Monday, October 31, 2011

chocolate Guinness cake

It's Chocolate Guinness Cake Day.

I bet you didn't know.

I bet you woke up this morning thinking it was Halloween....but no. You were wrong. It's secretly Chocolate Guinness Cake Day... which is also secretly my new favorite day.

This recipe caught my eye when I saw the words chocolate and stout nestled sweetly together in the title. That and I recently just got back from a 3 week trip to Europe which included a 5 night stay in Dublin. Anything to continue the Guinness tribute I started then immediately scored points in my book. I knew this cake had to be made and am in love with the results; hence devoting an entire day to it.

Even though it looks incredibly rich, this cake isn't overly sweet. And it turned out perfectly moist. Don't let memories of dry Bundt cakes drowning in powdered sugar deter you. 

In case you're still on the fence, I'd like to remind you of the best part about baking with get to drink any leftovers! Enjoy! -jz

chocolate Guinness cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra at room temperature for pan
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for pan
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup stout beer....uh, Guinness ;)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with the cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and stout beer. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add 8 ounces of the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugars on medium-high until fluffy. Beat in the chocolate mixture and sour cream. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture until just combined; do not overmix.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached; 45 - 55 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to just a boil. Remove from heat and add the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Set the cooling rack with the cake on it over a baking sheet. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let set before serving.

Recipe taken from: Real Simple magazine

Saturday, October 22, 2011

perfectly poached eggs

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I LOVE all forms and renderings. I've recently decided that, when it comes to breakfast, I think all eggs should be poached. No matter what you pair them with, and later drench in delicious yellow yolk, the end result is always amazing. And poached eggs, though seemingly scary, are actually easier to conquer than you think. I am purposefully using the word conquer here because it will take a few tries to get perfectly poached eggs. Don't get discouraged. Once you've got it, it's kind of like riding a bike. I should know. I've had them for breakfast pretty much every day this week!

The secret I learned this week led to the most perfect eggs I've ever poached. Rather than re-hash instructions someone else has so eloquently written, I'll let you go straight to the source: Smitten Kitchen. Follow the instructions step by step and I promise you'll be a pro too. The trick that changed everything for me was stirring the water before dropping the egg in. It's amazing. Oh. And I am pro-vinegar in case you're wondering. Good luck and enjoy! -jz