A decadent classic for grown-ups
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
The coming of winter (and holidays) signifies the start of baking season—and what better thing to bake than a rich, chocolatey, elaborate cake? This recipe is a classic favourite of mine, one I like to break out of my bookmarks when one of my bolder friends has a birthday party. It’s made with cocoa and Guinness and is perfectly moist. It’s so perfect and delicious, it kind of reminds me of the chocolate cake from the book (and movie) Matilda, the one that Mrs. Trunchbull fed to Bruce Bogtrotter; he ate the whole thing, and you probably will too.
A note on cocoa: this recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder. The basic difference between the two is that Dutch-process is darker, and has been processed to have acid stripped from it. It’s the superdark kind of cocoa that will give this cake a specific richness, but if you don’t have it, then the other style of cocoa (natural) will suffice. Dutched cocoa is pretty easy to find though; if you have a can of Fry’s cocoa in your pantry, you have yourself some Dutched cocoa.
Chocolate Stout Cake (with files from SmittenKitchen.com)
You will need:
A Bundt pan and plenty of pan-spray
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
For the icing:
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
To make the cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease your Bundt pan very well and set it aside. Put the stout and the butter in a heavy saucepan and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Mix in the cocoa powder until the whole mixture is smooth, and then set it aside to cool a bit.
In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt). In yet another bowl, mix the eggs with the sour cream using a hand mixer or electric beater. Make sure this egg mixture’s bowl is the biggest, because the next step is to pour the stout and butter mixture into the egg bowl and stir until it’s just combined. Add your dry ingredients and fold the batter with a spatula to combine all the ingredients.
Pour your batter into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Test it with a toothpick or skewer. Allow the cake to cool completely before you try to remove it from the pan.
Preparing the ganache icing is a lot simpler. Using a double boiler, simply melt the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream over medium heat until smooth. When you have your cake on its serving plate, drizzle the icing on top. For an extra Christmassy look, decorate the top of your cake with silver balls, or put some sprigs of holly in the centre. Serve to grown-ups, and enjoy!