Saturday, December 31, 2011

26 Weeks

So I am feeling kinda big these days. "Fabio" has been really active these past few weeks. No, that is not his name - just a nickname since he could be born with long lucious locks after all this heartburn :)

Chocolate Orange Coffee Stout Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Yes, there are a lot of names in the title but baked together it really works. I modified the recipe I originally found through Pinterest from this blog

I used this stout beer - Southern Tier Imperial Ja-va coffee flavored beer. I picked it up at a brand new beer market near our home (Matt's new favorite shop). You can really use any stout beer for this but I wanted to make it unique.

After freezing it over night, I decided to brush it with a simple syrup to maintain the moistness even though the original receipe did not take this step. I have had great success doing this with other cakes in the past.

Although time consuming, the frosting was well worth it. The brown butter provided a subtle nuttiness that just melted in your mouth.

This is definately a keeper!

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled completely
1 cup stout beer, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

For simple syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

For the frosting:
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 – 1/3 cup whole milk

1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
2. Spray two 8″ cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
4. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, beer, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Do not over-mix.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let the cakes cool in the pan for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
8. Double wrap in plastic and place in freezer overnight or up to a week. (Optional)

1. In a small pan over medium heat brown the butter until it is nut brown. Be sure to stir the butter constantly and then allow the butter to cool to room temperature.
2. Beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until combined. Add the milk, a little at a time, until you reach your preferred spreading consistency.
3. Make simple syrup by adding water and sugar in saucepan until sugar dissolved. Let cool.
4. Remove cakes from freezer, trim to flatten with bread knife and brush with simple syrup.
5. Place one of the cakes on your serving plate, or board and spread 1/3 of the frosting evenly over the cake starting with the sides.
6. Top with the second cake and spread 1/3 of the remaining frosting along the sides and evenly on the top.
7. Place cake in fridge for 20-30 min to harden the frosting crumb layer.
8. Spread remainder of frosting over the entire cake and decorate. I shaved some dark chocolate over the top to help make it look pretty.
9. Keep in fridge until about 1 hour before serving and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

100 days to go!!

That is right - I am almost in double digits! It seems like just yesterday I was barely keeping water and toast down. Let's just hope the baby doesn't come out looking like Peter!

Updated 12:44pm: After much thought, I don't think I would be interested in pushing out Stewie's head either :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Three sleeping babies.

I imagine next Xmas morning will look a whole lot different. But for now, warm, cozy and quiet works just fine.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

18 weeks 5 days

The lil guy now weighs 10 oz. He was breech and snuggled in to me so we could not get a great profile of his face.

+/- 149 more days to go.....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

The Headless Horseman and his steed!

Headless horseman should pick a new horse if he wants to get through the night.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally time to announce it....

Yesterday at 13 weeks, we found out everything is going great with our BABY BOY!!!

Here are some ultrasound images we got from the doctors. We saw the OB and the Perinatologist (who we don't need to see again because everything is fine).

His foot - measured at 1.1 cm. Soo small.

In all his glory.

Close up from NT scan.

The family jewels :)

I am still waiting for this miraculous relief from morning sickness I keep hearing about. Hopefully soon!!!

I plan to put up some belly pics as they become more interesting. I am just barely starting to show this week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunday pics - finally

The last day. I did a lot of typical stuff - cook breakfast, go shopping, cook dinner.

Drinking avocado bubble tea with espresso at Best Baguette - very interesting.

Gandalf assisting me.

Straining the marionberry vinegar.

Finished vinegar.

Best corn we've had in ages.

Chicken thighs in Thai flavored marinade.

Lavi watching me grill.

Matt watching his shows - namely True Blood.

Now to put it all together. I'll probably make photo collages for each day in Photoshop and have them printed. I am still working on the layout design.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday pics

Getting ready for the day. Lavi letting me know I am not going without her.

Lavi loves her crate, especially when it is in the shade.

Brooklyn enjoying herself.

Laura motivating Brooklyn through the tunnel.

Resting in the shade after too much sun.

Boomerang and his ball.

Tabbouleh - my green fix.

Watched Black Swan.

One more day to go.

Looong day of agility. Lavi didn't even run the last course.

Alex and Brandon win blue ribbons at the Monmouth County Fair. They won for their mint and Thai basil entries!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday pics

Working on computer in the morning.

Lavi's morning walk.

Lunch with Robin at Baker and Spice.

Blueberry cream tart.

Matt enjoying his beer.

Reading about all the beers.

Doug enjoying beerfest!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday pics - over half way through the week.

Walking Matt to catch 6:50 am bus.

Matt's bus.

Breakfast with Jen at Ken's Artisan Bakery before work.

Eating lunch in the parking lot.

Lavi waiting patiently for dinner to arrive.


Drunk Matt loving his dog who is more interested in the pizza.

Gandalf on new desk.

I'm very excited my week at work is over. Now I can document more fun stuff. Tomorrow - Beerfest, Saturday - Agility, Sunday - ????