RECIPE: Double Chocolate Stout Cake with Silky Vanilla Frosting


Chocolate and beer, what can be better?
Chocolate and wine? Hm. Maybe. But that's for another day.

Today I have beer. And chocolate. Together.

This impressive cake gets some really nice earthy punch from the a double chocolate stout I found at the store. I also recommend using Dutch process cocoa, as it is smoother and creamier and works nicely with the stout. The original recipe uses very dark cocoa, but it's hard to find. And after I did some research, I thought it might have been too bitter. This cake was creamy with a subtle bite to it that the stout creates. It all works very nicely together. And add the creamy vanilla frosting around it and it's some good eating.

Double Chocolate Stout Cake with Silky Vanilla Frosting
Makes one 8 inch round, three-layer cake 

Ingredients:
Cake Layers
About 1 1/2 cups (11.5 fluid ounces) chocolate stout or dark beer (I used Young's Double Chocolate Stout Ale)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into slices
1 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Frosting 
3/4 cups milk
4 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cups butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt


Directions:



Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 8-inch round pans (2″ deep) with non-stick cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment paper circles, then spray circles, and set aside. Place the stout and butter in a large, heavy saucepan and heat on medium heat until the butter melts, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the sifted cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool.


In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a fork. Set aside.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on a low speed, and add the cooled cocoa mixture, then mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients slowly and combine on low-speed until blended, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl, and then mix for another minute.

Divide batter into prepared pans evenly. Place cake pans on middle oven rack side-by-side, but about 2″ apart and bake until toothpick inserted into centre comes clean, about 30-35 minutes.

Let cakes cool on wire racks for ~10 minutes, loosen edges with a dull butter knife, then gently remove from pans to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.


 In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over a medium heat. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds out and into the milk. Toss the pod in the milk as well, and heat the milk up until just a simmer. Whisk in the flour, and cook until very thick. Whisk as the milk cooks. Then take off the heat and let cool completely. Do not skip the cooling. The frosting won't come together. It will be greasy and separate. Once cooled, pull out the vanilla pods and discard.



With a stand mixer, whip the butter until creamy. Next add the sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour/milk mixture gradually into the butter, and whip as you go. Finally add the vanilla extract and a dash of salt. Whip until all combined.

Dab a bit of frosting on the bottom of your cake platter as "glue" for your cake. Place the bottom layer on top of the frosting on the platter. Layer some frosting on top of the first layer, and place the next layer on top. Continue filling the layers. Spread a thin layer of frosting along the sides and top as a crumb layer. Then generously frost the whole cake.



*Chocolate Stout Cake recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Sweetapolita.com


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