there must be a god.

Another office birthday, another excuse for a ridiculous cake.  While Mommala has already claimed the brownie escapade for her next birthday, I’m going to go on record and say this may be better.  No–not “may be”–HANDS DOWN TIMES ONE MILLION THIS IS THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE I HAVE EVER TASTED.  The frosting, I could do without. It’s pretty bitter, which balances the moist, transcendent cake nicely, but if you have more than just a thin veil, it’s a little distracting of the AMAZING CHOCOLATE EXTRAVAGANZA currently in your mouth.  That was a lot of capital letters, I realize.  I don’t use them lightly.  This cake is worth it.  Its light and not overwhelmingly sweet. It’s moist for DAYS (literally and figuratively) and just sweet enough–not dense or decadent, but rather quite…refreshing.  Make this as soon as humanly possible.

The original recipe is 3 9-inch rounds, stacked and completely frosted.  I’m not insane and wasn’t about to walk a 3-tier cake 10 snowy city blocks, so I opted for a sheet cake and lots of cupcakes.  Worked like a charm.  Yea, the cooking times are different, but just pay attention and you’re fine. I did 10-minute intervals and flipped the cupcakes/sheet cake front-to-back and top-to-bottom  to ensure even baking.  Quite an aerobic task, but worth it.  Oh man. Is it worth it.

Chocolate Stout Cake
by Bon Appetit
my inspiration: The Bitten Word

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream

Icing

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper.
  • Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

welcome to the exclusive club of beer and butter. your life will never be the same.

  • Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.

big bertha has returned.

  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.

  • Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

mm so maybe i added those in reverse order. worked juuust fine.

  • Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

obviously this guy took longer..more like 55 I think. Just keep an eye on him.

these kids took about 18. I did 10 minute intervals and flipped them and the sheet cake around.

  • Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:

  • Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
  • Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.

we're whisking, we're whisking

smooooth as silk

full disclosure: i made this before i started the cake so it had time to chill in the fridge. rebel without a cause, i know.

  • Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
  • Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

glory to god and guinness.

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