In case anyone’s been wondering where I’ve been (not that I flatter myself that you miss me that much when I’m MIA), Boyfriend’s birthday was this weekend – which means that for the majority of the last few days I have been party-planning, supervising the party, cleaning up after the party, and feeding Boyfriend whatever he requested (today, we’re going to the gym…as if it’s going to counteract the pizzas, beer, and cake).

Of course, the first thing I made him was the Birthday Cake.  Last year, only a few months into our relationship, I made him Funfetti cupcakes with vanilla icing and gummy bears (yes, gummy bears, because he gets them on his ice cream every. single. time.).  This year, I thought about what kind of cake I was baking him months in advance, and bookmarked this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen.  Guinness is a favorite of ours, and who could argue with a cake made of chocolate and stout covered in chocolate ganache?

Unfortuantely, the days leading up to his birthday party (for which the cake had to be done, because we were not eating a whole cake by ourselves) were a blur of baseball games, happy hour events, and work.  Which meant that in the hour or so prior to the party commencing, as our friends were arriving, I was hurriedly measuring, mixing, and baking in the kitchen.  Miraculously, I screwed nothing up and the cake was moist and chocolate-y and delicious looking…inside of its bundt pan.  And I should’ve let it cool fully, but I didn’t, because there was so much going on and I wanted to eat a piece of pizza and have a beer, and the ganache was ready and the cake must be too, right?

Wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  The cake, it turns out, was not prepared to come out of its pan and into the bright, shiny world of Boyfriend’s Birthday Party.  So the cake hunkered down, grabbed on tight, and allowed only the bottom half of itself to land on the plate when I flipped it over.  @#$*^!&*^$%.  There would be no perfect cake this evening.  Fortunately, ganache covers all manner of sins, and once I pried the vast majority of the cake from its pan and sort of…compiled a shape that resembled a bundt, I poured chocolate-Kahlua goodness over the whole mess and TA-DA!  A Birthday Cake was born…even if was born against its stupid, sticking-to-the-pan will.


Irish Carbomb Cake*

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

1 cup of Guinness (or other stout)

2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream


6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 tbsp heavy cream

2 tbs Kahlua or Bailey’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bundt pan really, really well.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter with stout until simmering.  Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and eggs until combined.  Slowly add cooled stout/butter/cocoa mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking continuously as you pour (make sure it cools at least slightly, or you’ll wind up with chocolate scrambled eggs).  Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix until completely combined.

Pour into really well-greased bundt pan, and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool completely before turning it out of the pan.

For ganache, melt chocolate with cream and liquor in a double-boiler over medium-high heat until smooth.  Pour over turned-out cake.

*This cake is named after a mixed shot involving Bailey’s Irish Cream and Guinness (as well as Jameson whiskey) and is in no way meant to be offensive.