Work has been strange.
Last month my boss announced that he was moving the lab to California. What resulted can only be described as a workplace full of whispers. Murmurs of who will be going, will there be raises, and the phrase, “did you hear…” repeated over and over again.
I’m kind of over it.
Not one that likes to bring home their workday, I often turn to the kitchen to let out any stress that may remain.
Did your colleague take the last of your solution and not replace it? Knead some dough. Picture it’s his face. Much better.
Did a granny that smelled like moth balls hiss at you on the bus, because you were applying a “smelly lotion?” Don’t say you’d do the world a favor by calling her kids to tell them to pull the plug in a few months. Instead, segment some citrus.
Did you lose one of your favorite technicians because they’re being transferred? Make them a cake. Or two, because if it’s going to be a dark chocolate stout bundt, surely you’d want one for yourself.
This cake is intensely chocolatey but not too sweet. It’s slightly malty with depth from the brown sugar and chocolate stout. The best way I can describe it is that this is a more adult chocolate cake; moist, but delicate, with icing that’s creamy, rich and dark. It’s what I’d want a chocolate cake to be, especially after a Monday.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 1 Bundt Cake
A Small Saucepan
A Small Mixing Bowl or A Two Cup Measuring Cup
A Large Mixing Bowl
A Medium Mixing Bowl
A Bundt Pan (I used a 12 cup), buttered and floured, buttered and cocoa powdered, or sprayed with baking spray
A Cooling Rack (or a large plate if you don’t own one)
For the Cake
One and three quarter cups of unsweetened unflavored soy milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk)
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 cups chocolate stout or porter
6 tablespoons of butter (like Earth Balance)
Three quarters of a cup of cocoa powder
1 cup white whole wheat flour (you could use all purpose in a pinch)
1 cup all purpose flour
One and a half teaspoons of baking soda
Quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 cup of dark brown sugar
Half a cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
For the Icing
Two tablespoons of soy milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk)
Three quarters of a cup of powdered sugar
Quarter cup of cocoa powder
Place the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Pour the beer into a small saucepan and simmer over medium low heat until it’s reduced down to 1 cup. (For me, this took about twenty minutes, so prep your other ingredients while you wait.)
While the beer is simmering, add the soy milk, ground flax seed and apple cider vinegar to your small bowl. Whisk till combined. Set aside.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the medium mixing bowl. Whisk till combined. Set aside.
When the beer has reduced, remove from heat and add the butter. Stir in till melted. Add the cocoa powder and stir until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
Once the beer mixture has cooled, add the sugars, applesauce and soy milk mixture to the large mixing bowl. Stir till the ingredients are well combined. Slowly, add the cooled beer mixture and stir until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl, and fold the ingredients in. Be sure to scrape down and up the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure that everything is incorporated. Try to mix the ingredients till they’re just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 55 – 65 minutes, or when a cake tester (like a toothpick or a knife) comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for about ten minutes.
Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool till room temperature prior to icing.
While waiting for the cake to cool, make the icing. Give your medium mixing bowl a good rinse (the one used for the flour), then use again. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa and soy milk to the medium mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together till smooth. It should be creamy and shiny with very little (if any) lumps. It takes a good while to whisk everything together, so you may find yourself doing this for a minute or two (by hand).
When the cake is at room temperature, ice the cake with a spatula and let it set prior to serving.