Monday, March 17, 2008

More than just a holiday

St. Patrick's Day is always a really big occasion in my household. Not because we're Irish, not because we're gnarly partiers, but because its also my mom's birthday! Because of that we actually never celebrate "St. Patricks Day." Years of growing up with green cakes were enough for my mom. And we all were told the warning story of the first birthday my dad spent with my mom where he tried to surprise her with a green cake and she burst into tears.

This year I indulged my mom's sweet tooth with a decadent chocolate cake. But I snuck in something to commemorate the "other" holiday - Guinness. It's Irish for beer. The result? Jon said it was the best cake I've ever made. If that's not a testimonial I don't know what is. And of course, my mom loved it too!

But since I'm married to an Irishman, there's no escaping the green in our own home:

And Jon wanted his corned beef and cabbage. *Cute story alert*. I finally gave in and told Jon I'd make it. I found a great recipe from Robin that wouldn't take very long. Jon wanted to help, so he called me in the morning and asked if he could pick up the ingredients for me. I gave him a list and he went and picked it up. On my way home, he called me and asked if he could get it started. I walked him through the steps over the phone. When it was ready, he served it to me with a giant smile on his face.
Me: It looks great!
J: So? Aren't you going to take a picture?

So here it is - Jon's very first fully cooked meal!

Chocolate Guinness Cake
2 cups Guinness
4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
2) Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
3) Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
4) Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
5) Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
6) Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until done, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
7) Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
8) Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
9) Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

Serves 12.
Each serving has:
Calories 1,119.1
Total Fat 65.6 g
Cholesterol 219.2 mg
Sodium 670.4 mg
Potassium 444.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 132.1 g
Protein 12.2 g


  1. soo cute! He was all proud of his-self. Awwwwwwww! Cake looks amazing!

  2. Happy Birthday to your mom. It's my grandma's birthday too.

  3. Jon is awesome. :)

    I bet he and Mr. Monkey would get along.

  4. I agree, Jon is awesome.

    That cake looks delish, but I am dead over the calories per serving! I'll just have to enjoy the pictures.

  5. Jess- well OBVIOUSLY you don't eat a full serving. You wouldn't even be able to finish a full serving anyway. This cake served 6 people last night and there is over 3/4 of it left....that means it serves as least 24 right? Which means, each serving is really half as much as listed.

  6. John is fricken cute and you need to tell him I'm very proud of his meal!

    So I'm coming over to help with the cake.. say 6 PM?


    You're lucky I have midterms all week.

    [I know where you live!!!]

  7. happy birthday to your mom!

    both look so yummy. i am so sad i didn't get any corned beef this year.

  8. WOW! That cake looks awesome and amazing and gigantic and delicious all at the same time! Looks like a GREAT St Patrick's day you had! :)

  9. This sounds so good and looks perfect! And so "light." Heh.

  10. That cake looks amazing!! I love all the green decor. Happy Birthday to your mom.

  11. That cake looks sooo good. Your hubby is too cute!

  12. Holy schmoly- that's a huge and decadent looking cake! Delicious!

    And don't you set a lovely table- move over, Martha!

  13. the cake looks delish --- and totally reminds me of the gigantic ones you find at cheesecake factory! nice work!

    how cute is jon!! :D jim knew how to cook for the first 8 months or so we were dating. then he went to law school and forgot. hmmm....

  14. That is really cute. R always wants me to take pictures of the food he makes too. Nice looking cake.

  15. I bet if I put a ladder next to that cake I'd go up 3 stories of a building - yowzer.
    Jon gets a gold star - good effort - keep up the good work - we need more men in the blogging world and he has potential.

  16. So cute!

    Guiness in cake? Yes, please. I have to tell you about another beer that I bet would be just amazing in this same recipe: Sinebrycoff Porter (I think that's how you spell it). It is a little more intense and chocolate-y in flavor than Guiness and would maybe be heavenly in this cake.

  17. That is a cake! And another recipe utilizing alcohol :)

  18. that is seriously one scrumptious looking cake.

    i'm with jon - i require corned beef and cabbage on st. patrick's day, too.

  19. You weren't kidding about the cute story alert. Super cute story and congrats to Jon! :)

    Everything looks great, Kate. And after catching up on your freakin' food posts up to this point I'm a hungry mess. Thanks a lot.

  20. I made this cake for a going away party for a friend, oh my god it was GOOD!