Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What's for Dinner?


Chocolate Stout Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Why am I posting a cake recipe in early March?  Because when I hear "March" I think "St. Patrick's Day" which makes me think of corned beef and cabbage which reminds me of Ireland which makes me think of "Guinness" and when I hear "Guinness" I think of this cake (even though it was in an October issue). Yes, it has beer in it and it's unapologetically delicious.  The recipe suggests using a chocolate stout, if you can find it.  They also suggest Guinness, Sierra Nevada Porter or Samuel Adams Honey Porter.  Maybe this is the perfect dessert to go with your corned beef--give it a try and let me know!

Cake
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
14 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c plus 3 T sugar
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 chocolate stout, regular stout or porter
2/3 c freshly brewed strong coffee

Frosting
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 c heavy whipping cream
1 t instant espresso powder

For the cake:  Position the rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment.  Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove bowl from over water and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/4 c sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in lukewarm melted chocolate, then stout and coffee.  Beat flour mixture into chocolate mixture in 2 additions just until incorporated.

Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and remaining 3 T sugar in another bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions.  Dived cake batter between prepared cake pans; smooth tops.  Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer cakes to racks and cool in pans 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and remove parchment paper. Cool completely. (Can be made one day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

For the frosting: Place chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl.  Combine whipping cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Pour cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops from cake layers so the tops are flat. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up on serving dish (cake plate or cardboard round, etc.). Drop 1 1/4 c frosting by large spoonfuls over top of cake layer; spread frosting evenly to edges with offset spatula or butter knife.  Top with second layer, trimmed side down and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake.  (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.  Let cake stand at room temperature at least one hour before serving.)


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