St. Paddy's Day revisited, chocolate cake with beer!

I broke down and made the Guinness Stout chocolate cake to take over to dinner last night. This is part of the dessert that accompanies the St. Patrick’s day menu. Our host prepared braised corned beef with cabbage and root veggies, and it was great!
The cake, I picked because it was relatively easy to prepare, and 45 min from start to finish, it was ready. 30 minutes of that was baking time. It was supposed to go with Guinness vanilla ice cream, I didn’t have time to do it. I wish I had. The cake itself is not a typical chocolate cake thanks to the addition of some savory elements that give that little extra. The temptation is to want to add strawberry or raspberry syrup but it might overwhelm the subtle savory parts of the mix. If you want that combo, I would consider not adding the spices.

Guiness Chocolate Cake (adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques)

Preheat oven to 350F

As usual, Goin’s recipes require some pre-planning in order to make them go smoothly and not screw up something that is very time sensitive. It’s not that it’s that difficult, it’s just that I think it’s hard for anyone to write down what they do without thinking and have it make sense for anyone but them. The recipe is made in four simple parts:

  1. Prepare the flour and flavor it
  2. Prepare the beer/molasses mixture
  3. Prepare the eggs/sugar mixture
  4. Combine, and bake

Prepare the flour and flavor it
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and whole cloves

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together (after measuring of course), add the remaining ingredients. It should go without saying that the nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves should be whole and ground/grated a la minute. This was the part that I got to do over because my little helper (DOG) decided to dump a bunch of (1/2 cup or more) of baking powder to the mixture. Remix!

Prepare the beer/molasses mixture (seriously, click on the link)
1 cup molasses
1 cup Guinness or other stout
1.5 tsp of baking soda

Combine the beer and molasses together in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Take off the heat, and add the baking soda. You might at this point start wishing you had used a larger pan. I did.

Prepare the eggs/sugar mixture
4 large eggs
1/2 cup of brown, 1/2 cup of regular granular sugar or 1 cup of either

Whisk these together in a large mixing bowl after you’ve done the other stuff. Add 1 cup of oil and whisk into an emulsion.

Combine, and bake
Make a well in the flour, and start combining the slurry from the center out. Only mix to the point that the powder is combined with liquid. Don’t use a mixer, if you overcombine, the cake will become too rubbery and tough. Pour it in your buttered bundt pan, and put it in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, until you can stick it with a toothpick and it comes out mostly clean.

When it’s done, cover it until you’re ready to serve, and get your ice cream ready. Either cinnamon ice cream or whole bean vanilla goes great with it.


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