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Eat Cake – Oatmeal Stout Cake

March 15, 2009

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A few months ago I saw a book flash over Kristen’s bookshelf called Eat Cake.  I don’t know what it was about the book that drew me in, but I immediately put it on my Amazon list to purchase.  Finally, I bought it a few weeks ago and tore through it.  

In my world, a lot of things are balanced with timing.  Eat Cake was the perfect read for me at this point in my life.  The book is about a struggling family where the primary bread-winner is laid off of his job and is now looking for a way to support his family, but is also struggling to find the one thing in life that makes him happy. 

Meanwhile, the wife increasingly finds herself in her happy place, the center of a bundt cake.  She struggles with taking care of her ailing, aging parents but also worries about how the bills will get paid.  In times of uncertainty, which turns out to be almost every day, the wife bakes a cake to calm herself.  A friend suggests that she start a business to sell the cakes because the friend can see how amazing they are.  With the aide of her parents, children and eventually her husband… the wife starts a gourmet cake business, Eat Cake.  

Read the book.  It’s filled with hope that it’s never too  late to find your true desire.  It’s never too late to fall a little more in love with your husband… and most importantly, finding your passion in life.  For me, reading something so silly had great purpose.  If you come here often, you know I’m working on my passion… finding my way in life and carving out a mold for where I want to go.

For now, the Oatmeal Stout cake from the book is perfect for my Irish fest going on here at Delta Whiskey.  Notes about the turnout of the cake are below the recipe.  So without further ado…

Oatmeal Stout Cake with a Chewy Oat Topping
Recipe from Eat Cake, A Novel

*Oatmeal soaks for 2 hours before beginning cake… fyi. 

1 c old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 1/4 c oatmeal stout or other dark stout beer, such as Guinness
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 t vanilla
1 t finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon (I used 1 t)
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
Chewy Oat Topping
1/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c lightly toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (I actually used 1 c almonds)

1.  Two hours before you plan to put the cake in the oven, combine the oatmeal tand the stout in a small, non-reactive bowl; cover with plastic wrap and chill.

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2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9″ springform pan or other 9-inch round cake pan with 3″ high sides.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until well combined and somewhat fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and orange zest.

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3.  Drain the chilled oat mixture, reserving the stout.  Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.   Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the reserved stout in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Take care at this point not to overmix; just make sure the flour is moistened and all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Fold in the oats and scrape the batter, which will be quite thick, into the prepared pan  Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, and the wooden skewer inserted there comes out clean.  Remove the sides of the springform pan and cool the cake completely on a rack before topping.

img_1371The Husband helped pour the milk.

4.  To prepare the Chewy Oat Topping, preheat the broiler.  Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and scatter over teh cooled cake in its pan, pressing the mixture onto the surface evenly.  Place the pan under the broiler and cook, ,watching closely, until the topping is bubbling and golden.  This sweet stuff can burn quickly, so don’t leave the pan under the heat and walk away.  Cool the topped cake for at least 10 minutes.  Slide a slender spatula under the cake to remove it from the pan bottom and slide onto a serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Good with vanilla or orange ice cream

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So now I understand why my mouth watered when I read the description of this cake as the main character prepared it.  This is fabulously moist, tender and has the perfect crunch from the nuts.  When I pulled the cake out of the oven I was beyond disappointed because the center caved in.  I decided to forge ahead and continue with the Chewy Oat Topping and finish it off.  The Husband isn’t too picky when it comes to sweets.  In all reality… this may be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made.  I just wish I could figure out what happened to make the center cave in on me… I’m sure some of you can help.

Coming up tomorrow… The Husband’s favorite meal ever… my own Shephard’s Pie.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2009 10:10

    I made oatmeal cupcakes last night. I couldn’t wait after I saw your post about what was coming tomorrow. They’re similar, except mine has no stout and no oatmeal in the topping. They’re so yummy I think I’ll have another one for breakfast. Your cake is next on my list!

  2. March 15, 2009 12:37

    Oh, I looooove that book! When I was a newspaper editor, I wrote book reviews, and a publishing company sent me that book. I’d already been thinking about changing careers, and I must have read that book three or four times. Love it.

  3. Christine permalink
    March 15, 2009 17:09

    The book is on my list! The cake looks delicious I am so going to have to make it for the hubby.

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