Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chocolate Stout Cake and Cable TV

So I finally gave in.  Two and a half weeks ago.  After what seems like ages, we once again have cable.  I don't actually remember how long it's been since the last time we had it or a dish or anything of that sort, which in itself means it's been a long time.  I'm thinking around eight years.  Wow!  It's not like I've been in the dark...I have a computer, after all.  We'll catch some of the vast world of television at a hotel or one of my many family members homes...because they can't do without...but that's been the extent.  I actually like renting whole seasons of shows I've missed and watching them in one fell swoop.  No commercials...back to back episodes...no waiting.  Actually I'll continue to do that since I drew the line at premium channels.  Dexter, Weeds, True Blood...I actively work to avoid their story lines until the next season is released...so don't you dare say anything.  One channel I am truly head over heels for, though.  The Cooking Channel.  That wasn't around last time we had cable.  Sure, I like Food Network...but it's the Cooking Channel I always find myself watching.  And DVRing.  Don't even get me started on DVR. Heaven!  Many new celebrity chefs have emerged since I last had the ability to sit and check them out.  But in all honesty, my favorites remain unchanged.  You all know that Rick is my favorite. Right?  Unfortunately he's not on either channel.  Lidia is right up there, as well.  She's not on either channel. Ugh.  But fortunately I can still watch Jamie and Nigella and Julia (thank you, Cooking Channel).  But I can SHOUT with no qualms that I have a new favorite to add to my list.  Thanks to somebody who introduced me to him before I even knew I'd be able to watch him every week...and somebody else who reminded me of that introduction after I actually was able to watch him every week.  Friends rock...always looking out for you...  He's tattooed and extremely adorable.  He's awesome in the kitchen and he's full of passion. Beauty. I canNOT get enough Chuck HughesDo you watch Chuck's Day Off?
photo credit: Food Network Canada
Major Crush. I can't help going a bit ga-ga over that Canadian accent and adorable smile...especially when it's only the icing on the cake.  The he's-an-amazing-chef cake. His love for food and the people he feeds is the biggest turn on.  I wanted to make absolutely everything he made on his Beer Show...and I will...but I started with dessert.  Can you blame me?
Chocolate Stout Cake
recipe via from Chuck Hughes via The Cooking Channel
makes ~4 svgs.

1½ c. Stout Beer
½ c. heavy cream
½ c. + 2 Tbs. sugar
1¼ c. semi sweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 c. French bread w/ crust, cut into 1" cubes I used a Tuscan Boule
whipped cream for serving
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Bring the Stout, cream, and ½ c. of the sugar, to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add 1 c. of the chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.
Add the bread cubes and the remaining chocolate chips to the custard, and toss to coat. Transfer to 1½-quart shallow, greased baking dish. The batter should come close to the top of the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over top. 
Bake until the custard thickens and center is just set, about 50 - 60 minutes.
Serve warm, cut a circle using a round biscuit cutter. Garnish with partially whipped whipping cream, lightly sweetened with sugar.
You can see this is basically a bread pudding...it's rich and complex and delicious!  The lightly sweetened cream is a necessity since the cake itself is so...well...deep for lack of a better word.  Sheer indulgence.  And YES, you CAN taste the Stout.

I knew it would happen.  I've grown to love having cable again.  Perhaps that's why I put off getting again for such a long time.  That and the price.  Now I don't know if I'd be able to give it up...without major withdrawal, that is.
*This post is linked to:

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