Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Cake

These are a few of my favorite things.

So, I didn’t actually make this cake completely according to The Priestess’s recipe. Throughout this past week I kept hearing and reading about chocolate stout cakes and I thought that would make a delicious alternative to the cake part of the recipe. I found this recipe at epicurious (and an altered version of it here at smitten kitchen). And frankly, I’ve never seen a recipe on the internet that had so many glowing reviews. I figured I had to try it.

It was such an easy cake to make. I did cut the recipe in half, as a lot of the reviews suggested that it makes a ton of batter. A half recipe was perfect for two 8-inch cake pans. Some of the reviews also mention that the butter/stout/chocolate mixture starts to look like it has “broken” as it cools. It’s true. But if you stir it up it’s fine, and it incorporates well when you mix it with the other ingredients.

The Priestess’s Irish Whiskey Pastry Cream is delicious. Probably my favorite part of the recipe. It doesn’t taste too much of the liquor, but you can definitely taste it in there and, yum.

The Bailey’s frosting...didn’t work out so well for me. In the cold light of day I’m just now realizing that I only used half the amount of powdered sugar that I was supposed to. Which makes my experience with the recipe that much more strange--read on. When I first put the ingredients together it was more like a glaze than a fluffy frosting, so I added a little bit more powdered sugar. But then it started tasting too powdered sugar-y for me. So I thought I’d try to nudge it closer to being a buttercream. I added (in small increments) 7 Tbls. of soft (but cool) unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. It was closer to buttercream, and I went ahead and used it to frost the cake, but it was still not ultimately what I wanted it to be. And it still had a really powdered sugar-y taste and texture.

So--the whole package together--was pretty good. A hit at the St. Patrick’s Day party. But, I don’t know that it really works for me. The chocolate stout cake was really delicious-dense and dark, but the chocolate overwhelms the taste of the stout. It’s good if you want a dark chocolate cake (and it has given me a plan for mr.’s birthday cake). But next time I want a car bomb cake, I’ll want to taste the stout, so I’ll try The Priestess’s recipe intact. EXCEPT--I am going to figure out how to make a Bailey’s buttercream. I’m thinking that if I use the BAKED buttercream recipe, but replace maybe half the milk (3/4 cup) with Bailey’s, it will have the taste and texture I want. More experimentation to come.

TGIP Rating--Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Cake--Needs work. The chocolate cake is perfect on its own--but maybe not right for this combination. The pastry cream is perfect. The frosting needs some tweaking to be what I really want.

Next up: Easter weekend will be the next time I take on a project. When I was a kid we always had cake with green coconut on top (for grass) and jelly beans scattered around on the "grass". So, I feel compelled to make a real, live coconut cake. I saw this episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and the cake looked beyond delicious. I'm not a Southerner, so I don't really know anything about the coconut cake tradition--but I'll learn!

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