When there are ghosts, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! When you need a good cake, who you gonna call? CM Peters!
Yep, that’s me. I’m usually the first person people ask in my circle of friends to bake desserts, especially birthday cakes. I have a knack for success with new recipes or finding the sweetest cakes ever. Sweet as in you’ll need a pint of milk just to help the sugar rush. I never intend to kill people with sugar but you know, if you’re to have a cheat meal, might as well make it good, right?
Since we recently celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, I’m honoring my neighboring people (I’m Scottish and French) with a recipe I found online a couple of years ago and adapted to my taste, a Stout & chocolate cake with Bailey’s icing. I should say it might not look super pretty once it’s iced, but trust me, the flavors make it a winner.
When I made this recipe the first time, it was for a friend’s birthday party. Among the people present, at least half of them were beer fans. I so am not, but I’m always willing to try. And cooked/baked alcohol always has a different flavor. Once the portions were distributed, there was a deafening silence in the room. I got nervous. What did I do wrong? Does it taste that bad? Then, the groans and moans rose in the room and, like a bunch of starved people, they threw themselves at what was left. I returned home with a clean dish and a big smile.
Since then, I must hear about this cake at least once a month and I already have orders for upcoming birthdays. Flattering to say the least.
What’s the secret, you ask? I’m going to be corny and say ‘love’. When I try new recipes, I want to make sure people will love it, so I have a taste of everything as I go along. If I don’t love it, it doesn’t go through. It’s also why I adjust recipes to my liking. Being calm and collected in the kitchen also helps, especially when baking. Desserts tend to flake when you’re too rough or stressed. And no, it’s not a thing your grandma says to make conversation, it’s true.
One simple piece of advice: when you bake or cook, read the whole recipe before starting. It was one of the first of the first things I learned in baking school (a lifetime ago). You’ll avoid distractions, for one, and mistakes that’ll cost you to have to start over. Not all the ingredients go together all at once.
So, there you are. Try your hand at this and let me know if you enjoy it. Serve with milk or a good stout. Sláinte!
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