Monday, June 28, 2010

Pairing Chocolate Cake & Beer: Does It Get Any Better?

I am living testimony to the belief that chocolate is an essential food group. In my world: ice cream - chocolate; cookie - brownie or chocolate chip; pie - chocolate cream. And cake - but of course, chocolate. Served best with my preferred frosting - peanut butter. Rich, dark chocolate cake with light and creamy peanut butter frosting. The ultimate in comfort food.

A couple weeks ago friends Dan and Lynn came by for an impromptu porch supper. I baked a chocolate cake and it was without doubt the best chocolate cake I ever made. Dense, moist, fully chocolate expessive. If this cake was a cathedral organ - it would be the pedal tones in the lower register reverberating in the nave. If this cake was in the band - it would be the resonanting oom-pa of the tuba. If this cake was in the opera, it would be the Wagnerian basso profundo commanding center stage.

Dan observed that the beer he just happened to bring along made an exquisite pairing with the cake: Michelob Ultra Pomegrante Raspberry. I can't remember why I didn't try this pairing at the time. But by the following weekend, I was determined to bake another edition of this fabulous chocolate cake to try with the beer. My farmer-architect husband thought this was a great idea.

What??!!! The "I'll take a fruit pie over cake anyday of the week" guy??!!! This clearly was a cake beyond compare.

And then - No! What recipe did I use? I went to several trusted sources remembering only the cake used cocoa and sour cream. I tried a likely candidate from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. No - it was too lightweight. Then this past weekend I tried again with other prospect from Maida Heatter's Great Book of Chocolate Desserts. Noo --o-o-o- way too dry even when supplemented with strawberries and whipped cream. (Although not a bad pairing either).

Driving back home this morning from my daily consitutional at the pool (which I really needed after three weekends in a row with chocolate cake) I was pondering which of my cookbooks had the greatest selection of chocolate recipes. A-Ha!!! I found it! "Sour Cream Chocolate Cake" from the Hershey's Chocolate Treasury (page 44 if you're lucky enough to own this gem of a cookbook). Many chocolate cake recipes have sour cream. The distinguishing feature in this recipe is buttermilk.

So I will be making this cake again for the coming weekend. I'm also picking up my bike - now repaired - from the bike shop and I pledge to you, my readers, that I will ride to Lake Madison and back this weekend (20 miles) to pay for this chocolate indulgence.

One more thing - I did add two special ingredients to the original recipe. If you leave a comment on my blog - I might be willing to share, although there is one clue in this blog!

1 comment:

  1. Even better-- can you bake another and overnight it to me? I have a recipe you might like from Barbecue America. Video at
    and pdf print recipe at
    I actually tried this, in my oven, not on a grill, and it took FOREVER to bake, but it was goooood. Cheers!