To make up for last week’s chocolate disaster I wanted to make a change-your-life cake that would actually live up to its hype.
You know … make me breathe different. Make me change my state.
Now normally the frosting or the filling on the cakes blows me away and sort of takes over the chocolate challenge. But I gotta say this week the sweet stout-infused whipped cream frosting came in second to the amazingly moist light chocolate stout cake with a tender crumb that makes you close your eyes and sigh.
I thought beer was just good for burgers and carne asada.
I mean I was a little worried considering my chocolate beet disaster from last week. I didn’t really want any surprise ingredients. And if you want to know the truth I’m not a real big stout drinker. All I knew about stout was that Guinness made one. My stout education was limited. So when I went to pick up a bottle stout for this recipe I had no idea which one was sad and which one would rock my world.
My pub expert TB Markinson lives way across the Atlantic Ocean and I didn’t realize I’d be stout shopping, otherwise I would have totally asked her for some guidance before today’s baking adventure began.
So after about thirty minutes of studying bottles and cool labels I asked the beer dude to give me some recommendations on good stout. He got into an apples and oranges discussion about preferences, textures, and finishes. Then the “say-what?” expression on my face made him realize I was a stout rookie and he just pointed me in the direction of Samuel Smith.
I could have easily eaten half of the cake and gotten drunk off of it … but I didn’t need to go into a sugar coma, so I showed some restraint and only ate two pieces.
I’m back on the saddle again. Giddy up.
This recipe is ginormous so unless you’re have a gazillion people I suggest you half the recipe and create a more modest two layer cake.
Recipe courtesy of Brooklyn Supper
Chocolate Stout Cake (adapted from Bon Appétit via Epicurious)
makes three 8-inch layers
for the cake
2 cups good stout, such as Samuel Smith’s or Guinness
4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch cake pans, line bottom with a parchment circle, and then butter that too.
In a heavy-bottomed medium-sized sauce pan, heat the butter and stout over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, turn heat to low and whisk in the cocoa. Remove pan from heat, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sour cream together on low speed. Slowly add the cocoa mixture, mixing just until combined. (Scrape down the sides as needed.) Gradually add the flour mixture, and beat just until it is well-incorporated. Turn off the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and catch any stray flour.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, and then slide into the oven. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
After 10 minutes, flip the cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
for the whipped cream stout frosting (adapted from Gourmet Live via Epicurious)
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup stout
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Use a mixer or whisk to beat all of the ingredients to stiff (but still supple) peaks. Frost and assemble the cake.
Keep in the refrigerator until your are ready to serve for optimal looks.