Cooking and baking with Beer, Dairy Free, dessert, quick breads and tea cakes, Winter

A move this big is crazy. Even crazier when you are going to a new city without jobs and with a small child who needs to eat three times a day. In addition to the normal anxiety that goes along with turning our lives upside down, it’s December in Boston, which means short days, gray skies, freezing temperatures and bleak…bleakness. What I am trying to say is that alcohol may be involved for the duration. More specifically, Guinness — my most favorite beer! I love Guinness not only because of it’s frothy, rich, creamy, delicious flavor, but also because it lends itself to cooking and baking so nicely. Cheers.

In this case, some tunnelling is okay (developing of gluten which causes those holes) you need some gluten to give this heavy cake structure and prevent it form collapsing in the center

Gingerbread Cake [so good it’s almost sinful], from Cook’s illustrated, Jan/Feb 2011

This is some seriously moist, sticky (yes,sticky!), molasses-y, dark, rich, gingerbread. If you double the recipe (and I highly recommend that you do), you will use an entire 12-oz bottle of guinness stout.

3/4 cup stout

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup mild molasses (I could only find blackstrap, but I like it)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups  all purpose flour (I used a mix of all purpose and whole wheat pastry)

2 Tbs ground ginger

1/2 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper

2 large eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.

Bring stout toa boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will foam vigorously).

When foaming subsides, stir in molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until dissolved; set mixture aside. Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pepper together in a bowl; set aside.

Transfer stout mixture to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs, oil, and grated ginger until combined. Whisk wet mixture into the flour mixture in thirds, stirring vigorously until completely smooth after each addition.

Transfer the batter to prepared pan and gently tap pan against counter 3 or times to dislodge any large air bubbles. Bake until top of cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean ~ 40 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

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