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Bake: Root Beer Cake (Happy Belated Birthday Jack and Kristian!)

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Dang, that was probably the longest title of any blog post I’ve ever written. I can think of at least twenty more ways to make it longer and more annoying, but I won’t bother with that until I’ve reached such a stage of boredom that creating long blog titles is a hobby.

Today, readers, I have a lesson to share to you. It is so true that friends should not let friends drive drunk. That is an undeniable rule of life. But perhaps the golden rule that you should let govern both your life and your social life is this: Friends don’t let friends live without chocolate (especially on their birthdays).

TV dictates that you should always carry around a pack of Dentyne because you never know when you just might need fresh breath. Well, Natalie dictates that you should always carry around a bar of chocolate or two because you never know whose birthday you just might be forgetting. Don’t believe me? Picture this.

You walk into school and your favorite corner/room to chill with your friends. You see girl-who-has-a-planner-the-size-of-Jupiter squeal “OMG! happy birthday ____!” You think to yourself  “Oh crap. I was going to make a card. I can’t make one right here because that would be lame beyond imagination.” Then, you remember those two chocolate bars you have ingeniously packed in your backpack because you remembered Natalie’s advice. And boom! You whip those out like a gallant friend and girl-who-has-a-planner-the-size-of-Jupiter’s remembering ______’s birthday isn’t quite so impressive. ______ gives you a big hug and calls you a true friend.

Clever, eh?

Well I didn’t do exactly that. I packed my chocolate in a very unique yet bizarre form….root beer cake.

The burly co-stars of the show (with chocolate as the leading role of course)

Root Beer Float Cake (Adapted from Honey & Jam)

2 cups root beer (don’t use diet)

1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

Preheat even to 325 degrees F. Spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan (or 2 round cake pans) with nonstick cooking spray, or butter generously and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs until just beaten.

You should have three different mixtures/bowls.

Then whisk into the cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy. You can give it a quick whisk if you like, but don’t over beat the batter or it could cause the cake to be tough. Don’t worry, the batter is very loose.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and cook for 35-45 minutes (or 25-30 minutes for 2 cake pans), rotating the pan halfway through baking until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then loosen edges with a butter knife and turn out onto a cake plate.

Chocolate Root Beer Frosting

2 ounces 60% cocoa, melted

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt (you may want to use less… maybe just 1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 cup root beer

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2  cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric hand mixer, beat softened butter and cocoa powder. Once combined add the melted chocolate, salt, powdered sugar and root beer. Beat together until smooth. Spread on top of cooled cake. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Ta-da! I sprinkled gold dust (Wilton cake decorating accessory) on top!

Friends never let friends go without chocolate on their birthdays. Even better friends give friends root beer and chocolate together. Root beer and chocolate…that is one heck of an awesome marriage of ingredients, don’t you think?

I think Jack likes the cake!

And, last but not least, I just want to put out a friendly reminder for those of you cake-eaters. When someone brings a cake in to share and cuts the cake into many slices, those slices are for you. When the person who brings the cake in decides to leave a slice in her cake caddy for someone else who will be here later, it is not for you. To the two boys who rudely decided to pry open my cake caddy and take the slice of cake that I was saving for someone, shame on you. You should learn better.

On that happy note, don’t forget the chocolate!

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About Natalie C.

A college graduate in molecular biology eagerly awaiting the commencement of my quest for the luxurious yet completely impractical hood that one receives at a Doctorate graduation ceremony.

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