Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ginger-Chocolate Stout Cake & Couscous Salad

Cross posted to Good Life = Good Food, Good Beer

Recently, we had a dinner party. This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out some recipes that have been waiting patiently in my kitchen.

First, I made Couscous Salad from a recipe that I found, in all places, in the Ann Arbor News. I must admit some hesitancy to eat couscous. Part of this concern comes from an episode of South Park wherein Chef shares that Meatloaf's original stage name was Couscous...and you can see how well that went. It turns out that it's not as bad as I thought.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T brown sugar
1 c quinoa (which I call the Q stuff, because I can't pronounce it)
2 c salted water
olive oil
1 c hot water
1/4 cup scallions (I used regular yellow onion)
1/2 cup dried figs (yum!!)

1. Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil and then simmer. Simmer until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Not really sure what this means, so I just simmered until it looks semi-thick. Let liquid cool.
2. Bring 2 cups of salted water and the Q stuff to a boil. Simmer. Turn off heat when you see the tail of the seed open. Again, I didn't know what this meant, so I just kept an eye on it until the appearance changed and, sure enough, it look like a little tail! Drain and cool.
3. Add 1 cup hot water to the couscous and add olive oil to cover. Cover until mixture is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
I had an oopsie-poopsie with this one--water wasn't hot enough--so I ended up just boiling the water until the couscous was chewable.
4. Chop onions and figs and mix everything together. Let it sit overnight to properly blend the flavors.


Ginger-Chocolate Stout Cake

I got this recipe from Vegetarian Times. It is described as chocolate cake for grown-ups, and I must agree.

2 c of flour (I used whole wheat all purpose)
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1 T ginger
1 T cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c maple syrup
1 1/4 cups stout (I used 2 cups :) )
1/2 c butter
1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x11 pan (I used 9x13 and it came out fine). Whisk together flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Place 1 c maple syrup into a bowl. Bring stout to a boil and add to the syrup.
**Let me say that bringing beer to a boil was weird. I've previously only brought beer to a boil when it wasn't quite beer yet....
3. Beat butter and brown sugar with your Kitchenaid. Beat in eggs. Alternate adding the stout and the flour mixture to the batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes.

You also make a topping for it, but I didn't care for it. You just mix 1 c low fat sour cream and 2/3 cup light brown sugar. I served this on the side, but most people just ate the cake.

If you cut it into 16 squares, each piece has about 250 calories (with the topping on it).


Anonymous said... that couscous salad, or quinoa salad, or can you use either?

(btw, it's pronounced KEEN-wah...way easier than it looks...*grin*)

And WOW. I think I need to make that cake...

Laura [What I Like] said...

I've been a little obsessed with Guiness cake recently, but I adore the idea of ginger in it! I have got to get it together to make it immediately.