Beer.. There are many kinds. Today, we’ll focus on stouts, sometimes also known as porters. A stout is a beer that is by made using roasting barley or roasted malt along with yeast, water, and hops. Stouts originated in London, England in the early 18th century and have since been enjoyed and even used therapeutically. There are many different types of stouts including Irish stouts, chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, milk stouts, and even oyster stouts. In this recipe, we’ll be using Irish, or dry, stouts – a deep, dark stout that embodies a roasted flavor.
Baking with beer seems a likely path to take as beer contains carbonation which produces a nice crumb. The essence of beer imparts a welcome array of flavors including a slight bitterness that are well complimented with robust ingredients such as spice and chocolate.
In this Guinness chocolate spice cake, the beer helps to make the cake moist with a crumb that is substantial yet fluffy and light. The Guinness and chocolate go so well together and the addition of spices is equally reciprocal, though this can be omitted, if desired.
The spices I used were cardamom, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. These are Chai spices that I use quite frequently, all of which go quite nicely with chocolate. The spiced flavor is a subtle afterthought to the cake and it doesn’t empower every bite as the star of the show.
Spice and chocolate is such a natural pairing. Feel free to experiment using your favorite spices. I paired this cake with a Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting, gently spiced with cardamom and cinnamon as well.
Guinness Chocolate Spice CakeRecipe adapted from: Epicurious’ Chocolate Stout Cake (Yield: 2 8″ round cakes and about 6 cupcakes OR about 22 cupcakes) 1 c stout 1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks) 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder 2 c all-purpose flour 1 3/4 c granulated sugar 1 1/2 t baking soda 3/4 t salt 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/2 c + 2 T sour cream 2 t vanilla extract 1 T Chai blend, optional (See recipe, below) Chai Blend 1 T ground cardamom 1/2 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground ginger 1/4 t ground cloves
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your baking trays and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Set them aside.
Combine the stout and butter in a saucepan and heat until slightly simmering.
Then turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth and well combined. Let this mixture cool.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking soda, spice blend (if you are using it) and salt and set this aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
Slowly pour the stout mixture into the egg mixture, making sure the stout has cooled so as not to scramble the eggs. Mix well.
Then add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix this batter. It will be very liquid.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking pans and bake as directed below:
Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool on the counter.
Frost as desired. I’ve used my Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting to accompany this cake.
Sweetly ♥ Yours,