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guinness chocolate cake & pickles

By 5:21 PM , , , , , ,

the small 6" cake
This is not a food blog, but lately it has been behaving like one. I'm correcting this in the new year. "During the Holidays", is a phrase that folks often use between Thanksgiving and New Year, to excuse themselves from deviant behavior, and I'm no exception.

Well, during the Holidays, I have taken an extended hiatus from 50% of my normal PHAB purpose of letting go of things that weigh me down. Furthermore, during the Holidays, I've been grabbing onto at least 50% more than I should, which has been troubling me, as well as showing up in the waistline.

In an effort to get back into my intended routine of this blog, I'm curbing my food posts for a while.

Then, what's today's food post about...Well, this is my first "letting go" of the year. It's making something for the purpose of giving it away, something I really enjoy. I've been wanting to bake this cake but didn't necessarily want to eat it, or specifically, eat the whole thing.

So, I waited for the right occasion to bake it and then give it away (at the very least share it liberally).

Then I was invited to two New Year's day celebrations. But I didn't want to bake two cakes, because that would become laborious, therefore, no fun. So I did the sensible thing. Kill two birds with one stone (as much as I dislike this saying, I use it more often than any other) - make (1) small cake and (6) cupcakes rather than (1) original 9" giantesse.

That solved my challenges of 1) baking a cake, 2) eating a slice & 3)not have the rest lying around.

Herman was right, it's the best chocolate cake ever and is worth the effort. Courtesy of Ms. Nigella Lawson. There's Guinness in the batter and the cream cheese frosting is supposed to mimic the head on a pint of Guinness. I love Guinness with or without a cake, but it really works well in this cake.

It was a big hit and I think some of the guests were seriously sad because they didn't get a slice. But as a rule, you want to leave people wanting more.
the smaller cupcakes

There was another thing that I've been wanting to make and to give away as gifts. As I said in my Thanksgiving post, I'm kind of crazy for pickles. So, I asked Phil for the recipe and made my own version of the pickled vegetables to give to the hosts/hostesses.

It was so much fun to make and quite easy. What's funny is that without fail, the first words out of people's mouths when I hand them the jar of pickles is,
"How do you make pickles?"  - without fail.
And all I can say in response is,
"You cut up vegetables and put it in pickling juice."
And everybody thinks that I'm being sarcastic, which I'm not.

I always thought pickling was the oldest form of food preparation after fire.
Seeing how enigmatic the art of pickling is to most, the gift is met with awe, which I enjoy. They're good straight out of the jar, but they went really well with Mark's Bloody Mary's.


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