Friday, March 2, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Cake

You got chocolate in my Guinness!  You got Guinness in my chocolate!  Two of my very favorite things come together to make one awesome cake.

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

You're welcome.

Chocolate Guinness Cake
This recipe is based on a Chocolate Stout Cake in the March 2012 issue of 5280, our local magazine that highlights everything great in and around Denver, compliments of Kim & Jake's Cakes in Boulder (check out their Vindalicious Cake--wow!).  There are many fantastic breweries in Colorado, and true to their local roots the recipe recommends Boulder's Avery Out of Bounds Stout.

The thing is, although I'm a proud Colorado girl, I will always be first and foremost an Irish girl.  And to an Irish girl the only stout is Guinness.

This cake was so incredibly moist and delicious.  And weighed about ten pounds; no joke!

For the Cake:
6 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups oil (I used Smart Balance Omega--is that like a diet Coke with a Big Mac?)
603 grams (3 cups) granulated sugar
120 grams (1 cup) dark cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
630 grams (4 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
3 cups (2 12 oz bottles) Guinness Extra Stout beer

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans (I used baking spray with flour, and lined the bottoms with parchment paper) and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and baking soda until thoroughly combined.

Alternately add the flour and Guinness a small amount at a time, mixing on the lowest speed.  Oh, and I discovered this would be a good time to put on an apron, too.

Once all of the flour and Guinness have been incorporated, gradually increase the speed of the mixer to the highest speed you can use while still keeping the contents in the bowl (this recipe makes a lot of batter).  Beat on this higher speed for about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and then drop the pans on the counter several times to release air bubbles.  There were a lot of bubbles in my batter; maybe next time I'll allow the Guinness to go flat before using it.

The recipe says to bake in a conventional oven at 300 degrees for about 50 minutes.  I used a convection oven at 275 degrees (the temp calculated by my oven's conversion), and it took 65 minutes.

Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:
The recipe calls for a Milk Chocolate Malt Frosting.  I wasn't pleased with the texture of the frosting as the recipe was written; it was pasty and kind of crumbly.  I added half and half by teasponfulls until it reached a consistency that was spreadable (milk would work, too).  I probably could've (and maybe should've) added more than two tablespoons of half and half.

1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
2 pounds powdered sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup malt powder (I used Carnation Malted Milk powder)
2 Tablespoons half and half or milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste (I used paste, my new fave)

Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and malt powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium high speed.  Add the powder sugar mixture in small amounts, and mix on low speed after each addition to combine.  Add the vanilla and milk (or half and half) and beat until all ingredients are incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.

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