Sunday, October 30, 2011

Extra Stout Extra Chocolate Cake

mmm cake
Chocolate Stout Cake. Chocolate, and stout. Two of my very favorite things, in convenient cake form. That's just bliss, right there. Gaze upon the blissness :


With an impending Snowpocalypse primed to hit Boston yesterday, we decided to hunker down with some good comfort food - specifically, Mark's Pasta Bolognese . (As for the snow...we would have barely noticed it in February...but in October, it's kind of a big deal). Mark always craves chocolate after Italian food, we happened to have some Guinness Foreign Extra Stout around (it's like regular Guinness, but even more Gunniess-y...dark, luscious, gorgeous flavor...definitely look for this if you can find it) and I've always wanted to tackle a stout cake...serendipity is a beautiful thing  !

Deb at Smitten Kitchen had a very promising looking entry (as always), which itself was a Bon Appetit adaptation of a cake from the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, MA...definitely a lineage I could get behind. Of course, me being me, I have to do extra everything...extra stout , extra dark cocoa powder, and bittersweet chocolate ganache - for that extra chocolate flavor. That's me, extra crazy...sometimes I wonder if I can ever do anything at a normal level :)

By all means, if you have regular stout and cocoa power and chocolate (or your like your chocolate delivered with more sweetness and not so much darkness) and still want to make this cake - go for it. I think it would still be absolutely fantastic, and you won't have that moment of panic that I did when I took it out of the pan and thought I had burnt it. This is by far the blackest cake I have ever seen in my life : this where black holes come from ???

I promise, it really was baked perfectly and not at all burnt..and it has the most delicious, deep chocolately flavor you've ever experienced. If you use a less dark stout and/or chocolate, I suggest adding the 3/4 tsp of coffee powder to the ganache from the original recipe (and some wouldn't go amiss in the cake either) to enhance the chocolate flavor.

The one thing my testers all agreed on is that it needed more of the ganache, so I have upped the amounts below. And for god's sake, don't get scared off by the term "ganache" like it's super advanced ninja foodie's just melted chocolate mixed with cream. Like super thick, spreadable hot chocolate :)

Have some fun in the kitchen, and get down with your bad chocolately self !!

Extra Stout Extra Chocolate Cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, et al.

1 cup Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (or regular stout)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder (or any unsweetened cocoa powder), plus extra for dusting pan
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (or just chopped from a bar), or semisweet chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan really well, then butter it again. Seriously, can't be enough butter here...this cake does not like to let go :). Dust the inside of the pan with some cocoa powder too.

Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Let cool somewhat, or you'll end up with scrambled eggs in the next step :)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. (I suggest adding about a third of the stout mixture first, to temper the eggs - then add the rest). Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 - 40 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.


For the ganache, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle / spread over the top of cooled cake.

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