Chocolate Stout Cake

St. Patrick’s Day is in less than a week and as someone with predominantly Irish heritage, I always enjoy celebrating the holiday with some Irish inspired dishes. This week, I’ll be sharing with you some Irish dishes that you can make to celebrate too!

I spotted this recipe, a chocolate stout cake, on one of my new favorite baking blogs, Sweetapolita, a week or so ago and realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make it. Few things go together better than chocolate and Guinness and then add the fact that you can eat them together in cake form. Brilliant!

Start this cake by measuring and cutting parchment paper to line the bottoms of two round cake pans. Then spray the pans with baking spray.

Heat the Guinness and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.

Remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.

Pour it into a separate bowl and set it aside to cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the cooling process).

In a medium size bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In an electric mixer, mix together the eggs and sour cream until well combined.

Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once cooled, frost with the whipped vanilla bean frosting.

This cake was delicious. It tasted chocolaty but also had another layer of flavor from the Guinness. There is a visible difference between my cake and the one from Sweetapolita, my cake is lighter in color. I think I may have needed a darker cocoa powder but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store. I may have to start ordering some baking ingredients online in order to get what I truly need.

The frosting was sensational! Creamy and light and the addition of the vanilla bean was a great idea, it looked like vanilla bean ice cream covering the cake. The flavor in the icing paired very well with the cake. All in all, a simple and delicious recipe and perfect for your St. Patty’s Day celebration!

The recipes for both cake and frosting can be found at Sweetapolita.com.

 

Popcorn + Chocolate = YUM

This weekend I made one of the best snacks ever. We were preparing dishes for our very first dinner club (you’ll find out more about that in the next post) and wanted something to start the evening off that people could munch on casually upon arriving. Since discovering how to make popcorn on the stove, read about that here, I’ve been on a bit of a popcorn kick. I needed to incorporate chocolate into the snack in some way and chose to make a popcorn drizzled in white and dark chocolate. This means, salty and sweet and buttery all together, yum.

To start, I cooked the popcorn on the stove. For that recipe, click here. Dump the popcorn out on to a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper. Top with 1/2 cup of melted butter and salt well. Keep tasting it to make sure it’s salty and buttery enough.

This was the first time I’ve ever used the microwave to melt chocolate instead of a double boiler. I wanted this to be a quick and easy snack and have always heard that the microwave is a good way to melt it, just never tried it. For the chocolate, I chose a semisweet chocolate bar, it was already half used and this was a great way to use the rest of it up. I also wanted a darker chocolate because I was using white chocolate with it which is very sweet. I thought dark chocolate would balance it better.

For the white chocolate, I used chocolate chips I had leftover in the pantry.

I made a wonderful discovery on the back of the white chocolate chip bag, melting directions for the microwave! Always read the back of the chocolate chip bag. There is a lot of useful information there.

After melting both chocolates in the microwave, I used a fork to stir and made sure the chocolate was thin enough to drizzle.

Shake the fork back and forth gently over the tray of popcorn to drizzle it on. First I drizzled the dark chocolate and then the white chocolate.

Allow the sheet of popcorn to sit on the counter until the chocolate sets. You can pop it into the fridge to speed it up.

Break up the popcorn and toss in a bowl to serve.

This was such an easy and delicious snack. I can’t tell you how much everyone raved about it and really it took about 20 minutes and used all ingredients I had in my pantry already. This is my new “gourmet” snack recipe, trust me, it will impress all your friends when you tell them you actually made it!

 

 

Sugar Cookies

I have launched a full search for the perfect sugar cookie this holiday season. Typically, I make flatter, chewy sugar cookies and decorate the tops of them with colored sugar and holiday candies. These are one of my favorites because of all the butter and sugar but they also look beautiful with all the sugars however I’m hoping to make a sugar cookie this year that includes icing. I have considered the cookies that you roll out and cut with cookie cutters but I honestly don’t like that sometimes those cookies are hard, I’m a soft and chewy cookie person. This week I attempted the old fashioned cake-like sugar cookie and topped it with a white frosting.

I have bought these types of cookies at the grocery store before and was attempting to duplicate those. This recipes is a typical cookie recipe, its simple and straight forward with few steps. All you truly need is an electric mixer and a recipe to follow and anyone can make it.

Start the recipe by creaming the sugar and butter with an electric mixer.

 

Add the eggs and mix well after each. Mix in the vanilla.

Add the milk, alternating with the dry ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are well combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Chill the dough for up to an hour.

Once chilled, scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet (parchment paper truly does save your cookie sheets and extend their life!).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the cookies spring back quickly when you touch the top lightly with your finger.

Allow the cookies to cool completely and while you’re waiting, mix up the icing.

Simply mix together all the ingredients, adding the powdered sugar in slowly. Add enough milk until the frosting is the consistency you like.

Ice the cooled cookies using a pastry bag and round pastry tip. Sprinkle lightly with large white sugar.

While these cookies were good, they weren’t amazing. I felt the cookies themselves were too bland and needed something extra. Eric mentioned that he thought that were “too cakey” though I liked that quality about them; I think it pairs well with the frosting. I got no complaints about the frosting!

 

Here’s the recipe:

Cake Sugar Cookies with Frosting
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Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • Cookies:
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cup powedered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each.
  3. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Add the milk and flour alternating and mixing well.
  5. Chill for up to 1 hour.
  6. Spoon onto greased or lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until just beginning to brown.
  7. Frosting:
  8. Cream butter and powdered sugar.
  9. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  10. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well until it has reached desired consistency.
  11. Top cooled cookies with frosting and clear sugar crystals.