The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dstroy's picture
dstroy

So, as you all already know, World Bread Day happens to coincide with Floyd's birthday. This year, I decided to try the recipe that qahtan had posted here in this forum a while ago (which keeps coming up in discussion) for the Guinness Stout chocolate cake.


I was a teeny bit intimidated actually, because the measurements are in weight rather than in cup measure units, but I pulled out Floyd's bread scale, which to date I had never used for anything beyond weighing the occasional package, and I decided the recipe sounded too good not to make the time to learn now.

I thought you might find amusing the endeavors of a complete baking newbie in attempting this recipe. Floyd's the baker around here, not me - I am on the site all the time but usually I am just clearing out spam and checking out the new recipes (to ask Floyd to bake later, heh) or keeping track that threads don't start spiraling out of hand. Most of the bakers jargon and knowledge, however, tends to go over my head.
I did learn a few key points during the course of baking, here's a rundown of the kitchen chaos that occurred. I'm pretty sure that Floyd is way better at keeping the messes minimal, because I think I spent more time cleaning the kitchen than I did in actual cooking.



The cake, however, turned out phenomenally, despite my lack of baker's experience. We give this one two thumbs up, all the way around!

Proceedure:


I dropped two sticks (8oz) of unsalted butter into the mixing bowl and added the 12 oz soft dark brown sugar, which measured out to about 1 cup of well packed sugar and got it mixing.
In a second bowl, I beat 4 eggs, and then I added them into the main cake batter in the mixing bowl.

Then I made my first mistake, which was when trying to figure out what 8 oz of flour measured out to, I put my third mixing bowl on the scale and started to pour directly from the flour bag, which landed about a quarter of the bag in the bowl and a lovely white cloud of the stuff in my face and hair. Eventually I managed to scoop out the extra flour until the scale showed the right amount in there and then I mixed in the 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

The recipe then calls for you to 14 fl oz stout Guinness and the only size of beer I could find was a larger bottle. I'm not sure if I did it right, but I didn't find a measuring cup with ml measurements, so I ended up zeroing the scale on another bowl and then pouring the beer in until it weighed the 14 ounces.
This turned out to be pretty comical when I then added 4 oz of Droste cocoa, because the stuff is really expensive so I didn't want to have cocoa powder flying everywhere, but when I tried to stir it into the beer, the mixture began to froth and bubble and eventually this too turned into a spectacular mess.

Eventually though, I got the cocoa and flour stuff into the mixing bowl and got it all into a goopy consistency (though I also learned the importance of remembering to switch off the mixer before lifting the beaters to scrape the sides of the bowl - this piece of "education" earned me some artistic chocolate messes splattered on the cabinet, ceiling, and walls!)


Then I then poured into a slightly-larger-than 9 inch spring form tin which I'd buttered well.


That went into the preheated oven at 350F for a little over an hour until a toothpick inserted in the cake came out clean.



But despite all my amateurishness, the cake cake out splendid.



Topping:


I had read that some FreshLoafers really liked "naked" or whipped cream only toppings on this cake, but I couldn't bear to not have something with it, so I found a recipe for a cream cheese icing with whipping cream that was absolutely perfect for this cake.


Take 8 oz cream cheese and 1 cup confectioners' powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater until smooth.
Then add about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency.



And I forgot to add the grated chocolate that qahtan had recommended into my mix before putting it into the baking pan, so I ended up using it as decorations on top. (The heart outline was done with chocolate syrup.)



A few candles on top and we were ready to serve!



Happy Birthday Floyd!


 



This cake was so amazingly rich and dark. No taste of beer, the kids were amazed and didn't believe us when we explained that there was beer in there. I've never made anything like it before. This is some serious chocoholic dream material!



Thank you, fellow FreshLoafers, for the recipe! This was a great one!

dstroy's picture
dstroy

I just got back from a visit overseas to visit my grandmother. I didn't have a lot of time there, but on one of the days I had the pleasure of being served a lovely tea and cake which got me hankering to make a cake after I got back.


 


German Marble Cake
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (I think I may have accidentally put in 1 1/4 c. My cake could have used a little more sweetness but the kids didn't mind)
4 eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. almond extract
3 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
tiny pinch of salt (I skipped it since I used normal salted butter)
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. dark rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease the tube or bundt pan well.


Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs, and then the milk and almond extract.


In a separate bow, mix up the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and then add that to the wet ingredients, beating into a creamy texture.


Take out about half the batter and add rum and cocoa to the remaining half.


Layer and swirl the batters into the pan, then bake for just over an hour or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Then let it cool before flipping, and add the powdered sugar on top.


 



I put the white batter in first, then the dark batter on top. I swirled it with a knife a little bit, but I think the chocolate wasn't as heavy as I expected so it didn't sink into the white as much as I hoped. Next time I will poke it into the white batter more to make the pretty pictures inside each slice.



All baked - The trick with these old bundt pans is to really not skimp on the butter when you grease the pan. Otherwise the cake will stick to the pan and you end up with a big mess.



German cakes dont usually have frosting. This is a dense cake, almost like a rum poundcake, and it's best with something simple like powdered sugar on top.



 


This is a recipe that I think having the really good dutch cocoa truly makes a difference. Its way more expensive than the regular cocoa, but with the rum and almond extract, the really good cocoa packs a chocolate punch that is worth the expense. I'd used a middle-range cocoa but next time I will make sure to get the really yummy Droste powder. 


It's a heavier dryer cake that is perfectly suited to an afternoon tea.


 


cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay


Have you ever developed an original recipe? Most people think it is some long drawn out process, but remember you are not Pillsbury test kitchen with thousands of dollars and test kitchen cooks to address ever question or issue.


When you find a recipe that is good, reliable and consistent...that's a keeper. If it is not, you have a couple of choices. Rework the recipe, refine it so it works, put it in the "to-do" pile for a later date or toss it. What you do depends on how much time you want to devote to recipe and only you can answer that question.


As you test, and retest, you will find a pattern to the process and it will fall into an everyday groove. I would suggest that you schedule time each month to test or at least review the recipes you are working on. Remember it's not just about recipes, this is a listing of products you can enter into contest, feature in a magazine or newspaper, include in a future cookbook or sell in your home-based bakery. When your bakery is up and running and a local journalist ask...may we have a recipe to attach to your story? What will you say, no they are all secret...


Always have a dozen or so recipes that are uniquely yours that you don't mind sharing...just in case.


You may also want to place a recipe in your marketing materials...not that people will prepare them necessarily, but to show you are open to sharing your knowledge and skill. You are a great baker and this is not the time to be shy!


Now with that said, you don't have to give out your best recipes, just things you don't mind sharing. Give it some thought.


There is an old saying, there is nothing new under the sun, and it is so true. It is easy to add a new twist to something, but food companies spend millions to create new products, it's a real challenge; but every once and a while an independent culinary innovator comes up with a unique and inspiring food, spice or taste. Take a look at what is missing out there on the grocery shelves... get creative. I would love to see an alternative to buttercream frosting, but I have not yet figured out what it should be, something sweet, creamy and not made with all that fat.


 

Randi's picture

High Altitude Cookbooks

March 3, 2008 - 11:04am -- Randi
Forums: 

Baking at High Altitude and Sharing Mountain Recipes are 2 scrumptious cookbooks offering experienced high altitude adjustments and recipes that have been requested for decades.

The Muffin Lady chose to write these books as an offering of flavor and ease to all who live and visit regions located at higher elevations. Through the years she has collected and developed palatable treasures and through much trial, efforts, tossings and tastings has found her niche.

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