On Friday, it was my colleague and friend Craig's last day with the company after 8 years. He is going on to a fantastic new role as a project manager with a charity organisation, so that he can give something back to the wider community, and I wish him well. However, I will miss him.
Now, I was not at all sure what sort of cake Craig might like for his farewell, but I know that, like most Australian blokes, he drinks beer. Accordingly, I searched the Net for beer cake recipes for which I had all of the ingredients. I didn't want to make a Guinness or stout cake, as I had been there, done that, and I had ordinary lager. I eventually settled for a beer, pecan and date cake recipe from the ABC website (that's the Australian Broadcasting Commission in the Antipodes ;)).
Here is the resulting cake:
I didn't use dates ('cause I didn't have any), substituted walnuts for pecans, used white sugar instead of brown, and used Crown lager (which has been living in my fridge since before Christmas). I frosted the cake with a simple icing made of beer and icing sugar, and used some Mike and Ike lollies that I received from Nikki in the last round of Blogging by Mail to decorate the top of the cake.
This recipe produced a rather handsome cake, but I have no idea if it tasted good, because I was not there. I am on secondment on Fridays, so I had to run this cake into my usual workplace at 7am (a bit like Santa) before going on to my secondment job. Craig very kindly sent me an email to say that it did taste good, so you and I will have to believe him.
This cake was nearly never made, as I didn't get home until 10.30pm on Thursday night after dinner with friends, and by the end of the week, I am kind of over everything. Accordingly, starting a cake from scratch late at night was not particularly appealing. However, I bucked up and did it anyway, and was glad that I did.
On Thursday, my friend Loretta and I went to Little Cupcakes in Degraves Street, Melbourne. These cupcakes are not the best or the prettiest that I have ever had, but they are certainly nice enough, and reign as the closest cupcake destination to my secondment job.
Here is Loretta modelling our cupcakes:
We bought two minis each - a cookies and cream each, and I got a lemon mini while Loretta got a white chocolate mini (the one at the back with the Tiny Teddy on top). The cookies and cream cupcake was the stand out for me - I found the lemon one slightly "meh". And of course, none of them challenged Cupcakes to Go.
Stay tuned for my next culinary adventure ...