Lest any of you are operating under the mistaken impression that things always go as planned, Chez Diva, let this post serve as proof that's not the case.
The husband had a birthday last week and I took a notion to bake him a cake ... from scratch. Months ago, I fell in love with the Chocolate Beer Cake posted on The Backseat Gourmet. Originally, I'd planned to make it for St. Patrick's Day, but that never happened. Knowing the husband's deep personal commitment to Guinness, I figured this was the cake for him.
I followed Cheryl A.'s recipe exactly as posted with two exceptions. I used Guinness instead of ale - no problem there. Chocolate and Guinness is a stunning combination. I also used 9 inch cake pans, instead of the 8 inch indicated in the recipe ... hello, problem! Yes, the size of the pan matters. And, yes, I know that. I used the larger pans anyway, because it was too late in the day to go out and buy another set. The cake? Was so flat you could slide it under a door. Ole.
Here's the thing, though, its all about the spin. It looked and smelled delicious - and Cheryl's frosting is truly divine. I frosted that bad boy up and called it a torte. The presentation went a little something like this:
Diva: Look, I've made you a torte for your birthday! A chocolate Guinness torte!
The Husband: Yay! Sounds delicious! Sort of looks like a flat cake.
Diva: Perhaps, but its a torte.
The Husband: Hmm, what's the difference?
Diva: About two inches.
Fortunately, the BIG flavors here more than made up for the diminutive stature. The flavor of stout is not really present at all, though there is a subtle, underlying malty-ness that serves to intensify the chocolate flavor. The addition of Guinness makes a chocolate cake taste even more chocolaty. Its delicious! And that frosting is so incredibly good I know I'll be making it again and again. Its the chocolate frosting I'm going to make for the rest of my life. Really.
While I certainly wouldn't put this one in the category of "failure", its far too scrumptious for that, I'd call it a minor screw-up. I mean, take a look a that picture ... the cake doesn't even come halfway up the coffee cup!?! Lesson learned: I need some 8 inch pans.
So, have you learned any baking lessons recently? Do tell, curious Diva wants to know.