How amazing that this month, my Secret Recipe Club assignment was the same blog that had me last month. I am very familiar with Cairns Manor and I was so excited to look around the blog for something to make. Jo is a domestic goddess and has some very delectable recipes on her site. As an animal lover Jo and I are on the same wavelength and I had a great time browsing her blog. It did not take me long to settle on my choice! I am so intrigued by using beer in baking and as this recipe has chocolate in it (my second love) I could not resist.
We are very fortunate to have some great local breweries near to us, and my favourite is Triggerfish. They are situated in Paardevlei, and the Friday before I decided to bake this cake, I drove into the complex to purchase one bottle of stout. I got a bottle of Empowered Stout which has an aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, dried fruit, raisins and licorice and pairs well with meat dishes or dark chocolate. Not wanting to let a good opportunity go to waste, I bought a selection of their beers so that Dave and Alex could enjoy them over the weekend. I baked the cake exactly as per the recipe, but after an hour it had not cooked through. The top was burnt and I sliced that off and left it in the oven for longer, but eventually decided to just leave it as is. There was nothing wrong with the cake per se (we ate every last slice) but I could not blog a recipe that was not right, and I could not take a photograph of the cake.
On the Monday I went back to Triggerfish and when I told Eric (the owner) what I was baking, he gave me the stout I needed to bake the cake. I am so glad I keep a water bottle in my car, as this was used for some black marlin which is only available on tap. This Russian Imperial variety has a lovely coffee, dark chocolate, aniseed, dark fruit and caramel aroma and pairs well with rich warm deserts and dark chocolate. Needless to say, I left with a few more bottles again to ensure the boys would not go thirsty during the week.
I baked the cake again, but halved the batter into smaller tins, and it worked a treat. I would definitely bake this again as you get a really malty, chocolate flavour in this delicious cake.
have you used stout in baking?
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