A week like this deserves a cake like this, and that’s all I have to say about that.
Dense, moist (for at least a week post-bake), and so rich it’s almost bitter, this is a chocolate cake and then some. There are two things I love about this cake, that make it stand out from other chocolate cakes I have made in my life, including the behemoth birthday cake 2010.
1. The texture. As I said, this cake is moist and stays moist (I’m having luck with that lately, since this was also the case with the Chai-Spiced Apple Cake). I think it’s the sour cream. This Chocolate Stout Cake is tender, not tough, and for a cake with such rich flavor, there is a certain amount of airiness going on in the crumb. I’m thinking that might have something to do with the carbonation in the stout? In any case, it makes the cake really soft but substantial.
2. The taste. This is Chocolate Cake 2.0. I couldn’t get enough of the flavor because (gasp!) there is more going on than just chocolate. The stout adds bitterness and body to the taste without taking away from the fabulous cocoa flavor (for how I feel about cocoa, check out these brownies). Adding a coffee-laced ganache adds just another subtle layer of flavor that just makes the whole thing taste more sophisticated.
This cake is brought to you by smitten kitchen… but actually, it was brought to me by one of my students, who had promised to bring my colleague and me lunch one day. Lunch was apparently a kitchen fail, but she brought this cake to say she was sorry, and I not only forgave her instantly, but promised myself I would someday make it!
Finally, a note to my mom: the cake tastes nothing like beer, the ganache tastes nothing like coffee (I know, you don’t like either flavor). And if you are worried about buying these ingredient and never finishing them, just save them until Sean and I come home. Miss you!
Chocolate Stout Cake
Adapted from smitten kitchen, who adapted it from the Barrington Brewery via Bon Appetite
- 1 cup stout (we actually used oatmeal stout, go figure)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (people prefer Dutch-process, I used the old faithful, Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream (I used light)
For the ganache:
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan well – really well, people, don’t skimp on the Pam. I have been known to brush the inside of my bundt pan with melted butter, and this time I actually both sprayed and brushed. Call me crazy, but you see, my cake came out of the pan, so in Bridezilla vs. Bundt, I won.
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 reasonably well combined. The original recipe says the mixture should be smooth but I couldn’t get a totally even texture, and suffered no ill consequences. Cool slightly.
Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on low. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the bundt pan, then turn cake out onto rack.
Melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring. Don’t overheat, but make sure you let it get hot enough that it will pour evenly. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.