Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh MY Chocolate Cake

Wow. A not too sweet pure chocolate delight.

It may be a little late to make this for your Valentine ... but perhaps you need ideas for how to seriously satiate a chocolate craving? Or are looking for inspiration for a late night bonanza crowd pleaser? Or maybe wandering what to bring to a potluck with six pregnant ladies? This, friends is the answer. It is CRAZY, and well, very little of it is thrifty, though it does pack a punch. In its finished form it weighs a LOT, so perhaps in sum the per slice cost is low. For a special occasion it is so tempting to push the budget just a little bit, and let’s face it, for chocolate I find the ability to talk myself into just about anything.

This recipe came to us via a party a friend hosted last month. It is great for feeding a crowd (packs a punch) and she sent us home with slices which we savored with glasses of cold milk. ‘Serve with Cold Milk’ should probably be added to the recipe; the cake is a ‘Got Milk’ commercial in the works. So pour yourself a cold one and enjoy with a sweetheart, a friend or a pregnant lady.

Chocolate Stout Cake

The directions for this cake say dutch process cocoa is necessary. However, I found that my non-“dutch process” cocoa powder never reached a smooth consistency, but I ploughed ahead and was still very pleased with the results. Another useful hint: if the frosting gets too hard for spreading, microwave with a close eye until spreadable consistency.

Servings: 1 HUGE triple layer chocolate cake (approx. 24 slices)
Cost: $14.95/cake, $0.62/slice
Time: 1.25 hours active, 4 hours total

2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (2 2/3 cups)

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Oh my goodness! I have to say that I am so lucky, because I had the wonderful opportunity to partake of this excellent cake, not once, but multiple times and it just kept getting better with each serving. It was perfect and I can only hope that the chef will find the time to make it again!!