All Saint’s Day is approaching, and if you are planning on having a special dinner or lunch after Mass, I have the perfect dessert for you. After all, our wonderful saints come from every corner of the world, and this cake contains ingredients that are not only rich in flavor, but also in history.
Chocolate originated in mesoamerica and made its way to Belgium, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Stout beer has roots in Sweden, Ireland, England, and the Baltic states. Coffee’s historical beginnings are found in Ethiopia, where its eventual road trip began and resulted in its implementation in cuisine all over the world. Each ingredient has a history, and so do our saints from all over the world.
This cake is delicious, and my favorite thing about this recipe is that it is not overly sweet, and it won’t hurt your teeth with each bite. I much prefer a bold flavored cake that will satisfy my dessert needs. The dark chocolate and stout make this cake, so if there is any advice I can give you it is please don’t substitute those ingredients.
I hope you love this cake as much as I do! Enjoy.
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
You will need:
- For the cake:
- 1 cup of AP flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (if you cannot find it, regular cocoa is fine, but the color will not be as dark)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup stout (Guinness works great here, and you can find it just about anywhere)
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened (12 Tbsp or 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips
- For the dark chocolate ganache frosting:
- 8oz dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp butter
Preheat your oven to 325*F (160*C). Prep two 9 inch round cake pans by smearing butter along the bottom and sides, and putting a piece of parchment paper on the bottom as well. Go ahead and smear butter on top of the parchment paper too. I use silicone pans, so I just butter the bottom and sides and skip the parchment step.
We’ll begin with the dark chocolate ganache frosting. This seems backwards, but it requires some refrigeration, so it has to go first.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
- Add the dark chocolate chips and butter into a bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a coffee cup or microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is steaming hot. Pour over the chocolate chips and butter and let it sit for 30 seconds or so.
- With a whisk, stir the mixture until all of the chocolate is melted. It might seem stiff at first, but this is normal. Keep stirring until it is smooth and shiny.
- Once that is done, pop the bowl into the fridge and move onto the cake.
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake:
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Add in the chocolate chips. Give it a quick mix. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, add in the stout, coffee, vanilla, and sour cream. Give that a good stir.
- In a bowl attached to a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer and a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. You want to cream this for about 5 minutes total. Mix it for 1-2 minutes, scrape down the sides, and continue to mix. You want it to be super light and fluffy. Once is it creamed together, add in the eggs one at a time until they are all mixed together.
- Next, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture until they are all combined together. Stop every couple of minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is getting mixed together as thoroughly as possible.
- Split the batter evenly between both cake pans. Get them into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- When the cakes are done, let them cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes until you can touch the pans comfortably. Flip them onto a cooling rack, or a clean towel/surface to cool COMPLETELY. Emphasis on the completely. If you put frosting on a cake that is still warm- it will become a melted mess.
- Once the cakes are cooled, assemble your frosting station. I use an offset spatula and a cake turntable (or just a butter knife/back of a spoon and a plate you can move around easily). Whatever you use, make sure it is where you cake is going to stay once it is done.
- Remove the chocolate ganache from the fridge. It should be firm and kind of shiny. Whip it on high for 1-2 minutes until it is fluffy with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and whip for another 10-20 seconds.
- Using your frosting tools, frost the cake however you see fit. I like to put a little frosting down in the center of my cake plate and put the first layer down (like cake glue). I put about 1/3 of the frosting on the middle of the cake and spread it towards the sides. You want to put more on this layer than you think. The frosting will move to the sides of the cake as you push the top layer down.
- Once that is done, put the top layer on and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Add fresh strawberries, shaved chocolate, or a combination of the two on top for decor. Slice and serve with a good cup of coffee and great company.
As always, thank you for your support!
Lots of love and many blessings,
Brothers and sisters:
Grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.