Just to stretch my arms a bit, I'm putting up some delicious cakes that have been made in the last year. Of course, I'm including the old Chocolate Stout Cake (Bon Appétit, Sep '02), but with raspberries between the layers in addition to the chocolate ganache. If you can believe it, this is what a half-recipe looks like:
I've made this particular recipe at least 10 times in the last three years. It has become one of those trademark recipes that people frequently ask me to make for birthdays or parties (I am always more than happy to oblige). I've tweaked many components, such as making cupcakes (amazing) or adding raspberries. I've even made it with near-beer for a mormon friend (blackstrap molasses helped mimic the deep stout flavor, and yes, I know the alcohol cooks off). I have plans for a large-scale experiment with four types of stout, the results of which will no doubt be posted here.
Another memorable cake was the Ginger Cake with Crystallized Ginger Frosting (Bon Appétit, Dec '00), an easy way to use up the jar of crystallized ginger stashed in my pantry. My friend and I had too much fun with the decoration. I enjoyed the deep flavor of this cake, like a more sophisticated gingerbread. The warmth of the ginger was definitely appreciated during the colder weather.