February 19, 2010

The Luck o' the Irish


Oatmeal Stout Gingerbread Cake
Maybe with Valentine's Day just behind us I'm pushing the season to bring up Saint Patrick's Day so soon, but forget Valentine's Day as the most romantic holiday of all. And the Fourth of July comes in second to Saint Patrick's Day in the fireworks department, as far as I'm concerned. Leprechauns win out over cupid in the area of love. Even with no Irish bloodline, I'm one lucky lassy.

Saint Patrick's Day not quite two years ago a charming man with dazzling good looks and kind but impish eyes knocked on my door. He whisked me off for a first date of winery touring here and here, and later to a friend's Saint Paddy's Day party. The luminescent energy between us wasn't to be missed; we picked up auspicious blessings from winery owners, friends, and even my amazing wonderdog Murray before the day was over. We've been nearly inseparable ever since.
This dark spicy stout cake takes me back to all the delicious surprises the leprechauns had for us that magic day. While a true Irish Guinness would work wonderfully in this cake, I used a regional oatmeal stout from Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Oregon. It's available by the pint at most North West groceries. You may want to include it in your St. Patrick's Day menu.

You are really going to like this.

Oatmeal Stout Gingerbread Cake
Adapted from ">Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness stout**
1 1/4 cups dark unsulphured molasses
1 cup better, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon oatmeal stout or Guinness stout

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 9" x 5" or one 16" x 4" loaf pan and dust with flour.

In a large saucepan, bring the stout and molasses to a boil; then set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet in two or three batches, alternating with the cooled molasses mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just gently just until batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 60-70 minutes, until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan about 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack until completely cool.

Mix all glazed ingredients in small bowl until of a consistency where it will pour out in a thick ribbon, adding more stout or powdered sugar as needed. Pour slowly down center of cooled cake(s), allowing glaze to flow off edges. Garnish with additional freshly grated nutmeg.

**Try very hard to make this cake right before lunch, as the remainder of the pint is nice finished off with a corned beef sandwich.

5 comments:

  1. Oh wow! I do think that I would like this! I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some oatmeal stout here in CA.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Jeanne. Any dark stout will make a delicious cake. Happy baking!

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  3. Pam - this cake looks amazing! I actually have that book and will have to open it back up again.

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  4. It is a great little book, yes? Simple and very approachable. Lot's of good things in it! Thanks for reading.

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  5. Fun post and love the recipe! I have one of those cute Golden wonderdogs, too!

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