This wasn’t just any stout beer …it was a stout made by Chuck, a graduate student in our lab, who is soon to become Dr. Chuck. In my husband’s opinion he already deserves a PhD in beer making. We like to think that growing bacteria in our lab on a regular basis helped him master the brewer’s yeast, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. What matters is that Chuck has been producing amazing beer, and he often shares his favorites with us. I love to cook with beer, so when he gave us a couple of bottles of his oatmeal stout I immediately reserved one to make this cake. As an added bonus, it gave me a chance to use this very cool baking pan, that was sitting ignored in our kitchen for way too long, from my cake-phobia.
CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE
(from Bon Appetit, September 2002)
1 cup stout beer
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (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
Heat the oven to 350°F. If using a bundt type pan (or the flower pan I did), make sure to coat all the ridges with melted butter, using a brush. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is fully smooth. Allow it to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, beat eggs and sour cream until blended, preferably using an electric mixer. Add the beer-chocolate mixture to the egg- sour cream and beat just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a spatula, fold the batter to make sure everything is well mixed, with no clumps of flour remaining.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 35to 40 minutes for a single cake, or 25 to 30 minutes for a 6-single cake pan. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack. Serve with a dust of powdered sugar on top, if so desired.
to print the recipe, click here
To my taste, this cake is close to perfect! The bitterness of the beer cuts any excessive sweetness, making this chocolate cake a “grown-up” dessert. The original recipe called for a ganache coating, but I opted for a light dusting of powdered sugar instead.
The flower pan makes for a nice presentation, but one cake might be a bit too big for a single person. I was happy with half, saving the other half for later. About 5 minutes later, that is… 😉
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