I’m a modest person, so when I say I had a week of fame, I say it with tongue in cheek. After all, when you live in a place like Maine, where the blizzard roaring outside will humble you if nothing else will, you tend to stay pretty “real.”
So I was surprised when after weeks of emails back and forth with producers of the WCSH-TV show “207” and Maine Public’s Maine Calling, trying to spread out the publicity of my book, What’s Brewing in New England, I ended up being on two iconic, locally programmed shows, on the same day.
Maine Calling is hosted by Jennifer Rooks and Keith Shortall and deals with any and all issues, even fun ones, that have to do with life in Vacationland. And they occasionally have programs about the craft brewing industry here. What better day of the week than Friday, gateway to the weekend, to have four women in the beer biz on, talking about sexism, styles of beer, pending legislation and taking calls from beer lovers from all around the state.
Here’s the link:
The magic of television is that although 207 is a live show, every weekday evening on WCSH Channel 6 at 7 p.m., I got to tape my segment in the kitchen three days before it aired. Sure enough, they decided to air it on Friday, March 10th. So hours after I appeared live on Maine Calling, I was safely home to watch myself baking a chocolate porter cake on 207.
I was so nervous and bedazzled at being on TV, I forgot to take a photo of the finished cake. It was amazing, light chocolatey and had that bite from the Friar’s Whoopie Pie Porter. They have a “no advertising” rule at 207, so I couldn’t show the beer I used or the brand of cake mix, but you dear readers will know what other viewers did not. The cake mix is Ghiradelli, and they’ve been making chocolate for 160 years. It’s now my go-to mix, both for brownies and cake. I can bake from scratch, but honestly, for a quick dessert there is nothing like this mix.
Here’s the link to the video on 207:
I had a five minute segment, and being me, I put off practicing putting that cake together until the morning of the taping. Which meant I spent several sleepless nights worrying about it. But that morning, I got out my dollar store mixing bowls, all the other tools I would need (the 207 kitchen has minimal utensils, I was told) and made the cake for the third time. When it was in the oven, I wrote out the three steps on an index card, pleistocene precursor to the teleprompter, and memorized them. I packed two big shopping bags with bowls, spoons, cake pan, eggs, beer and items too numerous to list and drove the 80 miles to Portland.
It went smoothly, I had nothing to worry about (tell me that at 4 in the morning) and host Caroline Cornish made it a lot of fun. The cake was delicious and here’s the recipe:
CHOCOLATE PORTER CAKE
1 Ghiradelli chocolate cake mix
1/3 c. oil
2/3 c. Porter (source at your local liquor store)
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 T. flax meal (just to add a spritz of health)
Mix all ingredients together, bake in an 8″ pan (I found the 9″ pan made the cake too thin), bake according to box directions. I like my cake really moist, so I take it out of the oven the second a toothpick inserted in the center comes out even with a few crumbs of cake on it.
Cool and enjoy.