The Chocolate Stout Cake
There are two things that make this cake stand out from the rest, its texture and taste.
If you like your cakes moist then this is definitely one to add to your recipe book.
You'd expect it to be dense but it has a surprising amount of airiness which gives it a substantial yet tender texture.
This cake is not your typical sweet-tasting-afternoon-tea cake. It's a sophisticated cake with several flavours subtlety making their mark. It has a slight bitterness to it which seems to enhance the chocolaty essence. You may also pick up a hint of the maltiness found in the beer.
We probably should have kept this as a "St Patricks Day" special, but it's too good not to share. Even the men found it irresistible!
2 cups stout (we used Castle Milk Stout, but you can use Guinness or any stout)
2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
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
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter three 20cm round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper (we skipped the paper step and had no problems).
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 a 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 centre of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
The topping pictured here is a ganache, but as this batter makes two or three cakes (depending on your cake tin size or if you prefer double or single layer) why not try sprinkling a bit of icing sugar over the second one and serve as type of torte? We found this worked better than the ganache.
Many of the suggestions we found recommended serving this cake with a stout. We struggled to find the harmony so we served ours with freshly-brewed, good quality coffee.