cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ein Beer Kuchen

Serial Blasphemy.
Or so my actions of late have been dubbed. The iniquitous product: a beer cake of Guinness with sour whiskey icing. "Puh," was the sound that escaped from my dad as he explained, "Guinness should be poured cold and drunk purely from a glass, not muddled with in pastries." Or something to that measure more or less. The tart reply: "It's my beer, I shall so with it what I please." Erm yes, I do not drink beer {wheat and all}, for me it is an ingredient as much as any other. But out of respect for the regal libation and its many patrons, I would never imagine wasting it in anything other than a truly 'worthy' Salty Cod creation. Guinness cake with Macallan whiskey icing--the second party foul as apparently said prize whiskey maintains an exorbitantly large monetary value. Alas! Je m'excuse. Notice that we are here yet again at dramatics. Every time I write on a baked something or other it takes on biblical description--what I bake is never a cake, but always a cake.

The Beer Kuchen was a birthday treat for a work mate. Any excuse to bake eh. You see I have trapped myself in somewhat of a baking bind with my coworkers: everyone gets a special something on their last day reminiscent of their favorite ice cream. It started with L, who, for her last day, requested a goodbye goody to remember me by. How charming. Edibles always make for memorable keepsakes I must say, at least until they are digested. For her the flavor was blueberry, and a blueberry coffeecake with a strudel crumble made of sugar cone bits emerged. Next was H's; whose fondness for chocolate mousse called for fluffy chocolate cake cookies, but for M's birthday, euh, I couldn't recall a flavor. I knew he was keen on beer and cigarettes; and drawing the line at a ground cigarette ganache, (though rumor has it our mocha cream is a bit reminiscent of smoky tar) I stuck with the beer. Something bitter, only slightly sweet, and most importantly with a bit of flair.

I knew it had to be Guinness, any company with gall enough at startup to initiate a two thousand year factory land lease from the Crown is a well founded business. Beer that tastes of coffee and toast deserves a place in baking lore. So the cake--as an Irish stout it would be dark, so might as well add cocoa. Research on chocolate stout cakes produced a perfect recipe; though, as my luck has it, no eggs. Just bloody fantastic. Cursing the baking deity of mal chance, I swapped my recette for egg less improv. As I am quite self absorbed and boastful, I will say that it turned out perfect. I think. Guinness, bitter cocoa powder, buttermilk, vinegar (?)(I read somewhere that when one lacks in eggs...) and a few spoons of sugar and a stout cake is born. The icing: traditional Irish pound cake sour whiskey glaze. What's beer without a little whiskey.

Cocoa Stout Cake
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup bitter cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp vinegar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and soda. In small saucepan bring butter, beer, and cocoa to a little boil. Add beer mixture to flour mixture, stir until combined. Add vanilla, vinegar, and buttermilk. Mix well, but not too much (it is a cake.) Butter and flour a bunt pan, bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Sour Whiskey Icing
  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbs water
Such a cake seems more proper for St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps it should be named Irish Pie. I tend to use the phrase 'pie' more times than not to describe things that really are have nothing to do with the word. It's a bunt. But pie has a more relatively home grown ring to it, whereas cake draws me toward images of red boxes and pink easy-bake logos. Beer Kuchen will suffice, though it is not German. Aber ich kann auch Deutsches sprechen, weisst du den? Also, Ich bin nicht so gut weil ich nur drei jahre in der Schule hatte. Es ist spass nichtsdestoweniger. I won't drag my precarious (English) verbiage on longer, needless to say M loved his birthday Beer Kuchen, and the Salty Cod has gained yet another recipe for the window display, and as a result of my want for beer-enthusiasm, my dad has inherited a 5 pack of Guinness, condolence for the noble lamb whose selfless sacrifice aided in the heralding of a confectionery gem! Aye, verse. Et ca suffit.

A bientôt


Unknown said...

Mr. Ratburn better stay away from that while on the job!

Anonymous said...

Don't touch the Macallan 18!


Mallory Elise said...

vous etes trop tard...c'est tout fini! he he he. non fais cet gateau, vous avez la recette maintenant.