White Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Sriracha Dip
The Tillamook cheese factory sits in a small town in the far northern corner of Oregon. A charming setting for a charming cheese factory, one that has managed to remain small in feeling while growing wide in distribution.
While the cheese with the iconic ship on the package is easy to find in stores all over the US, Tillamook has managed to keep a small town feeling to what they’re doing. The cows all graze happily no more than 80 miles from the factory, the cheese makers all must learn how to make the 100 year old recipe the old fashion way (by hand in big metal tubs) before being allow to touch the machinery, the Board of Directors is made up exclusively of the farmers who own those happy local cows, and Tillamook farmers never use artificial growth hormones.
I was able to visit and sample (read: gorge myself) on the award wining cheese that Tillamook produces. From hand made special cheese like the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar and the Garlic Chili Pepper Cheese (my favorite) to the award winning Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar, and even the (only available at the factory) Cheese Curds.
I even came back with a suitcase full of Baby Loaf sized cheeses, ready for more of that cheese sampling (gorging) in my own home. Turning these brick sized hunks of cheese into several sharable treats, like this dip.
Epic Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocolate Bourbon Sour Cream Frosting
For the Cake:
- 7 wt oz 72% dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 12 ounces Chocolate Stout
- 3 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs + 2 yolks
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1 tbs espresso powder
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted & slightly cooled
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- ½ cup heavy cream
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In the top of a double boiler (or a bowl set over gently simmering water), add the dark chocolate, and butter, stirring frequently until just melted. Stir in the chocolate stout.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the sugar, eggs and yolks until well combined, light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the oil and sour cream, beat until well combined.
- Slowly add the chocolate, beating until all ingredients are well incorporated, scraping the bottom to make sure all us well combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and kosher salt.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, stir until just combined.
- Grease and flour 3, 9-inch cake pans (or two cake pans, and 12 cupcake tins).
- Pour the batter evenly between the pans.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched, (15-17 minutes for cupcakes).
- Allow to cool, remove from pans (it’s easiest to transfer to a plate lined with parchment paper.)
- To assemble a tall cake it’s easiest if all ingredients are cold, warm cake and frosting tend to slide. For best results chill the cake layers for 1 hour prior to assembling.
- Chill assembled cake until ready to serve.
For the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the softened butter on high until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream, beat until light and fluffy.
- Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the mixer, beating until well combined with the butter mixture.
- Add the powdered sugar and slowly building up speed, beat on high until well combined.
- A few tablespoons at a time add the bourbon and the cream, allowing to fully incorporate before adding more. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate until set, about 20-30 minutes.
This will make a 3 layer cake or a two layer cake and 12 cupcakes.
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