“Hi, G'ma .. How ‘ya doin'?”
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How did he figure out how to call me? Stinker ..
“How ‘ya doin' Sweet Pea? How were breakfast and your nap? “
“How's Papa doin'?”
“How was your date with Mom at the park?”
“How's Z doin'? Bye G'ma .. I wuv you”
How can the littlest of interactions bring me so much joy?
How is it that parenting, and now grandparenting feel like such a crapshoot?
How when you slam on the brakes, your right arm flies up to protect a puppy sitting on the console. Even when he's sitting in the back. Even when he's not in the car
How can I miss him so much?
How as you make your way through the mundane tasks that fill the days, every meal, load of laundry, hairball on the carpet, trip to the grocery, a piece of you is drifting back to the day you brought them home, and forward to the day you'll say good-bye
How before you pour boiling water into your tea-cup, you glance over your shoulder, making sure everyone furry is at least five feet back
How nice it is that the last sound you hear in your days, is a soft purr on your pillow
How every homeless person is somebody's lost child
How easy it is, to sit back and wait for them to come find you when they're “fixed” Instead, you step out of your comfort zone and listen to the gentle whispers on your heart. Those that tell you to keep the door slightly ajar. Those that remind you of your calling, to be a light in the world, especially to those who've been brought into your life
How when you cross the street, even when you're alone, you reach back to take a child's hand
How having children, and now grandchildren underfoot rub off your edges
How quickly the edges develop before you're even aware
“You can't fly G'ma.”
How your breath deepens
“‘C' mon' .. Let's swing.”
How you start to laugh
How you practice looking into each other's eyes, interlacing fingers, squeezing hands together like they're super-glued
How you will never ever tell him how much you love him because it might feel like too much of a burden
How, instead, you start telling him of the cake you made to take across the street. To the neighbors who just moved in, who wave and say hello.
How you've been meaning to leave a little something welcoming on their doorstep.
How he smiles sweetly and reminds you to simply do what you can
How his face lights up when he realizes you made him a cake too
How he tells you you're the best cook in the world and he's glad you're his wife
How you take this with a grain of salt, but really you love him extra for his always kind words
How you ask him to repeat them .. again .. and again .. and again
The cake .. it's incredible
Topped with not much more than a drizzling of ganache, it's unfussy and ready to go straight out of the pan. I made it with a blend of whole wheat pastry and all-purpose flours, lots of yogurt, and the darkest brown sugar I could find.
The sweetness and moisture come from real maple syrup and organic dark brown sugar. The batter includes beer, but it's not something you can taste outright. Instead, it lends a malty base note and depth of flavor.
If you don't have a bunt pan, no worries, this cake will bake beautifully in a wide range of pans. It will make smaller cakes, loaves, and cupcakes.
By now you know the drill, adjust the baking time, and it's done when the sides of the cake start to pull away from the pan just a bit, and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean
Wishing for you a wonderful and happy Memorial Day weekend
Decadent Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 2 cups beer (either a stout or chocolate porter)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter + more for the pan
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (natural cocoa powder, not-dutched)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup muscovado or organic dark brown sugar (the darkest sugar you can find)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 3 eggs (large or XL)
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt (or plain whole yogurt)
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 Tbsp heavy cream
- ¾ tsp instant coffee granules
- flaky sea salt, to serve
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Use an 11 or 12 cup capacity bundt pan (or an equivalent). Prepare it generously with butter and flour. (see notes above about baking the cake in other sized pans)
- In a small to medium-sized saucepan, add the beer and simmer until it has been reduced to 1 cup. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until it has melted.
- Add the cocoa powder, stirring until the mix is smooth
- Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally
- (Note: You can make the chocolate/butter/beer mix a day or two before and store it in the fridge. When ready to use, warm it up ever-so-slightly and stir until smooth)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup.
- Mix until it's blended and uniform in appearance.
- Gradually add the (cooled) beer mix, and blend until combined.
- Add the flour mix, and this time by hand, fold until just blended, using as few strokes as possible.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes (if using the bundt pan), or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a cooling rack after seven minutes.
- (Note: You really don't want to over bake this cake - err on the slightly moist side)
- Melt the chocolate, heavy 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
- When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the ganache over the top and let it set
- Just before you're ready to serve, sprinkle the cake with a bit of flaky sea salt.
- (Note: If you sprinkle the sea salt on ahead of time, you'll end up with little divots)