Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins
This recipe was featured in an email today from the www.kingarthurflour.com website in regard to a recipe for St. Patrick's Day. NOTE: This is NOT for us dieters! LOL :-) "Stout and other dark beers are often described as having chocolatey overtones, so this combination might not be as far-fetched as one might initially think. The flavor of this cake is multi-dimensional: the presence of the stout gives it a much more interesting finish; the hops from the beer act as a counterpoint to the sugar in the cake. It's an incredibly moist cake, too, and its rich, dark color comes mostly from the beer. This recipe makes two tall, imposing layers; be sure your 9-inch cake pans are at least 2 inches tall, or use 10-inch pans if you have them. For a smaller dessert, you could halve the recipe and split one tall 9-inch layer before frosting." TIPS FROM THE KAF BAKERS: If you're using salted butter, decrease the salt in the recipe to 1 teaspoon. If you're buying Guinness in cans (they list 14.9 ounces on the label), use 1 can and make up the difference in volume with water. If you're making 2 layers, be sure your 9" cake pans are at least 2" deep. If they aren't that tall, use three 8" layers instead The batter for this cake weighs 5 pounds, 15 ounces or 95 ounces. If you have a scale, a two layer cake should have 2 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces of batter in each pan. For a 3 layer cake, each layer should weigh 1 pound, 15 1/2 ounces. If you have access to chocolate disks or chips that are pure chocolate, they'll melt more quickly when making the frosting.
For the Cake
- 2 cups stout beer (or dark beer, such as Guinness)
- 2 cups unsalted butter, 4 sticks
- 1 1⁄2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cup sour cream
For the Frosting
- 1 lb bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet chocolate, chopped)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Grease and flour three 8" or two 9" cake pans, and line them with parchment paper circles. Be sure your 9" pans are at least 2" deep.
- For the cake: Place the stout and butter in a large, heavy saucepan, and heat until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cocoa powder.
- Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream.
- Add the stout-cocoa mixture, mixing to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and mix together at slow speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix again for 1 minute.
- Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans. (See tips section for hints on weighing out the batter if you have a kitchen scale.)
- Bake the layers for 35 minutes for 8" pans, or 45 to 50 minutes for 9" pans, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out of their pans and returning to the rack to finish cooling completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate until the icing is spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
- To assemble: Trim one cake layer to have a flat top, if necessary (otherwise the layer will crack when you place it upside down on your cake plate).
- Line the edges of a serving plate with parchment or waxed paper to keep it clean, and then place the layer upside down on top. Spread 2/3 cup of the icing over just the top of the layer.
- Top with another cake layer, top side down, and repeat the process. If you baked three layers, add that one also.
- Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Remove the parchment or waxed paper. Sprinkle with shamrock sugar decorations, if you have them.