

Old Man Stout Cake. Really.

look at this cake! just look at it! well, don't just look at it. look at it, please, while imagining that i have incredible amazing fantabulous genius mad photography skills. because this is really one of the yummiest, most unique, and phenomenally wonderful pieces of cake that has ever existed. i am serious. i am so serious that i posted two pictures. i ate two pieces as well! (well not really, but my piece was pretty big.)

and there's an interesting (subjective) story to the cake. i came home after a particularly long and emotionally trying day at work, excited to go and meet with these wonderful women about the art for our logo/label (a magical encounter, indeed! - more on that next week) and while i am sitting down, having a moment, shana walks in carrying a container with, you guessed it, cake! "save it for later, after we get back, to celebrate," she says. so we go, meet and talk and dream and visualize verbalizations and eat thin mints. ideas get shared and we love them all. shana and i come home excited, renewed, and joyously tired. we sit down to cake. john made this cake. synchronicitously, we looked up and it was midnight. my birth-day and we are eating cake! pretty random, but not really. jenn and john gave shana the cake, and now it has become a birth-day cake. celebrate good times, come on! really. {shana wanted me to take this out. i refused.}

and the back story (there's always a back story). a main ingredient of this cake is Old Man Stout, a home brewed partial mash oatmeal stout brewed by john and i for his birth-day. we initiated him into the sacred rites of fermentation and introduced him to my personal fermentation god, affectionately called, 'The Yeastie Beastie'. john took to brewing quite well. he also took my keg and CO2 tank to his house; leaving me with a keg and no pressure. oh well. he did make cake! Here is the Old Man himself:

Here is the recipe:

Gingerbread layer cake with candied pistachios (from The Bon Appetit Cookbook)

For the cake:
1 cup dark beer 1 cup molasses (I used the darkest I had)
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda 2 cups all porpoise flour
2 Tbsp ground ginger (yes, 2 tablespoons!) 1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
3 large eggs ½ cup white sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar 1 Tbsp minced ginger
¾ cup vegetable oil (you MUST use this much to make the cake as moist as possible!)

For the cream cheese frosting:
1 8-ounce pack of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
¾ Tbsp finely grated orange peel, but I think you could use more
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Candied Pistachios:

(I didn’t make this, but it is in the recipe)
1 cup finely chopped pistachios
1 Tbsp light corn syrup 2 Tbsp sugar

For cake
: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch diameter cake pans. Bring stout and molasses to boil in heavy saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Let stand 1 hour to cool completely.

Whisk flour and next 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk eggs and both sugars in bowl to blend. Whisk in oil, then stout mixture. Gradually whisk stout-egg mixture into flour mixture. Stir in fresh ginger.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely.

For candied pistachios: Preheat oven to 325. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mix pistachios and corn syrup in medium bowl. Add sugar and toss to coat. Working quickly so sugar doesn’t melt, spread pistachios on prepared baking sheet. Bake until pistachios are pale golden, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For cream cheese frosting: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. (Lee, your post is coming.This is a subliminal message.)Chill frosting 30 minutes.Place 1 cake layer, rounded side up, on platter. Spread frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, rounded side up, and spread frosting. Top with third cake layer, flat side up. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle top with candied pistachios.

A Fermentation Prayer:
!Hear us, Yeastie Beastie, oh, mystical yet understandable, rotter of creation, breather of the bubbling fire liquids, and bring us to boil. Infect our controlled rots with pleasant and ever so sensual, mundanely furious and particularly astute spirits. Cake from home brew. thanks ever so much!


Tamara said...

ahhh, you had me at cream cheese frosting. I would like to put in order in for this cake for when I visit. Please make that happen. Until then, I will dream of this cake when I am sleeping. (or not sleeping for that matter, lets be honest, i have a 2 month old.)

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