And I am back to blogging after a short break. These past two weeks have been pretty intense at work, with trying to get data for a meeting, finishing experiments for a grant quarterly deadline, organizing a thesis defense party, all while trying to prepare slides for my semi-annual group meeting. Boy, I am glad it is over! This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work to be done still, but I can finally have time to read food blogs (oh, how I missed it!!!), watch silly TV, and maybe even make some progress reading a few books. The iPad has been updated and charged so after work today I’ll finally get to catch up on the Wall Street Journal off duty sections 😉
In order to handle this stressful week, I needed some good food and good company. After two weeks of no real cooking (salads and eggs don’t count), I decided to have a low key St. Patrick’s dinner and had two of my best friends help me put together the amazing stew in the picture above. I’ve been thinking about a Guinness beef stew ever since my sister has been accepted into a volunteer program in Northern Ireland. I am planning a trip to Ireland to visit her, and I am really looking forward to some Irish comfort food 🙂
Now, back to the stew! We mainly just followed this recipe from Simply Recipes, with the only modifications being that I used 4 cups of beef broth instead of 6 (I bought a carton of it, without even crossing my mind that I would need more than that!) and white wine instead of red since I had a bottle already opened in the fridge (we weren’t planning on drinking too much since we all had work to do, so I didn’t want to open a bottle of red). I also had to use a bit more butter since I underestimated the amount of veggies and had to use 2 pots to cook them all! Let me tell you, this is one massive stew!!! But it was really tasty, bowl licking kind of tasty…well, we didn’t go that far, but we used some fresh bread to clean the bowls 😉
And since all three of us love chocolate, I improvised a quick Guinness chocolate cake while my friends were chopping the veggies (the stew was very much a team effort and I couldn’t have done it without their help, especially when time is at a premium). Emphasis on improvise, since I even forgot to use the sour cream I bought with this cake in mind! This just means I have to whip up a new dessert to use it up 😉
Ingredients (9 inch cake):
- 5 oz 72% pound plus dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup Guinness
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1-2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 Tbsps almond milk
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter one 9″ pie/cake pan. Place chocolate and cocoa in a small bowl. Bring 1/2 cup Guinness to boil, then pour it over the chocolate and mix until melted. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of beer, followed by the dry ingredients. Pour into the baking dish and bake for ~45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, milk and sugar. Adjust the sugar amount to your taste. Ice the cake and decorate with some green sprinkles in the spirit of St. Patricks’s 😉
This turned out a bit denser than I wanted it since I did forget the sour cream, but the Guinness taste was more intense since it wasn’t as diluted 🙂 I swear you can’t go wrong with chocolate and alcohol when trying to make a delicious moist cake!
This meal is best enjoyed with the leftover Guinness, of course, and good company 😉
How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s?