Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen: Deliciously Rustic

Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen: Deliciously Rustic
by Katie Gagne

It’s that time of year again, when we pull out our treasured recipes from Mom or Grandma as we plan what to make for our holiday parties. Nothing evokes more cozy memories than traditional apple pie or pumpkin roll on our Thanksgiving table. Sometimes, though, as scrumptious as those are, something new just sounds great. Here is an idea for you that not only tastes decadent and looks festive but is also relatively easy to prepare.

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Caramel Buttercream

This three-layer cake is filled topped chocolate ganache, homemade caramel sauce, caramel buttercream frosting and candied toasted pecans. What is great about this recipe is that you can make it entirely from scratch or use a little help from prepared sauces.

Chocolate Stout Cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups of Guinness Stout (one 12 oz bottle)
3 sticks Unsalted Butter
1 ¼ cups Dark Cocoa Powder
3 cups All Purpose Flour
3 cups Granulated White Sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
1 ¼ teaspoons Salt
3 Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
Preparation:
Using 3 nine-inch cake pans, grease and dust with cocoa powder and layer with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350*

Place Guinness and Butter in saucepan over medium heat and simmer

Add Dark Cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly

In medium bowl – whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside

Using electric mixer beat eggs and sour cream until combined

Add slightly cooled Guinness mixture to egg mixture and beat until just combined

Reduce speed and add flour mixture and beat for about 30 seconds until combined

Fill pans 2/3 full and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until top is firm but springy to the touch

Once cakes are cooled and removed from pans, place one layer on cake board or stand and top with caramel buttercream. Drizzle chocolate ganache over the top and allow to drip down sides, sprinkle with candied pecans. Drizzle with caramel sauce allowing some to drip down sides. Repeat with remaining two layers.

Caramel Sauce    This an easy sauce that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for several weeks.You can also use some of the great quality premade caramel sauces out there.
Ingredients:
1 cup White Granulated Sugar
6 Tablespoons of Cold Butter Cut into pieces
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt

Heat sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. The sugar will form clumps and melt into an amber colored liquid. Once it is melted, add the butter. Careful – it will splash and foam a bit. Stir until butter is completely melted 2-3 minutes. Slowly drizzle heavy cream, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Place in jar or container and cool. Refrigerate. This can easily be warmed in the microwave when ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache

Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream just to a boil in a saucepan and in heat-proof bowl. Pour the cream over 1 ½ cup of dark chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes.  Stir until chocolate is fully melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

3 stick softened Unsalted Butter

1 2lb bag Confectioners’ Sugar

¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 teaspoons Salt

¼ cup Caramel Sauce

Cream butter until fluffy. Add other ingredients and beat until combined and creamy.

Candied Pecans

Heat 1 cup White Granulated Sugar and 1 cup Water in saucepan until melted and simmering. Remove from heat and pour over 3 cups Chopped Pecans in a bowl. Toss to coat. Spread coated pecans on parchment lined baking sheet and toast in 350* oven for approximately 10 minutes. Be careful not to allow them to burn. Remove from oven and scrape with spatula to loosen and sprinkle generously with salt.

*Katie Gagne teaches English at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights. She is also the owner of her in-home bakery Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More.You can contact her at mkbluebows@aol.com

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