Monday, March 21, 2011

Chocolate Stout Cake

This is an excellent cake, and I'll tell you how I know.  Last week when my youngest son came over to help my husband and me around the house, I made this cake as the dessert for the meal I'd sent home with him for he and his wife to enjoy.  As usually happens when my son comes to visit and he, my husband, and I are all in the kitchen at once, chaos ensues.  As a result, I sent him home with an insipid dinner, why, I still don't know as I'd used a recipe that has long been a family favorite, and a dark, dense, chocolate cake, that was not at all sweet.  It was good, mind you, but just not as sweet as I generally like a cake to be.  Then, thinking back on the day and all of our activity, culinary and otherwise, I didn't recall adding any sugar.  Huh, I thought, how unusual to have a cake with no sugar.  Then I looked at the recipe.  It did call for sugar, 2 cups of it.  I'd forgotten it!  The amazing thing is that even without the sugar it wasn't half bad.

This afternoon we'd invited my parents for dinner and to watch a Cardinal pre-season game.  All week long I was haunted by this chocolate cake, so I decided to make the cake again only this time with the sugar.  It was fantastic!  It is undoubtedly the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted.  Those of you who don't like beer, fear not!  I can't stand beer or ale, or anything that even smacks of beer or ale -- can't even stand the smell of it -- but this is food for the Gods!  No one, not even you, will know it contains ale at all.  It is just rich, and dense, and chocolaty, and delicious.  You'll thank me later.


1 c. Guinness Stout
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
¾ c.
Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1½ t. baking soda

¾ t. salt
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9" x 9" square glass cake pan.  Set aside. Bring stout and 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 salt in large bowl to blend; set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sour cream until well blended. 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. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to rack to cool. When cool, top with chocolate frosting.  


¾ c. chilled whipping cream

3 T. butter

1½ T. dark corn syrup

9 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1½ T. Brandy

½ - ¾ c. confectioner's sugar

Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat, stir in Brandy. Let stand until cool, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.  Add confectioners' sugar until desired thickness is achieved.  Spread on cooled cake.
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Lyndsay Wells said...

Have I ever told you how much I love chocolate cake - or that I just looked at that picture like a 13 year old boy with his first Playboy?

Lord help me - I. Want. That. Cake.

Filing the recipe. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tracy's Living Cookbook said...

It's pretty interesting that the cake was good without the 2 cups sugar. I assume it would be fine also to simply add only 1 cup sugar? It looks so moist! I'm printing it now!

Deb said...

Great picture...I can tell exactly how good this tastes by looking at it!!!

Linda said...

The recipe for the cake is very much like one of my favorites - Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake. I may love it because of her description of it "This cake is magnificent in its damp blackness" and "there is certainly a resonant, ferrous tang which I happen to love" - ah the English. Your frosting recipe looks wonderful.

I once made a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving without sugar. I was sick with a sinus infection, but we had company and I was determined to do my usual traditional dinner. I served the pie with whipped cream, and my husband (bless his heart) ate it and declared it excellent. I took one bite and knew I had completely forgotten the sugar.

Glad you had some alone time. :)