What better way to include others than chocolate cake? Oktoberfest concluded this week, which means that you all will probably have some leftover beer sitting around...and even if not, why not make a cake loaded with stout (read: Guinness-like beer!), coffee, and dark chocolate? This is a nice dark cake, not too sweet, with a rich ganache icing - and I've been told it gets better over time (it didn't last long enough in my house for me to taste it on day 2). If you don't overwhip the egg whites like I did this last time, the cake should end up light and moist. The Guinness also lends a subtle yeastiness to the cake, a quality I appreciate when using it in this beer bread.
So here you go! Enjoy the remainder of the stout left in the can or bottle after you apportion some for the recipe:
Chocolate Stout Cake
from Bon Appétit (see original recipe for notes on beer)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup chocolate stout, regular stout, or porter
2/3 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, line each with parchment paper on the bottom inside, and set aside.
Melt chopped chocolate in a double boiler and remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and 1 1/4 C sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minute). Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add melted chocolate, then stout, then coffee. Beat in flour mixture in two additions until just incorporated.
With clean dry beaters, whip egg whites and remaining 3 T sugar until stiff but not dry. Then fold 1/3 of whites into the cake batter, then the remaining whites in 2 additions.
Divide the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top of each with a rubber scraper.
Bake about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a rack for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of each layer and turn out onto racks to cool completely.
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Place chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Combine whipping cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally.
Pour cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth (try to whisk without incorporating air bubbles). Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (or for quick chilling, place frosting in freezer until thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes).
Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops from both cake layers so that tops are flat (optional). Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round, then place on rack set over baking sheet. Drop 1 1/4 cups frosting by large spoonfuls over top of cake layer; spread frosting evenly to edges with offset spatula or butter knife. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake.
DO AHEAD Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.