Chocolate Guinness Cake and Where I've Been

Welcome to April.  I literally haven't posted a word since January.  I think I started one post, but even that was probably in February.  School has just kinda taken over my life.  As much as I thought homework was crazy, now that I'm researching, I've realized that homework has a finite endpoint.  Research does not.  So, basically, I've been researching.  Math.  That's been my life.
I will admit, I haven't done a ton of cooking.  I've done some baking (you can't keep me from my baking).  But being home for dinner two nights a week, and one of those being our weekly takeout night, and weekends being busy mean there's not been much chance to cook.

I did find what I thought was a pretty awesome split pea soup recipe.  The first time I made it, it came out great!  The second time, a bunch of peas burned to the bottom of the pot, I realized that even with new parts, my stick blender was not in working order, and I sliced my thumb on a potato.  AGAIN.  And yes, it was the same thumb.  But this time there was no ER visit or stitches.  (Thank goodness!)  I am looking forward to having my thumb back in fully working order again, though.

I made some speckled hard boiled eggs for Easter by simply shaking eggs in a cup with lentils and a few drops of food coloring!  (Thanks for the idea, mom!)

I also made some deadly brookies (brownie-cookies) with m&ms and oreos.  If I ever do catch up on my posts from these MIA months, I'll make sure that's one of them.  Because these things are deadly good.

We celebrated π day a day early with KEB and JB with a "trifecta" pie!  It was peanut butter and chocolate with a pretzel crust!  KEB also made hand pies for dinner.  On actual π day, KEB and I got pizza pie and . . . waffle sundaes.  I mean, they're still round?   Oh, and we met Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction!

Ice cream for breakfast day!! (icfbd!)

NES and I have gotten more proficient at ice cream making (we hope!).  NES made me awesome Earl grey and lavender ice cream for Valentine's day!

I knit an elephant, a yoda, a corgi, and a Shaun the sheep!  I'm learning to knit!

Oh, and I had a birthday in there.  Didn't mom and dad do an awesome job decorating my cake?

Speaking of birthdays, KEB's is coming up!  I found a recipe for a Guinness chocolate cake, and while KEB isn't a big beer fan, I thought she'd like a deep, dark chocolate cake!  And what can be wrong with something that has chocolate and cream cheese frosting?

The recipe made one 9 inch springform pan, so I decided to make two, just so we'd get a double layered cake, as usual.  It ended up really tall!  Oops.  Hope everyone is hungry for cake!

It was really quite easy to make, even if cooking beer with sugar and cocoa felt a bit weird!  It was also a little weird making a cake in a saucepan!  It smells really good, so hopefully it tastes just as good!

Also, for the frosting, I used the recipe's suggested frosting, and it made an entirely adequate frosting (although I doubled it so I'd have enough for the double layer), but I may use my old standby in the future!

Chocolate Guinness Cake
From Simply Recipes

1 cup Guinness
10 tbsp. butter (1 stick, 2 tbsp.)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom.

Put the beer and the butter into a medium-large saucepan.  Cook at medium-high until the butter is melted.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and sugars.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until well combined.  Add to the beer and butter mixture.  Whisk until combined.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to the beer and butter mixture, and whisk until the mixture is just mixed.

Pour into the pan you've prepared, and tap lightly on the counter to release any bubbles.  Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack, and run a knife around the edge to separate the cake and pan.  Pop the cake out of the springform pan.  Make your favorite cream cheese frosting and spread onto the cooled cake.


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