July 9, 2010

Chocolate Stout Cake: A Long Overdue Post

I did not make this stout cake. My friend Mindy made this stout cake, and for all I am concerned she can continue making this stout cake. It is in-cred-i-ble. 

Not to mention that this cake weighs as much as a ten-year-old boy. 

I first tasted Mindy's stout cake in cupcake form, where she piped the chocolate ganache straight into the middle of each cupcake, then slathered it thickly on top of each. I almost died. I begged her for the recipe. I almost proposed marriage. 

A couple of weeks later, she baked it again, this time in cake form for her boyfriend Mark's birthday party. Mark had requested vanilla creme layers on the inside of the cake in order to break up the chocolate, which is what you see here:

A great idea. An even better idea was that Mark proposed to Mindy last week (could it have to do with her baking skills?), so I thought it was high time to post the recipe here as an ode to one of my favorite couples. Good thing I did not propose marriage over those cupcakes, since clearly that was what Mark had in mind.

This is one seriously thick, heavy, decadent chocolate cake. It is for serious chocolate people. I am a pro cake-eater, and I can only consume about a 1/2 inch slice at a time. It is just that rich! The entire situation is kind of frustrating, since your eyes want to eat the entire thing in one sitting, but your stomach is saying, "dear god, it is so good, but please I need a break!" 

The cake itself is both dense and moist and could be easily enjoyed on its own. But then, it is layered with a thick ganache has the flavor and texture of rich chocolate truffles. I promise that you will enter heaven immediately upon the first mouth full... I hope to see you there soon.

Chocolate Stout Cake: 
2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
 4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons 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. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
recipe from www.epicurious.com

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