blissful eats with Laurie Jesch-Kulseth: Chocolate Stout Cake


This cake has been on my mind for some time now.  I first came across this incredible dessert on food photographer Katie Quinn Davies' blog, "What Katie Ate".  This beauty combines three of my favorite things: chocolate, pillowy cream frosting, and a rich, stout-style beer.  This last ingredient was the final excuse I needed to give the cake a try.  You see, my husband has turned into a bit of a beer geek, so we've really enjoyed sampling many different porters and stouts this winter.  Given the abundance of dark beer in our house, I finally decided to bake this one week.  Yes, it's that good.   

The cake is unbelievably dense-- as a chocolate cake should be-- due to the addition of the stout.  The original recipe called for Guiness, but I relied on New Holland Brewery's 'The Poet' oatmeal stout.  While any stout will do, a nice craft brewery chocolate or oatmeal stout is probably best, as it'll be richer in flavor.  Just to be clear, there is no beer flavor in the cake.  It adds moisture and enhances the deep flavor of the cocoa powder.     

While I love the 'cake' itself, the creamy frosting is equally impressive.  It combines cream cheese and whipped cream, giving it a dreamy, pillowy texture.  Full disclosure:  we're a whipped cream addicted family.  I swear I end up mixing up several batches a week.   So when I read that this recipe starts with a cream-cheese frosting and folds in whipped cream, I became giddy.  When you make this cake, just be sure to gently fold in the whipped cream-- it matters.  This creates that big, billowing frosting that makes this cake.


The Recipe: Chocolate Stout Cake

For the Cake:

250 g (1 cup and 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

250 ml (1 cup) Stout beer

75 g Dutch process cocoa (3/4 cup), sifted

275 g ( 2 plus 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

400 g ( 2 cups) sugar

2 medium eggs, room temperature

150 ml (2/3 cup) sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt


For the frosting:

300 g ( 1 plus 1/3 cup) cream cheese, room temperature 

150 g ( 1 plus 1/2 cup), confectioners' sugar, sifted

150 ml ( 2/3 cup) heavy cream, whipped

Preheat the oven to 180° C/ 350° F.  Prepare a 10" angel-food pan by liberally buttering it, placing parchment paper on the bottom, buttering again, and dusting with cocoa power to "flour" it.

Add butter, cocoa, and stout to a saucepan.  Warm over a medium heat and stir until melted.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly. 

Add flour, baking soda, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together.  Pour in the Stout/cocoa powder/butter mixture, lightly combine.  Then add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined.  The batter should be thick.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in oven for roughly 1 hour.  Since all ovens bake differently, be sure to check your cake often.  I always start checking well before the recommended time, just to be safe.  When the cake feels firm and a toothpick comes out clean, it's done. There may be a few crumbs that stick to it.  Do not overbake.  This is a very moist cake, so use your best judgement with the toothpick test.

 Let cool for 10-15 minutes, before removing from pan and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.


To frost the cake, place the cream cheese into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Whisk until the cream cheese is smooth and there are no big lumps remaining.

Gradually, add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat gently to combine.  After 2-3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free.

Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing until fully combined.

Place cooled cake on a stand and spread the top with frosting.

Source: Adapted from Katie Quinn Davies via Design Sponge

Hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did.  See you next week!


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