Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baking Challenge Week 4 - Frosting/Filling - Chocolate Stout Cake with Cream Cheese Stout Frosting

Remember how I said my husband's been brewing for a little over a year now?

I made this with a bottle of his latest, a fantastic milk stout.  It was ready just before Christmas, and we're down to two bottles now--I will be so incredibly sad when the last one is gone.

This cake, though...oh, this cake.  It's worth not drinking the bottle of beer to make this cake.  It might just be the best chocolate cake recipe I've ever tried.  Rich without being dense or heavy, dark without being overly bitter, lightened with the creamy-sweet stout frosting...

I am a little bit in love with this cake.

I'd actually been planning to do this next week for the cooking challenge (beer/wine/liquor), but I didn't really have another good idea for the current baking challenge, at least not with what I have handy at the moment. So I bumped it up!  Our little liquor cabinet will have no trouble seeing me through next week, I already have several ideas for that.

Don't have your own homebrew to use?  The character of the stout you choose will make a difference.  My milk stout was on the sweeter side, with mostly chocolate notes and absolutely no coffee notes, which are common in a lot of other stouts.  Choose a coffee-type stout and you'll get a cake more mocha-esque than mine.  Just be sure you like the beer you choose--if it's bad in the bottle, don't waste your time baking with it!

Chocolate Stout Cake with Cream Cheese Stout Frosting
(Adapted from Best Recipes No. 34: Cooking with Beer)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup stout, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan.

In one bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well-blended.

Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the stout, beating each addition until fully incorporated.  Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp stout, at room temperature
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.  Add 1 tbsp stout and beat until well-blended; if the frosting is too thick, add more stout to thin to spreadable consistency.  Spread frosting over the cake.  Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator.

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