Nine years later, we stole away and married at the courthouse in Manhattan on St Patrick’s Day. After our ceremony (which was literally 45 seconds long…ah, romance), we attended the big parade in the city and then ate a fancy steak dinner. Six months later, back home in Baltimore, we had a huge party with all our friends and family, great food, a blues band, and an open bar. On that day, as my chump-ass brother kept his wallet closed while giving a toast that made me cry louder than a bag of kittens on the side of the road, I thanked my lucky leprechaun for bringing me such an incredible man with whom to spend my life. And those kittens. I thanked the orphaned kittens, too.
(Recipe via The Smitten Kitchen)
Chocolate Stout Cake with Dark Chocolate Irish Cream Ganache
For our anniversary, I love to make this cake as an ode to our official day of kitten love. The Guinness cuts the sweetness, giving this cake a depth of flavor that is just incredible. The Irish cream dark chocolate ganache? Well, that is my gift of Irish love to you. And I’m not even Irish.
Chocolate Stout Cake:
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan very thoroughly.
Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan. Carefully run a butter knife between the cake and the pan to loosen the cake from the sides, and then turn cake out onto a rack for drizzling ganache. (Tip: I put paper towels under the rack to catch the dripping ganache for easier clean up. No, I won’t judge you for licking a paper towel. Go right ahead.)
Dark Chocolate Ganache with Irish Cream:
6 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips)
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3 Tbsp Irish cream such as Bailey’s
3/4 tsp instant coffee granules
Melt the chocolate, heavy cream, Irish cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake, allowing it to cascade down all sides.