Blood on the Laptop, Reubens, and Dessert
Although I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, I enjoy corned beef. Rather than make corned beef and cabbage, I decided I needed a reuben, complete with homemade dressing and meat.
When I asked Sam if he wanted reubens, he figured we were having pastrami. What kind of adventure would it be if I simply bought pastrami from the deli? The corned beef and dressing recipe came from the Basil Freshly Picked site. Both turned out tasty and are items I would make again. It is a long process, so make your meat ahead of time.
I often cook with my computer next to me. The majority of the recipes I use are on the internet. This means my laptop is often a casualty of my cooking. Before splashing blood from the beef onto my computer--shouting, "Blood on the laptop!" with Sam being quick on his feet to shut everything down and save my computer--and cooking the meat for four hours, I made a chocolate cake.
Last week when I was looking for sweet potato recipes, I stumbled across a recipe for chocolate sweet potato cake. I wasn't looking for a new vegan chocolate cake recipe, but I couldn't pass up trying out this cake. I've been thinking about how to pair cupcakes and cakes with beer. I referred to book called the Beer Bible. After flipping through the pairing reference guide, I decided to pair this cake with a brown ale. Avery, one of my favorite Colorado breweries, makes one called Ellie's Brown Ale. I looked at other brown ale options at Argonaut, but decided to go with what I knew I liked.
Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake & Frosting
3/4 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled sweet potatoes (make sure they're orange--this affects the sweetness)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp water, divided
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (if you're going for GF here, add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup enjoy chocolate chips
1/2 scant tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa pwd
1 tsp baking pwd
1 scant tsp baking soda
Grease a 9" round cake pan and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350º.
Using a food processor or blender, puree the sweet potato, 1/2 cup water, maple syrup, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, chocolate chips, salt.
Sift in the cocoa, baking pwd, and baking soda.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using the final tablespoon of water to get all of the wet ingredients out of the food processor.
Mix until completely incorporated.
Pour into the prepped pan and bake for 21–23 minutes.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
1 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled sweet potato
2/3–3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa pwd
1/2 scant cup cashew or almond butter
1/4 tsp salt
2-5 Tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and add more sweetener if desired. Add another 2–3 Tbsp of milk to thin the frosting to your preferred consistency. Frost once the cake has cooled completely.
The pairing was perfect. The nut butter in the frosting accentuates the nuttiness of the beer. The frosting and cake combo wasn't overly sweet despite the fact that the frosting had that perfect store-bought canned frosting consistency.
The cake complimented the beer and the beer complimented the cake.