Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chocolate Guinness Cake

I decided to make this cake on a whim since I was already making the Car Bomb Cupcakes. I was planning on following the recipe to the t, but in my excitement and/or time crunch I was unable to find the appropriate size pan. So I decided to use a 9x2 inch cake pan and a 8x2 inch cake pan which turned out wondeful. I filled the 9-inch pan about 2/3 full so that I would have a more substantial cake for my husband to take to work and filled the 8-inch pan for us to nibble on at home. I started to check on the cake after an hour of bake time and the 8-inch was done. A few minutes later and the other pan was done.

This cake was also was a little bit more airy than the cupcakes. All of my husbands coworkers were exteremly happy with the cake. However, I think my husband was still looking for more of the Guinness flavor. I have to agree. The pecans added an even more nutty flavor and I could really only taste the nuts and chocolate. Due to my select blindness, I had to use my Dutch-process cocoa powder which the original recipe didn't recommend, so I think the overly rich chocolate flavor was a result. Oh well, I will just have to try again.

I sent a long a little bowl of Brown Sugar Whipped Cream that I spiked with a bit of Baileys Liquor after making the frosting for the Car Bomb Cupcakes. This was exteremly delicious and it's fighting for the spot (against Creme Brulee) of the one thing I would need if I was stranded on a dessert island.


Note that the directions below are for a 9x3-inch pan, so adjust the cooking time if you will be using a different size pan.

Chocolate Guinness Cake (Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
Makes one 9-inch cake, Serves approximately 10

1 3/4 cups (7.4oz/212g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2.2oz/61g) natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder (I ended up using Dutch-process because I couldn't find my other cocoa powder until AFTER the cake was in the oven)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
21 Tbsp (10.5oz/298g) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups (17.2oz/488g) firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Guinness stout (do not measure foam)
1 cup (4oz/114g) coarsely chopped pecans

Confectioner's sugar for dusting

~Prepare a 9x3 cake pan or 9-inch springform pan by greasing and dusting with flour. Move oven rack to center position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
~Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a large bow. Whisk to combine and aerate. (I rarely sift my ingredients since I use the weight measurements when given)
~With your electric mixer, beat butter with paddle attachment until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the brown sugar and beat for additional 3 minutes. Continue mixing and add one egg at a time until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. Take a moment to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix for an additional 30 seconds to make sure the batter is well mixed.
~With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture (3 batches) and the Guinness until just blended. Use a spatula to scrape down sides of mixing bowl and make sure the batter is well blended. Add batter into the prepared pan.
~Bake cake for approximately 70 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
~Allow the cake to cool for approximately 20 minutes on a wire rack. Use a thin knife to run around the edge of the pan, loosening the sides of the cake. Turn cake onto a rack and invert immediately and allow to cool completely.
~Dust cake with confectioner's sugar immediately before serving.

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream (Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup chilled heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (I omitted the vanilla and added about 2 tsp of Baileys Liquor)

~Chill bowl and beaters in freezer for about 20 minutes.
~Add whipping cream, brown sugar, and extract and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.

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