Monday, March 18, 2013

Chocolate Guinness cake

   St. Patrick's Day has come and gone before I could get this post out, but it is still a worthy endeavor, I promise. It's a cake made with stout, and you can use any kind you'd like if you have something else besides Guinness on hand.

          The result is moist, with a tender crumb, and the stout adds a smooth richness to the chocolate. It's one of my go-to birthday cakes, and also impress-that-boy cake ;), and has always found a good reception!
Slightly adapted from
1 cup Guinness (or other stout)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)*
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream

*I also have black cocoa powder, which I substitute out two tablespoons of the cocoa powder for. It gives the cake a little more of a deeper chocolate flavor, and darkens the chocolately hues.

white chocolate ganache drizzle**
fresh strawberries and or berries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray/grease a bundt pan well. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in a medium sized saucepan. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is completely smooth. Take off the stove to cool off a little.

In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, whisking to blend. In a separate bowl mix eggs and sour cream. Add the stout mixture to the eggs and mix together, then add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, and pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for about thirty five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let cool in the pan. Once cool, place the bundt on a cookie sheet, and the cookie sheet over a pan. This way when you pour the ganache over the cake, it will drip on the large plate/baking sheet, rathern than pooling on the cake plate. Pour the chocolate ganache over the bundt slowly, and watch it cascade gloriously down the sides. You can let that set for ten minutes, and then slowly drizzle white chocolate ganache in ribbons over it for a beautiful visual effect. I didn't have any white chocolate on hand for this particular cake, so I topped it with sliced strawberries. It looks great either way, so experiment freely!

**white chocolate ganache- combine two parts white chocolate to one part heavy cream (or a neutral oil) in a microwave-proof bowl. It doesn't need to be exact, but keep in mind that the more heavy cream/oil there is, the runnier the ganache will be. Melt at 15 second intervals, stirring inbetween. Be very careful when melting white chocolate- out of all chocolates it is the most prone to burning. Once silky smooth and beautiful, pour into a sandwich sized ziploc bag, and snip one of the bottom corners off. Using this as a tip, carefully pipe zigzags over the cake, or any other pattern you'd like. Make sure the cake and chocolate ganache is at room temperature already, or it won't set as well.

Photo credit: Neal. / / CC BY


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