I have other recipes to post, but this guy got in the way and demanded to be shared, ASAP. Those other guys will just have to wait. Around 4 PM yesterday I found out about an office birthday…today. I love being the default baker for office birthdays; I volunteer because it gives me a chance to make those crazy big creations that, living alone, are just ridiculous to make on a regular basis. However, given the lack of warning, and the pending evening gym trip, I had to find a fairly quick, uninvolved recipe. I checked a few of my go-to blogs and viola, Smitten Kitchen to the rescue…again…
I vaguely had chocolate and coffee in my head…not sure why; it probably had something to do with the mid-afternoon slump. So when I saw this chocolate, Guinness cake with a chocolate, coffee ganache, I was entirely sold. Guinness and chocolate are meant to be together. They’re like peanut butter and banana or eggs and butter pickles….what? Anyways, Guinness itself is just malty and deep enough to meld spectacularly with intense chocolate. If you’re not a fan, I beg you to find your nearest Irish bar with a well-poured pint and then talk to me; maybe you’ve never had a proper mug. And coffee, coffee is a chocolate enhancer; run your butt over to Stumptown an grab a Mast Bros. chocolate bar with coffee beans and prove me wrong. Even with the stellar Mast Brother’s chocolate replaced with mediocre Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips, and the mind-blowing Stumptown coffee replaced with Folger’s instant coffee granules, chocolate and coffee make magic together.
This cake couldn’t be easier. I have to admit a slight moment of panic in the first step when I was to whisk the simmering butter and beer (um, could that sound more delicious?!) with the cocoa and instead of smooth I got…curdled. Like, seized chocolate, broken sauce curdled. Luckily, I tend to stick my fingers in things and my fingers told me that although it looked scary as hell, it was perfectly smooth and not at all grainy like I feared. I figured my Kitchenaid would make short work of it, and I was right. So if this curdled mess happens to you, stay calm and carry on.
The final product is inTENSE, but not at all overwhelming. The crumb is fairly light and the rich ganache offsets is gorgeously. The most amazing part id you can actually taste the beer. Not in a super-boozy sort of way, but in a what-is-that-awesome-maltiness-I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it kind of way. Its the kind of flavor that I feel is generally missing in desserts that include beer and/or other booze. And it’s the kind of flavor that I will definitely be putting on my short list of go-to recipes.
Chocolate Stout Cake
Taken from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Barrington Brewery via Bon Appetit
So, as I mentioned above, don’t worry if your beer, butter, cocoa mixture looks like a curdled mess; it’ll all work out in the end. The last bit, where you fold the batter by hand, is responsible for the lightness of this potentially devastatingly rich cake, so please don’t be lazy and let your mixer do the dirty work; put your guns into it! Although I didn’t have any, I think some whipping cream, or maybe just a cold glass of milk is really in order here.
1 c. Guinness (or other stout beer)
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 lg eggs
2/3 c. sour cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
6 T heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease your bundt pan well. I’ve never had a problem with cakes sticking to my bundt, but apparently I’m in the minority, so grease ‘er up!
- Bring the beer and butter to a simmer. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth (or, at least until fully dissolved). Cool a bit
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine egg and sour cream until just mixed
- Add the beer-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just blended
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix a couple times with the mixer on low speed, then turn it off and fold the batter by hand until just combined (Do you see my cake? There are pale, uncombined spots in there. Don’t necessarily be that cautious, but under-mixed is usually better than over-mixed)
- Pour batter into bundt pan and bake 25 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
- Cool completely in pan, then turn out onto serving tray or rack
- Melt the chocolate chips, cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over low heat until melty (Keep water out; water is the enemy and will make your chocolate seize)
- Drizzle over cake immediately (I let mine cool slightly and it was thicker than I would have liked)