Monday, September 21, 2009

Chocolate Guinness Torte

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.

Bon appetite!


Katherine Aucoin said...

Great save on the cake to torte, i'll have to remember that one. I am really interested in trying this. The chocolate and Guiness together really has my attention!

stephchows said...

HAHAHAHHA I love that you changed the name to a torte to make up the difference, genius!!

hmmm lessons I've learned recently... me and pipping bags don't mix LOL

Heavenly Housewife said...

Julia Child says never be appologetic :), it looks like a fab cake, and great idea to call it a torte!
Happy birthday to your hubby!!!

The Duo Dishes said...

Didn't even notice that it was flatter than expected until you pointed out the coffee cup. :) Honestly, if it takes good, no one has to know what it was supposed to be! Just eat it up. It sounds really great. Never seen beef in anything other than bread!

words...words...words... said...

There are no failures in cooking, just unrequested opportunities. Flat cake? Torte!

Anonymous said...

You are a born salesperson!

I think it looks pretty damn delicious even if it is vertically challenged. Besides, you likely got more servings out of it this way which saves calories, right?

The Diva on a Diet said...

Katherine - I think you'd really like, and it comes together in a snap too.

Steph - its all about the spin! Oh no, you had a piping bag incident?! LOL

HH - Right! JC always says you're alone in the kitchen ... and I agree! ;)

Duo - the beer is a surprise, its in the frosting too. So, so good!

words words words - I couldn't have said it better myself. Want to join my marketing team? ;)

Dana - I thought the same thing about the calorie savings! LOL And, yes, I have some sales experience. ;)

Deb said...

Short torte, tall multi layered, who cares! Chocolate cake is chocolate cake and as long as it's not dry, they're all good! I'm gonna try this out on the family Goss!

Anonymous said...

It's gorgeous and the flavors with chocolate & guinness sounds amazing and of course that's the only thing that matters! Happy birthday to your husband!

aoife mc said...

Hee hee! Good save with the whole "it's a torte not a cake" Good work. And it's quite timely as this Thursday is International Guinness Day - the 250th anniversary of the company or something like that. Who cares what it's celebrating, tis another excuse for a nice creamy pint, hurrah!

Daniel said...

One of the best saves in cake history if you ask me. Sheer brilliance! And your husband is a very lucky man.

Casual Kitchen

The Gourmet On A Diet said...

Every recipe with Guiness catches my eye because my husband can only drink dark beer. I'll have to try this!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - I hope the clan loves it! Let me know how it goes. Just be sure to use the right size pan, because that will affect the texture. Its a dense cake, but not dry ... keep an eye on it and maybe even take it out of the oven a bit earlier than suggested.

5 Star - thank you! :)

Aoife - yes, I've heard about that 250th Anniversary ... have a creamy pint on me! ;)

Dan - aw, thanks! :)

Gourmet on a Diet - sounds like the perfect cake for your hubby too. Let me know how he likes it!

giao @ KMS said...

my irish hubby will go crazy over this one! looks amazing!

Cheryl Arkison said...

How did I miss that you made this? Perfect for the holiday this week! And good save. I finally bought the 8 inch pans after making a lot of tortes! Did you ever get yours?