Deep, rich – almost too rich – chocolate cake made with a bit of stout. But don’t worry, the richness of the cake is nicely offset by the sweet cream frosting.
We originally came across this recipe in one of Nigella Lawson’s books, and Rich was actually the first one to make it. Looking around for a little nosh for The Book Club, I was surprised to find that I hadn’t done a post on this fine cake, so I dug up the recipe, made a few (minor) changes, and here we are.
Cake Pan Coating:
•1 tbsp flour
•1 tbsp Crisco
•1 tbsp canola oil
•1 cup Guinness (dark beer) – I used a Vanilla Stout made by some friends of ours
•1/2 cup unsalted butter
•2 cups sugar
•3/4 cup baking cocoa
•2 eggs, beaten
•2/3 cup sour cream
•1 tbsp vanilla
•Zest of 1 orange
•2 cups flour
•1-1/2 tsp baking soda
•1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
•1-1/2 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
First, as always, prepare your cake pan – in this case a nine inch springform pan – by combining the flour, Crisco (any solid shortening will do), and cooking oil together in a small bowl – a fork will do the job nicely – then brush this mixture on the bottom and sides of your cake pan. The cake won’t stick to the pan, and you won’t have any of those unsightly flour blotches from simply greasing and then flouring the pan.
Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment cut to fit.
Whisk the cocoa together with the sugar until well blended and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pan with the beer, then remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and cocoa blend.
Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla together, then whisk into the cocoa and beer mixture in the pan.
Whisk together the flour, orange zest, and baking soda, then add this to the pan, stirring to combine well, then stir into the batter in the pan.
Transfer this batter to your prepared springform pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, soften the cream cheese and then beat until fluffy. Add the cream and the 1-1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating.
This frosting is really smooth, does not peak, and will seem a bit thin, so go ahead and add another half cup of confectioners’ sugar (I did) and beat until nicely combined and smooth.
Remove the cake from the pan (don’t forget to peel off that bit of parchment on the bottom) and arrange on your cake plate of choice.
Add the frosting to the top of the cake – just kind of pour it over – allowing some to drape down the sides, but not to cover the cake completely. Every version of this cake I’ve seen does this – mebbe because the cake is so rich and moist that it doesn’t need to be covered in a lot of frosting, or mebbe just because it looks kinda cool to have this rich, dark cake covered with a soft layer of sweet cream goodness.