So, at the start of October, I am behind on cakes. I just did number 9 on Friday, and number 10 is coming today. Those should have been done by the end of September if I wanted to be halfway through at the half time mark. But that’s ok. I can probably catch up. What I’m VERY behind on, obviously, is the writing about it part.
I’m kind of ok with this since the point is more the cakes than the writing. There has also been a lot of work going on in my kitchen and bombarding of my wallet in other ways, so I’m fairly impressed that I’ve managed to keep up the baking through it, which obviously requires the kitchen space, and perhaps less obviously, a fair amount of money. I guess the thing that suffers here is my commentary on the beers and even the flavour of the cakes, because it’s hard to write about that kind of thing weeks after the fact without notes.
In any case, I will give a brief rundown of cakes 6-8 so that I get something up here rather than never doing it at all, and hopefully I can then get back into normal cake writing starting with number 9. So: onwards!
6: Chocolate Ginger Beer Cake with *gasp* NO BEER!
I found a recipe for Chocolate Root Beer Cake on The Kitchn in the midst of the craziest part of kitchen work. It was a super easy recipe, which I needed if I was going to pull of any baking at that point. But I’m not a huge fan of root beer, so I swapped it for ginger beer and I did not frost the cake because there was so much sugar going into it that I guessed it probably wasn’t necessary. I was right. The cake surprisingly ended up not too sweet, but It was fine without frosting. It had a nice gingery flavour and was pretty light. However, it was also full of hard bits of flour, because I was slightly lazy about getting it all mixed in properly. So, slight disaster and not something I would bring in to work or serve to other people. But it was a nice thing to keep in the cabinet and snack on all week.
The plan had been to go find a beer with a hit of ginger in it to go with this, but I never made it to the beer store that week, and I was so busy I just ended up drinking wine or milk with it. I was a little annoyed with myself for not making the extra effort, but there you have it. I also don’t have a picture of this cake so you’ll have to trust I made and devoured it without proof. No one is perfect, especially me.
7: Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cromarty Brewing Co. Red Rocker
This cake was awesome! I think it may be my favourite so far, at least of the ones I haven’t made before. I had a bunch of zucchini in my veg box and I love zucchini bread and muffins, but I’d never done a chocolate version before so I googled it and got to work. I thought it would be appropriate to try the recipe from the blog actually CALLED Chocolate and Zucchini. I used olive oil rather than butter, mostly because I was almost out of butter. I didn’t have any coffee so I didn’t use that, and I had just under the right amount of chocolate, but it was fine, and it also had dried cranberries in it which was quite a nice touch for the cake in the end. It was an extremely easy cake to make and I will absolutely be adding it to my repertoire.
I made it to Cornelius this time and I grabbed Cromarty Brewing Co‘s Red Rocker, which they call a ‘red rye hop extravaganza’ on the label. It’s 5%, hoppy as promised, and on it’s own, quite a lovely beer. Unfortunately, it did not match the cake. This may be the first real match fail. It’s hard to remember specifics from a few weeks ago, but I remember thinking it was bringing out all the wrong parts of the zucchini flavour in the cake and just not playing nicely with the rest. I put it down until I finished the cake and then happily drank the rest afterwards.
8: Black Bottom Cupcakes with Williams Bros. 80/-
I have made these many times, and I’ve even written about them here before, so the recipe already exists on this blog. They’re so easy and I happened to have everything in the house to make them when Kristina, who loves these cakes, was coming for dinner around the time of her birthday, so what better excuse, really!
We were drinking wine that night but for the beer match a few nights later, I went and grabbed some Williams Bros. 80/-, mostly because it’s just really good beer and I wanted some (I love Williams’, easily one of the best breweries in Scotland). These cakes have a bit of cheesecake in the top so I was wondering how it would go, because I keep thinking cheesecake is going to be the hardest to match. But here, it didn’t seem to be any kind of interference. The lovely dark beer went well with the richness of the chocolate cake bit of the cupcakes, and the tang of the cheese seemed to work ok with all of it. So this was a happy, easy match, which is great because now I know what to drink with black bottom cupcakes.