Every Autumn our roses perfect themselves. During the Spring and Summer the roses are only great. I was told by a local gardening guru that roses are acidophilic–they like acidic soil, just add coffee. So I have been cultivating the soil around the roses with coffee grounds. I have since turned the rose beds into compost piles: cantaloupe rinds, celery and carrot trimmings, green stuff…

In cultivating my family, I have found the same is true of chocolate cake, chocophilic wifeicus. I found a recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake; just add Guinness. Cooking with beer is precarious and sophomoric, however, this recipe is great. I shared it with friends and family who really enjoyed it. The recipe is here, at smittenkitchen.

The level of baking experience for this recipe is minimal. The only trick is using the bunt pan–as in removing the cake from the pan. I recommend using two rounds instead. Make a layer cake.