Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Minty Swiss Buttercream & GanacheBy food + words
- Meal: Dessert
- Seasonality: Spring
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Serves: 10-12
- Time: 1 hour
- Beer Style: Stout
Jaclyn of food + words shares this recipe for a decadent chocolate cake for St. Patrick's Day made with your favorite Stout.
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
Unsalted butter, softened, for pans
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups natural cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup warm stout beer (microwave 30-40 seconds)
3 Tbsp safflower oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla bean paste
1 tsp coffee extract
½ tsp espresso powder
Minty Swiss Buttercream
2 egg whites
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed (cube it while cold, then let it get soft)
1/4 cup irish cream liqueur
1 tsp pure mint extract
green food coloring (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (chocolate chips work just fine!)
8 ounces heavy cream
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center of the oven.
Butter two 7-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess.
Sift the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment fitted on.
Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, stout beer, oil, vanilla, coffee extract and espresso powder. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Divide batter between pans.
Bake at 350°F for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack. Place face up and allow to cool completely.
When the cakes are completely cool, slice the domed tops off using a serrated knife. Slice each cake evenly in half so you end up with four total layers, and set aside.
Minty Swiss Buttercream
Place a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water on the stove over medium-high heat.
In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
Place the bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly until the mixture reaches 145 degrees F and does not feel grainy any longer.
Transfer to the bowl of stand mixer with the whisk attachment on.
Whip the egg white mixture on medium for about 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue is light and fluffy, and the bottom of the stand mixer bowl doesn’t feel warm.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and turn the mixer on low.
Add the butter, one or two cubes at a time, about 10-15 seconds apart, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
After all the butter is added, the mixture may look slightly curdled or watery, but let the mixer keep working. the buttercream will magically become soft, smooth and fluffy!
Turn the mixer off, and add the irish cream, mint extract and food coloring. Turn the mixer on low for 10-15 seconds, then increase to high and mix until combined, fluffy and desired color.
Turn the mixer off and give the buttercream a mix with a rubber spatula. It’s ready to use!
Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.
Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until steaming but not boiling. Small bubbles will form around the edges of the pan.
Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for 30 seconds before whisking vigorously until ganache is smooth and combined.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly before using.
Assembling the Cake
Add a small quarter-sized dollop of buttercream to a cardboard cake round or directly onto your serving plate/cake stand, and add the first cake layer.
Place about 3-4 tablespoons of buttercream on top of the layer and spread evenly in a single layer using a small offset spatula or butter knife.
Repeat with the remaining layers until all layers are on the cake.
Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the buttercream on top of the cake and spread the frosting in smooth, even strokes across the top and over the sides.
Spread the buttercream all the way to the bottom of the cake, and smooth the sides and top with your spatula.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
After the cake is chilled, remove from the fridge and pour about 1/2 a cup of the slightly warm ganache over the top of the cake in the center. Using a small offset spatula, spread the ganache slowly towards the sides, allowing it to naturally drip over the sides.
Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes in the fridge before slicing and serving.
The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Jaclyn Fishman is a writer, baker, photographer and perpetual daydreamer who feels most at home in the kitchen—as long as she’s not doing the dishes! Jaclyn has a degree in creative writing, and currently studies baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu. Vist her blog food + words.