Ok, I get that this is a little late, but I figured I should acknowledge a cultural heritage holiday where I actually share the culture (also, green stuff!). So, Happy Day After St. Patrick's Day!
This weekend, we threw a St. Patrick's Day party, mostly because I'd thought up ideas for cute cupcakes (they will be posted about at a later date) and don't have an apartment big enough (with enough hard prrrrtying friends) to throw my own bashes. Since the party would be Irish-themed, I went with a cake to capture the mood: a half chocolate, half vanilla replica of a giant pint of Guinness.
I like baking, especially when I won't be required to eat all of what I'm baking (always heartbreaking when there are miles of baked goods leftover, like the week+ old cupcakes sitting on my counter right now...). And I like when baking requires crazy cake architecture/decoration/creativity, making something delicious and cute that also adds some decoration to the party. I am a fan of Ace of Cakes and their ridiculously talented hipster bakers, and part of me is seeking to educate myself in the ways of cake-carving and fondant shaping.
So, I deciced the Guinness cake would mimic the stout and foam of an actual pint by going with a brown chocolate bottom and creamy white vanilla top. Since I like to mix up flavors, I reversed the cake part, filling a full 9x13 cake pan with vanilla batter and about a third of another cake pan with chocolate (for this, I wedged a bread loaf pan into the cake pan to form the fourth wall, filling in the gaps with tin foil.
Next up was some cake carving. Using a piece of paper as a guide, I cut out the characteristic Guinness pint curves. I used a 10-inch cerrated knife to shape the edges of the cake so they were curved and more glass-like, and since the levels of the chocolate and vanilla cake weren't quite equal, I shaped a wedge out of leftover vanilla cake.
Frosting! I used regular canned frosting, which can sometimes pick up stray cake crumbs and make the surface of the cake bumpier. To avoid this, I microwaved the frosting for 7 seconds at a time about 3-4 times, giving the frosting a more liquid consistency that made it easier to spread. I went over everything first with a thin layer of frosting, then gave it another coat, following the lines of the cake.
Finally, using some leftover vanilla frosting, I piped "Guinness" onto the cake, and added a decorative shamrock (made green with some sugar crystals). And voila! (or whatever that would be in Gaelic). Here's the cake come party time, surrounded also by cupcakes (not seen: hungry/impressed party-goers).