The Ultimate Chocolate Stout Cake




Introduction: The Ultimate Chocolate Stout Cake

About: Let's skip the pretentious titles. At present, I am a paper pusher. In the remainder of my life, I am a mother of two handsome grown men, a wife to a very patient man, a nana of two precious grandchildren,...

And cake.
Beer cake.

Wait. Don't shy away. Beer in a cake, you ask?
Yes......    Dark beer. Dark, foamy beer.

After making this, and a similar cake over the years, I found the smell, texture of the batter
and even a bit of the cake flavor comparable to Hershey's Black Magic cake as featured
on the tin cans the chocolate came in many moons ago. This recipe calls for beer where
Hershey's version called for coffee. Sour cream for buttermilk, and so on.

Stand back, this recipe creates a three layer cake. If you don't have muscles, you should hope
to own a Kitchenaid mixer, at least for the frosting, as quite a bit of whisking is involved.
Two cups of butter, two cups of heavy whipping cream (fifty calories per tablespoon) and a
bottle of beer. And that's just the start! Diabetics need not read further. Walk away.

Be certain you have all of the ingredients necessary before embarking, as this is a
multi-tasking recipe, which is listed below compliments of Gourmet Magazine, as posted
by Epicurious. I have changed nothing with regard to the ingredients.

For fans of Gourmet, please note this is a different version than the one served with Stout Creme
Anglaise, ( which
was my original intention until I read 13 pages of 423 fabulous reviews for this particular version.
The positive and 'will make again' reviews just wouldn't stop.

* NOTE * Recipe creates enough batter for three 9" round pans with a 2" depth. If you do not own
a cake plate with a very tall dome, you can always bake two 9" cakes for a double, and make
cupcakes with the remainder of the batter, or cut and stack the third round for 1/2 of an
additional cake.

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients...

* 2 cups whipping cream / heavy whipping cream (*NOT* whipped cream)
* 1 pound bittersweet chips (Think Ghirardelli)
* 2 cups of stout beer. Example: Guinness
* 2 cups of unsalted butter (four full sticks)
* 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 4 cups all purpose flour
* 4 cups white sugar
* 1 Tablespoon baking soda
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 4 large eggs
* 1 and 1/3 cups sour cream

Special equipment, although not entirely necessary, very helpful:
  • Two whisks (one will be busy, left in frosting to stir on occasion)
  • Parchment paper
  • Kitchen timer
  • 3  - 9" round baking pans with a 2" height
  • Bottle opener (for the beer)

Step 2: Prepare the Pans...

If you haven't experienced the joy of using parchment paper, allow me to persuade you to try it.
Sure, you could probably hose the pans down with non-stick cooking spray, but this is more fun.
It makes me feel more like a baker. Like Meryl Streep in the movie "It's Complicated." ♥

Trace the bottom of your cake pans onto the parchment paper, which when cut out, will fit almost
perfectly into the pan. Butter each pan, lay the parchment paper into the pan, and butter that, too.

Or, if you have disposable income, you could always buy pre-cut parchment circles for the
bottom of your pans.

Step 3: Make the Icing...yes, Before the Cake.

Icing - Make the icing first, so it has plenty of time to set up correctly

    * 2 cups whipping cream
    * 1 pound bittersweet chips (Think Ghirardelli)

Heat whipping cream in a large saucepan until it is simmering. Add chips and whisk well until
fully blended. Here comes the interesting part. The frosting will need to set up, so you
will want to ensure there is plenty of time for it to cool. Should you decide to refrigerate it
for a speedy temperature decrease, make certain to frequently whisk it.

If you find the icing has turned to a solid clump, don't panic. Gently warm the icing on very low
heat while constantly whisking. Otherwise, allow it to cool to room temperature.

Step 4: Step 1 of the Cake Batter...


    * 2 cups of room temperature stout beer. Example: Guinness
    * 2 cups of unsalted butter (four full sticks) No need for room temperature.
    * 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Combine 2 cups of stout and 2 cups (all four sticks) of butter to a low simmer over low heat.
Add dry powder and mix well. Set aside to cool briefly. The beer batter will still be quite warm when 
combining with the remaining steps. Don't panic. All will be fine.

* NOTE * We're not big fans of beer, especially dark stout, so this six pack should last a long
time. If you happen to know a stout fan, ask them for a bottle. It is a few ounces shy of the two cups
you need for the recipe, but who is going to know. Besides, who will drink the rest of the bottle you
opened for a mere few ounces?

As tempting as it is, don't lick the spoon.

Step 5: Step 2 of the Cake Batter...


    * 4 cups all purpose flour
    * 4 cups white sugar
    * 1 Tablespoon baking soda
    * 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir or whisk to ensure the ingredients
are well blended. Set aside. Remember, don't scoop your flour out. Instead, spoon it into the
measuring cup until it is overflowing, then use the flat side of a knife to scrape across the top for
a precise measurement.

Step 6: Step 3 of the Cake Batter...


    * 4 large eggs
    * 1 1/3 cups sour cream

Combine well, but do not overbeat. Set aside. The mixing bowl need only be as
big as will hold these ingredients, as you will add them to a bigger bowl.

Step 7: Combine All Three Batter Sections...

You should now have three separate bowls / pots / containers of cake contents as follows:
  • Egg and sour cream mixture
  • Flour, sugar, salt and baking soda mixture
  • Beer, butter and dark cocoa mixture
Add the egg /sour cream mixture to the beer, butter and cocoa mixture. Stir well.
Now add in a little flour at a time, don't get carried away with mixing, but don't leave
lumps, either. Of course you will want to have a mixing bowl of good size for this

Step 8: Pour Batter Into Prepared Pans and Bake...

Evenly divide the batter between the three 9" round pans.

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, then carefully remove the cakes
from the oven, set out to cool. Admire the darkness of the cakes,
get close and take a good sniff. Mmmm!

Step 9: Cool and Frost...

Once the cakes are cool, you can proceed with decorating and frosting
to your heart's content.

My advice is to place the bottom layer of cake on a flat-topped cake plate,
then slip strips of waxed paper beneath it. Wiggle the paper back and forth
to slide it under the cake. Decorate, then carefully remove the strips of
waxed paper. Lovely, and a clean serving plate!

For my cake, I frosted a layer, stacked another cake and frosted again.
Then I heated up some of the remaining frosting in the pan, and once it
was melted, poured it into a food safe squeeze bottle. I sprinkled a few
crushed walnuts, squiggled frosting, a few more nuts, more frosting and
so on.

It would be my opinion this cake would be excellent served with fruit, just
to break up the intense chocolate taste. It isn't overly rich, nor a cake that
will make your cheeks feel funny, but it is indeed a chocolate mouthful.


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    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Выглядит чудесно. У меня нет такого рецепта. Обязательно попробую!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Спасибо вам большое. :-)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, your Instructable is fantastic! Wow, the cake would be absolutely fabulous with your Demon Roast. Sounds soooo good!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I Love your instructables.....I had already downloaded several. I didn't realize they all belonged to you! This will be the next cake I make. I used to make the Hershey's recipe with coffee. Now I just use the one on the back of the can made with boiling water.

    You sound like a person I wish I lived near!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Mary,

    Many thanks! It would be so much fun to live near you, we could get
    into lots of fun, or at least trouble, together, ha ha!



    8 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds interesting. I also like your style of writing. Very amusing.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, Canucksgirl! I love to write. Admittedly, I don't always watch my grammar as I should, but it certainly is fun to share Instructables. :-)

    I haven't yet checked the cookie contest results, so I'm headed over there to see if you won! (Crossing my fingers for you)



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the patch Karen! Now I can officially say I won something for my cookies. LOL... unfortunately its hard to compete when they allow elaborate houses in a cookies challenge? I know they're made of cookie dough, but I guess I took the rules too literally. *slaps hand* - I won't make that mistake again. :D lol



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Jessy! Many thanks! This is a big cake, the kind best shared
    with others. We can't possibly (nor should we) eat this cake between
    the two of us. :-)