Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout Cake

IMG_20130222_105941It’s good to have friends…especially friends who bake. Our friend Michael recently shared this amazing cake with our crew. Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

Cake Ingredients

4 ounces Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate, chopped**
2 1/4 cups organic all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter (bring it to room temperature ahead of time)
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated
12-oz. bottle Odell Brewing Company’s “ Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout” (plus one extra bottle)
2/3 cup freshly brewed strong coffee

PREHEAT OVEN to 350F and adjust racks so there’s room directly in the middle rack for 2 cake pans.

PREPARE two 9” cake pans by coating bottom and sides with melted butter (or spray oil if you prefer), then coating bottom and side with flour. Cut an 8.5” round of parchment paper and place in the bottom. If it won’t stay flat, spray the bottom of the pan again before putting the parchment in to help hold it flat.

MELT  3 oz. of unsweetened chocolate, either over a double boiler or very carefully in a microwave. I do it in the microwave at 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between each nuking. Don’t microwave it until it’s completely smooth, you’ll want a few chunks left that will melt with some stirring.

WHISK together in a small bowl 2 ¼ C flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Set aside.

CREAM 14 tablespoons of butter and 1 ¼ C of sugar. While the butter and sugar are creaming, separate 3 large eggs (or 4 small eggs) setting the egg whites off to the side  for now. Cream the butter and sugar until it is very light in color. Scrape bowl often during mixing (after you’ve turned the mixer off, of course).

OPEN both bottles of Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout. Pour one into a pint glass and enjoy for yourself. Set the other bottle aside.

BREW a small cup of really strong coffee. I used the left over coffee from the morning and boiled it down to about a cup. Don’t use left over coffee from three days ago. That’s just disgusting. If you prefer, make espresso and water it down a touch. Make a little bit extra if you really like coffee. It’ll come in handy later when putting the cakes together.

ADD egg yolks, one at a time, to well-creamed butter & sugar. Mix until well combined, scraping once or twice during addition to make sure it all mixes well.

POUR in 1 12-oz. bottle of Lugene VERY SLOWLY while mixer is going on low-speed. If you pour it in too fast, the egg/butter/sugar mixture will start to separate. Not to mention it’ll splash Lugene all over the place. Which is bad. SCRAPE sides of mixing bowl down. VERY SLOWLY pour in ⅔ C of coffee, scraping bowl. See note about pouring in the Lugene.

ADD dry ingredients in 3 batches to butter/sugar/beer/coffee/goodness mixture, scraping bowl as needed.

CLEAN out the mixing bowl by transferring the butter/sugar/beer/coffee/goodness mixture to another bowl (or if you’re using a hand mixer, just clean the mixer and move on to a different mixing bowl). Using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs whites until white (about 1 minute or so, depending on how fast you’re mixing) and slowly sprinkle in the remaining 3 TBS. of sugar. Continue whisking until the egg whites are stiff. They should hold peaks.

FOLD in ⅓ of egg whites into butter/sugar/beer/coffee/goodness mixture gently folding from the bottom and scraping sides of bowl. Be gentle, as the egg whites are what give the cake it’s light and airy nature. Add remaining ⅔ egg whites in two batches, gently folding until combined.

POUR batter into the two prepared cake pans, place in oven and check after 25-30 minutes. To check if they’re done, the tops should be firm (no jiggling when you open the oven door) and a toothpick/small knife/chainsaw should come out clean after inserted in the middle.

COOL the cakes – in the pans – on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Separate the cakes from the sides of the pans with a butter knife and then invert onto a plate, re-inverting back onto the wire rack to cool for another 1.5 hours. After cooled, either wrap with plastic wrap and store at room temp  and keep for up to 1 day. Or prepare (see below).

 

Frosting Ingredients

1 pound Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate (minimum 60% cacao), chips or chopped**
2 cups organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2-3 tablespoons of sugar (optional)

NOTE: Don’t start to prepare the frosting until you are ready to prepare the cakes. The frosting will harden if left sitting for too long (like an hour or two) but can be reheated to melt it back down.

CHOP chocolate and place in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

POUR 2 C whipping cream into pot and mix in 1 tsp (or more, to your liking) espresso powder and place over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. DO NOT let the cream boil. You just want to get it simmering because once it boils, it will boil over and make a really big mess. Then you have to start over with a new pint of cream. Which isn’t cheap.

POUR simmered cream mixture over chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two.

STIR the chocolate mixture until smooth.

ADD the sugar if you care to. The frosting is pretty chocolate-y. If you want to sweeten the bitter chocolate taste a bit, sprinkle the sugar in while mixing, making sure it all dissolves  completely.

PLACE the frosting in the refrigerator for 1.5 – 2 hours, stirring often (every 15 minutes or so). Or, to speed things up, throw it in the freezer for about 35 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes.

**If you can get really good chocolate, do it. It will only make things better, but if not, Ghirardelli is readily available and actually a pretty decent cooking/baking chocolate.

PREPARING THE CAKES FOR EATING

Once the frosting is ready and the cakes are cooled, trim the cakes (if necessary) to make the tops flat.

PLACE one cake layer on a cake dish or cardboard round (Wholefoods will sell you a cake round and cake box for $2.00, other bakeries might do the same).

***OPTIONAL: Drizzle some of the remaining coffee from above on each of the cake rounds. This helps keep them moist and also adds more coffee flavor. If you’re really crazy, drizzle 4-6 oz. of Lugene over each cake round.

SPREAD enough frosting to coat the top of this layer, spreading with an off-set spatula (8” or comparable) to smooth.

PLACE second cake round on top of first layer. Pour enough frosting to just barely coat the top and sides, spreading thin to just barely coat it. This is called the “crumb coat”. Throw the cake (on the cardboard stand) into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

PULL cake from freezer and finish frosting the cake. The reason for doing the crumb coat is so that when you frost the outside, the crumb is kind of frozen in the “crumb coat” and doesn’t mess up the final frosting, so you get a nice, clean, smooth frosting.

I find holding the cake in one hand (I’m right-handed, so I hold it in my left) and frost while gently rotating to the cake is the easiest way. If you have a rotating cake stand, then that is way cooler than holding it.

Let the cake sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. When cutting, use a hot knife and clean the blade in between each slice to make sure each slice is clean looking. You just spent probably 3-4 hours (and $30+) on this cake. Make that thing look like the gem that it is.

If you want to go all out, make up some raspberry coulis and drizzle that on the plate before serving. People love that kind of thing. Well, I do, anyway.

 

PAIRING

Obviously, open those other two Lugene Chocolate Milk Stouts you have in the fridge. Or a nice Bordeaux. Or Chateauneuf de Pâpe. Or coffee. Raspberries go really well with this, too. As would a Frambozen or similar.

 

QUESTIONS

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Friek Brine Smoked Turkey

1                 TurkeyFriek-Bottles-200x300

1                 750 mL  Friek from Odell Brewing

4                 Tablespoons of Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

2                 Tablespoons mixed peppercorns

1                 Tablespoon allspice berries

6                 Bay leaves

4                 Cups cold water

 

BBQ

15 lbs of Charcoal, with 5 pounds reserve, if necessary

5 lbs of Apple Wood Chunks

Several Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

 

Rinse the turkey off and towel dry. In a large saucepan over a medium-high heat the Friek Ale to a simmer. In a mortar and pestle bruise the peppercorns and allspice and add to simmering ale. Add the salt and stir to dissolve, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves and simmer some more. Shut off heat and continue to stir, adding the water to cool slightly. Arrange the turkey in a large plastic bag and store in a glass, (non-reactive), bowl or pan and pour the cooled brine over the meat. Turn the meat once to completely coat with brine, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or more. Turn the meat over once after 6 hours in the brine.

I use a large converted oil drum BBQ with a chimney vent. For a kettle BBQ you should use a smaller turkey. Make a pile of charcoal on the left side of the BBQ, nearest the bottom vent and arrange the grill racks on the opposite side. Insert the metal probe for the digital thermometer so that it is suspended over the area where the meat will be smoking. Place a large heavy-duty aluminum hotel pan filled with water directly under the grill racks. Light the coals and get them plenty hot. Meantime, put the wood chunks on to soak, along with the rosemary sprigs.

When the coals are good and white spread them out flat, rearranging any black coals on top of the white ones. Add about 1/2 of the wood chunks to the coals being careful not to put the fire out! Place the rosemary sprigs on top of the wood chunks. Blow on the coals to get the smoke going, close the lid and open up the flue and chimney vent. When the temperature inside of the BBQ reaches 200 degrees F, open the top and arrange the turkey pieces on the grill rack. Close the top and start the smoking process. Do not open the top unless absolutely necessary for at least 45 minutes. Add more fresh coals and the other half of the wood after 45 minutes of smoking.

Turn the turkey pieces over to get smoked on both sides. You should only have to smoke the turkey about 45 to 55 minutes more. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. About 155 to 160 degrees F for the breasts, and 145 to 150 degrees F for all the other pieces should do the trick. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and tent with heavy duty foil for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with a homemade cranberry sauce.

The Tap Room team goes to Breckenridge

A couple of weeks ago, our fearless Tap Room team celebrated their efforts with a mountain retreat. While there, they had one Ah-Mazing Beer Dinner. Here are some of the tasty dishes that came from this creative bunch:

Meddler appetizers

Meddler Mussels

  1. Carmelize shallots and smoked ham (could use penetta bacon)-5 minutes
  2. Add garlic, fresh thyme-4 minutes
  3. Add meddler, mussels
  4. Stem 3 to 5 minutes until mussels open, discard closed ones
  5. Pull out mussels after they open up, cover to keep warm
  6. Add butter and fresh parsely
  7. Simmer and reduce for 3 minutes, use as broth and ladel over mussels
  8. Serve with sweet bread

Cheese pairings-smelling and tasting Meddler with each style

  1. La Tur which is an Italian mixed milk cheese (cow, sheep and goat).
  2. Piave. Italian, aged, cows milk.
  3. Manchego, Spanish, aged, sheeps milk.
  4. Seaside smoked cheddar, cows milk.
  5. Bleu D’Avergne French, cow blue on a slice of fresh fig.

IPA soup and salad

IPA carrot, curry cheddar soup

  1. Mild cheddar 1 lbs (more to taste or to thicken)
  2. Extra Sharp cheddar 2 lbs
  3. 1 large red pepper
  4. 2 to 3 tablespoons yellow curry
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. 3 large carrots
  7. ½ gallon heavy cream
  8. 1 large onion
  9. 4 bulbs garlic
  10. 1 shallot

IPA and mango vinegrette with butter lettuce and bitter greens

  1. Salad
    1. Green and Red butter lettuce; purchase pre washed next time
    2. Rainbow chard
    3. Carrots
    4. We added toasted pine nuts; do not over toast or a little to strong
  2. Vinegrette
    1. Extra virgin olive oil
    2. White wine vinegar
    3. Odell IPA
    4. Shallot
    5. Garlic
    6. Salt and pepper
    7. Roasted fresh mango

Cutthroat Porter main course

New York Strip with porter mushroom sauce served over sticky, coconut rice

 

1. NY strip, 2

2. Cutthroat porter, 2 12oz bottles

3. Leaks diced, 1

4. Garlic diced, 2 cloves

5. Fresh ginger diced, 1 TB spoon

6. Chanterelle and shitake mushrooms sliced, 3 of each

7. White rice, 1 cup

8. Brown sugar, 2 TB spoon

9. Coconut water, 1/3 cup

10. Olive oil

11. Butter

12. Flour

13. Salt, to taste

14. Pepper, to taste

15. White pepper corn, to taste

 

Serves two.

 

Season steaks and sear in a large saute pan then set aside. In the same pan add olive oil and saute leaks, garlic, and ginger. Add Cutthroat porter reduce in half and simmer,add brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste stirring regularly. Saute mushrooms until soft and add to sauce . If the sauce is not your desired thickness make a roux with butter and flour adding slowly. Add rice to boiling water and a third cup of coconut water cook until tender. Grill steaks to desired temp. Plate rice, steak and lightly cover with sauce.

 

90 Shilling Dessert

Vanilla bean ice cream with rasher bacon and caramel

  1. Rasher Bacon.
    1. The Rasher bacon was made with a pork loin roast with additional belly fat added to the cut. This is the closest way to get it in the US as we butcher the pig differently. Typical Rasher bacon has the loin and some of the belly fat cut with it.
    2. I cured it with 64 oz cold water with 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tspn pickling salt. I left it in the brine for 48 hours. I bet a little more time in the brine would have salted it up a little more.
    3. 90 Shilling Orange Cardamom Caramel Sauce
      1. One 12oz bottle of 90
      2. 4 cardamom pods (optional)
      3. zest of 1/2 orange in large strips (optional)
      4. 2 Tbs butter
      5. 1 1/2 c brown sugar
      6. 1 c heavy cream
      7. pinch salt
      8. 1 tsp vanilla
      9. Cook beer and spices over medium heat for about 10 minutes until reduced by half.  Add butter and sugar and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft ball stage (drop some in cold water and if it forms a ball it’s done) DO NOT stir unless it is about to boil over! Carefully stir in cream and cook for about 5-6 minutes until thick.  Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla and remove spices.