For the past two years, baking cakes and I have not gotten along; like whole cakes, not cupcakes. Cupcakes have always worked perfectly. I think it’s because of their “itty-bittyness.” It took me almost 2 years to finally perfect baking cakes at high altitude (btw I live in Colorado, if you didn’t know already). I can’t tell you enough how many times I have had to toss cakes and breads because they were burnt on the outside and still raw on the inside. It has been so frustrating, that for about a year, I’ve avoided it all together. I finally got the hang of bread about a year ago, but cakes, I decided to wait until more recently to tackle them again. Things take longer to bake here. If I were to follow a general recipe for a cake, it would never come out right. After a little bit of trial and error, I have learned to use less baking powder (baked goods tend to rise like crazy here, but then they sink almost immediately when you remove them from the oven). I have also learned to always bake things 15 – 20 degrees higher than what the recipe recommends (I have emphasized in the recipe below, the changes to be made if you are baking at sea level or close to it). I also think that a convection oven is key when baking a cake, especially at altitude. Soon! I will have a convection oven soon! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did. It’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had, and I hope you feel the same!
Beer: Lefthand Brewing’s Milk Stout
Brewed By: Lefthand Brewing Company
Style: Sweet Stout
Description: I knew I wanted a beer with just enough sweetness to enhance the flavors in this cake. Lefthand Brewing’s Milk Stout was perfect for the job. This milk stout is my go-to brew when I want to pair with something sweet. I love it. Not only did I pair this cake with this milk stout, but I cooked with it as well! When you go to look for a stout to cook with, be sure that it is something that you would normally drink all on it’s own. Cooking with beer is a lot like cooking with wine. Don’t ever cook with one that you wouldn’t normally enjoy. This pairing is a perfect match!