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Root Beer — It’s Not Just For Drinking

One of my fondest memories as a teenager is the jolting brain freeze I’d get slurping an A&W root beer float after spending the afternoon playing tennis with my older brothers.

The frosty mug of root beer and soft-serve vanilla ice cream went down sweet, slightly bitter, and creamy. I was usually so thirsty that I couldn’t help but take that first gulp big and fast. The coldness would race up my nose to the middle of my eyes, forcing them shut with part pleasure and part pain. For a kid, it was the ultimate reward after all that running around after a fuzzy, bouncing ball.

Nowadays, I can’t remember the last time I picked up a tennis racket. And I long gave up root beer floats in an ode to try to be more health conscious.

But when I saw the photo of Root Beer Bundt Cake in the new “Baked” cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, I knew I had to make it. There’s root beer in both the chocolate cake and the chocolate frosting.

The root beer flavor is pretty subtle in the resulting cake, one of the moistest I’ve had in a long time. One slice is all it takes to bring me back to my teen years. But this time, without the brain freeze.

For the recipe and my cookbook review on ProjectFoodie, click here

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