With its notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, the malty flavor of Guinness stout marries perfectly with dark chocolate, as in this moist cake, which is just the ticket for St. Patrick’s Day. Because the cake has a bittersweet endnote, I coated it with a caramel glaze, which gives it a salty-sweet finish. If you want to get extra fancy, drizzle the top with some melted dark chocolate, as I did. And by all means, serve this unique cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of whipped cream.
Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10
Chocolate Guinness Cake:
- 1 3/4 cups (227 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (75 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (236 milliliters) Guinness Extra Stout, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) brewed coffee
- 20 tablespoons (282 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (216 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large (150 grams) eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Glaze:
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (59 grams) water
- 2/3 cup (155 grams) heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Make the cake:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Using shortening, grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan well. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper, cut to fit, and grease the parchment paper. Dust the bottom and sides of the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine very well and set aside. In a glass measure, mix the stout and coffee together.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugars and beat at high speed until very light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating it with the stout and coffee in two additions and mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir it by hand a few times with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is evenly blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer.
- Bake the cake for 70 to 80 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 20 minutes.
- Run a thin-bladed knife around the sides of the cake and unclasp and remove the side of the pan. then invert the cake onto a cardboard cake round. Peel off the parchment paper circle. Place on the rack and cool completely.
- Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it for at least an hour (or up to a day) before glazing.
Make the glaze:
- Half fill a small cup with water and place a pastry brush in it (this will be used for brushing down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming). Place the cup next to the stove.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and cook the sugar, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with the wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals that form. Cook until the sugar caramelizes and turns a deep amber brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the heavy cream (the mixture will bubble up furiously, so be careful). Stir to combine, then return the pan to the heat for another minute or so, to dissolve any hardened bits of sugar. Add the butter and salt and stir gently until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the glaze to a heatproof glass measure with a pouring spout. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Place the cake (still on its cardboard round) on a wire rack over a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Pour the warm glaze over the top of the cake, starting at the center and spiraling out to the edges. Let the glaze drip over the edges of the cake, covering it completely. Use a small metal spatula to cover any bare spots on the side of the cake with glaze. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.