Dark beers like stout are often described as having a chocolate flavour. Some brewers take that even further by adding chocolate to their stouts. Muskoka Brewery, Sawdust City and Lake of Bays Brewing all have stouts with chocolate notes. So why not try that same combination in solid form with a chocolate stout cake? There are lots of versions of this cake – this particular one comes from Genius Kitchen.
The hops from the stout will add a slightly bitter note to the cake, delightfully balancing the sweetness of the sugar. This recipe also has some stout in the icing for added impact. For even more complexity, try using a multi-layered stout like Sawdust City’s coffee and vanilla version of the playfully-named Long Dark Voyage to Uranus.
2 ounces cocoa powder
7 fluid ounces stout beer
4 ounces very soft butter
10 ounces dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
6 ounces plain flour
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing
4 ounces icing sugar, sifted
2 ounces very soft butter
2 tablespoons stout beer
4 ounces dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
1 ounce walnut pieces, finely chopped
8 walnut halves
cocoa powder, for dusting
Pre-heat the oven 350°F.
Lightly grease two 8-inch cake tins and line the bases with lightly-greased parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together, beating thoroughly for 3 or 4 minutes until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Pour cocoa into a bowl, then gradually stir the stout into it.
Gently fold half the flour mixture into the eggs, then do the same with half the stout liquid. Repeat until all ingredients are combined. Divide the cake mixture between the two tins and level it out.
Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be flat on top and feel springy and will have shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully stripping off the base papers.
To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
Remove a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts. After all the icing has cooled to a spreadable consistency, sandwich the cake with the walnut icing. Then spread the remaining two-thirds of the icing on top of the cake, using a palette knife. Next, dust the walnut halves with cocoa powder and arrange on top of the cake.
Allow icing to set, and serve.