Dish of the Week: Chocolate Stout Cake

Do yourself a favor and add stout to your cake batter.
Do yourself a favor and add stout to your cake batter.

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

With Saint Patrick’s Day just a few days away, we’re sharing a dish perfect for the festivities: Chocolate Stout Cake.

Regular chocolate cake is delicious. But you know what’s better? Regular chocolate cake with a rich, full-bodied stout beer mixed in. Just like adding salt or spices, incorporating beer into your cake batter only works to enhance the depth of flavor.

Especially dark beers, which add a bit of roasted flavor in addition to slight bitterness and sweetness. A stout like Guinness works perfectly. The result is a moist, dense, intensely chocolaty cake that can be topped as you please. Drizzle on a whiskey-laced ganache; top it with a simple chocolate or cream cheese frosting, or dollop on a whipped cream infused with things like Bailey or chocolate.

This recipe, from Hubert Keller, spreads chocolate whipped cream between layers of cake and tops it with a simple chocolate glaze. He makes it with four layers, but if you’re not feeling as brave, we think two works just fine.  

Chocolate Stout Cake

Ingredients make one 9-inch cake

For cake batter:
Softened butter for greasing pans
1 cup stout beer
1 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream

For glaze:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon corn syrup

For chocolate whipped cream:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a heavy saucepan, heat the stout and butter and bring to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk vigorously until smooth. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Butter two, nine-inch cake pans on sides and bottom. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and then brush the top of the paper with butter.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Beat the eggs together with the sour cream in a stand mixer. On low speed, slowly add chocolate-stout mixture to eggs until combined. Then slowly add the flour mixture until the batter just comes together.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter together until completely combined and smooth.

Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cook on a rack ten minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let cool completely.

To make the glaze: Heat butter, chocolate chips and water in a small saucepan. When hot, stir in corn syrup until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

To make whipped cream: Place sugar and cocoa powder in a stand mixer and mix until well combined. Add heavy cream and beat on high speed until cream is light and fluffy. Fold in vanilla with rubber spatula.

Using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the cakes horizontally in half as evenly as possible, creating two layers out of each cake. 
*If you're not feeling brave enough, two simple layers of cake work as well. Just spread more of the cream on top.

Using a spatula, spread one-third of the chocolate whipped cream over one layer of cake. Continue doing this two more times, then place the final cake layer on top.

Spread the chocolate glaze over the top layer of the cake, and allow it to drip down the sides.

Slice cake and serve.


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