Happy Birthday, Mom Prevention!
My mom and dad are visiting from Chicago for the weekend (and for the record, they called themselves “Mom Prevention” and “Dad Prevention” — how cute is that?!). I haven’t seen them since Christmas and it’s good to catch up. This is one of the longest stretches we’ve gone without a visit.
And, we’ve been busy!
Friday afternoon was beautiful — we spent a few hours talking on the deck before heading to Charming Charlie’s for a girl’s shopping trip. Luckily, my dad is a real trooper and was happy to tag along. He even enjoys picking out things he thinks would look good on mom — it’s rare to find a man that can tolerate, much less participate, in shopping! Lucky gal! We also stopped by Toys ‘R Us for ball for Miss Lily. Apparently, playing soccer is one of her most favorite activities. Which we then observed when we returned home. Too cute.
We went to our favorite wood fire oven pizza joint last night, dodging the rain drops, and stopped by a local bar for a beer. All of us live-wires were in bed before 11pm and this morning, I was the first one up — that is something rare with my folks. They are early risers, for sure.
We headed out to get massages for mom’s birthday. She has graced this earth for far, far too many years to have never had a massage…so, we changed that! She had a great time and we had to retreat home for some R & R. It’s amazing how sleepy a massage can make a girl! I passed out for a 2 1/2 hour nap and Mr. P had to wake me for our 7pm dinner reservation!
We enjoyed drinks, bread, and salad before our entrees and everyone ordered great picks. Mom and Mr. P got the steak medallions over gorgonzola mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus, dad picked the mahi mahi with rice, beans, and guacamole, and I chose the shrimp and creamy polenta. Mmmm!
We got home, flipped on the Final Four Ohio State vs. Kansas game and not soon after decided it was birthday cake time. Though today is mom’s birthday, the cake was made on Thursday and I just couldn’t hold out on her another day. I like to think of it as prolonging the celebration!
When I asked on Facebook what cake I should make for mom, my friend Tiffany was the first to respond with this suggestion. A quick Google search later, this recipe popped up and the photos sold me. And if I know anything about my mother, it’s her love for buttercream.
This recipe, sadly, taught me that buttercream is basically a ratio of 1 stick of better for every 1 cup of powdered sugar, whipped to a fluffy perfection…healthy! Noooot. Life was a little brighter without knowing that, but hey…everything in moderation. Truth be told, buttercream isn’t my favorite (but I never turn down sugar, and it’s not my birthday!). Growing up, my dad had a short-lived interest in cake decorating, and at any given time we had 8 different of colors buttercream frosting in our fridge.
If buttercream or chocolate cake is your thing…this recipe is for you. As noted below, this cake is pretty simple. My only advice is to BE SURE the cakes are, in fact, COMPLETELY cool before layering them. My cakes were ever so slightly warm and well, butter + warmth = melting. Thus, my top layer kept wanting to slide off the bottom layer. This was nothing a little refrigeration and frosting patchwork couldn’t fix…but learn from my mistake and make this cake baking all the easier!
Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream lightened up just a bit from Global Table Adventure
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 cup Guinness Extra Stout 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar 2-3 Tbsp Bailey’s
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in Guinness, vanilla extract, and cocoa. Set aside to cool.
Line with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray 2 eight-inch cake pans. Whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda). Pour the Guinness mixture onto the dry ingredients, then whisk in the 2 eggs. Pour evenly into two prepared cake pans. Lick the bowl when no one is looking.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, whip together the softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer for the buttercream, adding in just enough Bailey’s to get it loose and fluffy. Whip for 5-10 minutes, or until fluffy and light.
Once the cakes are done baking, cool completely. First, add the frosting for the middle layer. I used about 1/3 of the buttercream. Top with second layer. Coat top and sides with another 1/3 of the frosting mixture. Spread it all over, nice and thin. Refrigerate to set it. At this point, you can refrigerate the cake overnight. Once that layer is firm to the touch, add the final 1/3 of the frosting to the cake – top first, then sides. Spreading it around evenly.
Yield: 12 generous slices.
Nutrition Information (per slice): 481 calories; 27.3 g. fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 114 mg. sodium; 57.7 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 2.9 g. protein
Result: Birthday girl says, “It was worth every calorie…all 481!” Of course this cake is a perfect example of things to eat in moderation…but it sure was enjoyable! For those that aren’t bakers, like myself…this was a pretty simple cake to make. If I can do it, it’s doable! My frosting utensil was a knife, so my buttercream was a bit bumpy, but I’m not about looks when it comes to dessert…I’m all about the taste! Enjoy!
Happy Birthday to the best mommy ever! I love you so much and am so glad you’re here to celebrate!
Weekly menu tomorrow!