CHOCOLATE STOUT BUNDT CAKE (See next page for layer cake directions)
1 cup stout or other dark beer—it’s better if it’s flat and at room temperature (or you can substitute hot coffee or hot water)
1 cup salad oil
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Thoroughly grease a Bundt pan, and sprinkle the pan very lightly with some cocoa.
3. Combine the stout, oil, and cocoa. Whisk thoroughly to blend.
4. If you’re using something hot like coffee or hot water, allow it to cool a bit. Then whisk the eggs, add the sour cream and whisk, and finally add the cocoa mixture.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Then pour in the liquid and stir it quickly to combine. (Consider using a mixer and mixing for 1 - 2 minutes to develop the cake’s structure and minimize falling.)
6. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and set it in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until baked through. The cake will fall a little on the top (which is good—it’ll sit nicely on a plate that way).
7. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool slightly (about 10 minutes) before unmolding it carefully on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. To serve, dust the top with powdered sugar, or drizzle it lightly with ganache: use about 3 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 1/3 cup of whipping cream. Break up the chocolate into a small bowl, heat the cream until it is just boiling, and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir to melt and combine the chocolate. You could add a tablespoon of rum, brandy, or other liqueur to flavor it slightly, but that isn’t really necessary. When the cake is cool, drizzle this over the top—the ganache can still be quite warm when you decorate the cake.
To bake in layers:
Prepare 2 8” or 9” cake pans: grease, flour, and line with waxed paper. (I use Baker’s Joy; I spray, put in the paper, then spray again.)
To cut waxed paper: fold the paper into quarters and then twice into a narrow triangle. With a pan inverted on the counter, place the point of the triangle at the center of the pan and snip the paper just inside the edge. Open out to form a circle.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees (approximately 40 - 45 minutes for 8” layers; less for 9” layers--check after 30 minutes). Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the layers out onto racks to cool completely.
Frost with cream cheese icing:
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter
Approximately 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
Dash of salt
1 - 2 tsp vanilla (if desired)
Cream the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and salt, and mix until fluffy. Add vanilla if using. This will form a somewhat soft icing (but use enough sugar to make it spreadable)--it will be softer and looser than buttercream. After frosting the cake, chill to set the icing. Take the cake out of the fridge to come to room temperature before serving.