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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Beer Cake

 I have a husband. He is the best husband. He is perfect.
I know it sounds so corny, and I'm sure you're thinking: "The perfect man doesn't exist."
The truth of the matter is, I couldn't find a more perfect man for me.
 It may come as a shock to you (or not), but I am strong-willed person. If Jon wasn't more strong-willed than I am, I would probably walk all over him and "wear the pants" in our relationship. I'm totally not into "wearing the pants". I am totally into playing the woman role. I'm so obviously not a feminist. Not that I don't think it's okay for a woman to take charge and be the more dominant one, but it's just not for me. Equality is definitely important, I just wish I was a 50's housewife.
 Not only do women not stay home and bake and cook and take care of their house and children, but they pretty much can't. They have to work to support their families financially. It's hard these days. Also, women take offense nowadays when their husbands get them household appliances as gifts. I'd kill for an awesome vacuum as a gift, a blender, or even a toaster.
 We've been in the process of trying to make more money for the past few years.
Unfortunately, it hasn't been as easy as the snap of our fingers.
Jon has been in a holding period for an air traffic controller position with the FAA for two years now. Two years of waiting almost had us out of hope.
Guess what? After all that waiting, all that hoping, they gave him one weeks notice. He needs to be almost 1400 miles away from me for three months of training, and they give us five days to prepare. Not only to prepare with packing, but also emotionally. Our family is here, and we haven't spent a night apart in years. We don't have kids yet, but we have dogs, and those are as close to kids as we know. They cuddle with us every night.
 I'm left sad. I totally understand that this an amazing opportunity for us. It will help us financially, so I can possibly have longer at home playing 50's housewife and mother before my kids go to school. It just doesn't seem right being apart from someone I love so very much, for this long.
 I came up with a plan. The plan is to bake more, and more and go to the gym more and more and think less and less and less about missing him so much. I will ship some of my lovely baked goods oh-so-far-away in air traffic controller land. We will video chat which will help a bit, but I'll definitely miss him. He will be back soon, and the sooner I'm back snuggling with my honey, the better.
 Hmm...what should I bake next?
About this cake. This cake is very full of chocolate flavor and rich. It is extremely easy to throw together and even easier to eat.

Chocolate Beer Cake
Adapted Loosely From Everyday Chocolate Cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup chocolate beer or stout, any kind you like
1&1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment, and spray the interior with a nonstick spray. 
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the beer and vanilla. 
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. 
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. This cake keeps well at room temperature or in the fridge. It looks pretty dusted with powdered sugar.

Whipped Banana Topping

Cool Whip or any whipped topping
1/2 banana, chopped.

Use hand mixer to mix together room temperature cool whip and half of a banana. There aren't any rules for this. Do what you want. It'll taste good no matter what you do.

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