from Tracey G.
This week, as we’re approaching St. Patrick’s Day next Friday, we thought we’d do a couple recipes with a bit of Irish “flavor” either figuratively or literally, lol. I saw this Chocolate Stout Cake and knew, instantly, that I had to make it! And after reading the Chocolate Stout Cake Walk-Through, any from-scratch cake-making doubts I had were gone.
Maybe it’s that 13% Irish DNA match in me (that I never knew existed!), but I love Guinness, and I always have – it’s my favorite stout, and probably my favorite beer as well. (But, I must say it’s tied with Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, another favorite!) So, what could be better than making a chocolate cake where a main ingredient is stout? Nothing I say, I love stout and I love cake, let’s put them together! And as if one needs one, it’s a great reason to pick up some Guinness for the fridge…
The recipe was really easy to do, even though I had to do mine in parts, lol. I made the cake one day, and then frosted it the next. And it didn’t hurt a thing, it all turned out beautifully in the “end”.
The original recipe makes a HUGE cake, very tall etc. But after reading all the way through and on to the “Tips From Our Bakers” that’s included at the tail end of the recipe, I discovered a smaller version. It gives you amounts to scale back the cake and that’s what I did – and it’s still a big beautiful cake!
With the scaled down version all the steps and whatnot, are the same – just in less quantities. The butter gets melted into the beer, and the cocoa powder gets added to that mixture. I did use regular cocoa powder as it was all I had on hand for the project, and it’s still lovely and tasty. While that mixture is coming to room temperature, you beat the eggs with the sour cream together. In another bowl you whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Once the stout/cocoa powder/butter combination has cooled, you mix that into the sour cream/egg mixture. Then, you add in the flour mixture.
When your batter is mixed, you divide it amongst your pans. I used two 8-inch round pans, as again, that’s all I had. I does call for 9-inch rounds though, so I had some extra batter left over that I made 6 cupcakes out of! Always fun when that happens, lol.
The frosting is a ganache – simply it’s hot, heavy cream poured over chopped chocolate and mixed until the chocolate is melted and smooth. I used bittersweet chocolate chips for this, as again, that’s all I had on hand, and it worked wonderfully. I did have to microwave my mixture a couple of times at lower power to “warm” it up, as it was chilly in the house and even the hot cream didn’t stay hot long enough to melt all the chips. Then, after you get it stirred smooth, you refrigerate it for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and checking the thickness. You want it to cool/chill enough to be spreadable as a frosting. Once it reaches spreading consistency, you put about 2/3 cup on your first layer, smooth it out and top with your second layer (or second layer, then more ganache, then 3rd if you used 8-inch pans etc). After you’ve done that, with the rest of the ganache you frost the top and sides. The ganache was super easy to work with, very forgiving and easy to make look pretty! I’ve never used it in this capacity, usually I make my chocolate truffle centers out of it.
The cake is rich and moist, so for me, a small sliver went a LONG way for serving! I loved it, and I know Jeremy did too as he had TWO pieces – the regular kind of size piece of cake! This recipe will most certainly have a spot in “the book”, it’s a great dessert/cake and for me something even better – a scratch cake that turned out as it was supposed to! I have a long track record for failed from-scratch cakes – thank you King Arthur Flour for helping me look like I know what I’m doing!
Chocolate Stout Cake
Chocolate Stout Cake Flourish Walk-Through
from Kris B.
I am still reeling from the crazy roller coaster of a week that we have had with our sick elderly black lab. He is doing well thanks to lots of veterinarians and techs who cared for him during his five-day hospitalization. I have to say that this week I would much rather be eating Tracey’s Choco;ate Stout Cake and drinking a Guinness or two than cooking something of my own, but that would be a little irresponsible, so I opted to try a very simple recipe for Irish Soda Bread…easy and for me, bread is the perfect comfort food.
Because the rising agent in this bread is baking soda, Irish Soda Bread requires no rise time. The dry ingredients are mixed together in one bowl, the wet in another. They are the combined, kneaded a little, and then the dough is shaped into a flat round and placed in a nine-inch cake pan to bake.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread consists of only a coarsely ground whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. There are many “Americanized” recipes that use white flour and add sugar and raisins making it more cake-like than bread. This particular recipe splits the difference between the two. It does use currants, which gives the bread a hint of sweetness. This recipe also calls for a bit of bread flour to be mixed with the whole wheat flour, an egg, and butter, ingredients that are not called for in an authentic Irish Soda Bread recipe.
This recipe for Irish Soda Bread is dense, but not too dense and sweet but not too sweet. Served warm with a pat of butter, it made a hearty afternoon snack. Reheated for 20 seconds or so in the microwave and then spread with a little butter and some apple butter or orange marmalade, it becomes a nice breakfast bread.
The only small issue that I had with making this Irish Soda Bread was with the baking time. The recipe calls for the bread to bake for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees. Though my oven normally requires things to cook toward the maximum end of specified cook times, for some reason I set the timer for 45 minutes. It was a good thing. Even before the timer went off, the top of the bread was starting to get overdone. I was baking on the middle rack. Next time I make this recipe, and I will make it again, I will drop the rack and see if that fixes my problem.
This is a great recipe if you want to add a little touch of Irish to your life!
Irish Soda Bread recipe