As I mentioned on Facebook and on Twitter (@The_Messy_Apron), many of the recipes posted here in the month of March are characterized by the inclusion of dark beers and Irish cream liqueur. This easy chocolate cake carries on that tradition in especially delicious fashion.
This recipe is utterly simple and makes a single-layer 9-inch round cake, making it just the thing for curing a mid-week chocolate desire. It comes together quickly and is wonderfully chocolatey, with an additional bittersweet note from a dose of dark beer. I used a vanilla porter to make it, but you could use some of the Guinness you’re planning to serve at your St. Pat’s party, or an oatmeal stout.
For being so deep and rich with chocolate and a dark brew, this cake is surprisingly soft and fluffy in texture. At the same time, it holds up well to the ganache I poured over the top to serve as icing. I have to admit that I couldn’t taste the vanilla porter in the cake, perhaps because of all that chocolatey goodness, but I think it’s bubbly tendency may help the cake be as soft as it is.
If you didn’t want to use beer, I think you could make a nice cake with milk instead. I’m hoping to try coffee or espresso to see what happens. There are also many other ways you could top this cake, whether it be with a buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting (like the one on this cake), a simple glaze, or a fudge, caramel, or fruit sauce poured over individual servings of naked cake.
Hmmm. All of these ideas seem worthy of experimentation. Maybe more chocolate cake should be in my future!
Chocolate Cake with Porter and Ganache Topping
Adapted from Food52
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
¾ cup dark beer, such as Guinness, oatmeal stout, or vanilla porter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch round cake with cooking spray and coat it evenly with flour. Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the pan (trace the pan) and place it inside the prepared pan. Set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size bowl.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the egg and sour cream. Beat in the melted butter, beer, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well combined.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing it out evenly. Bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out free of wet batter.
6. Cool the cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
7. When the cake is cool, heat the cream and chocolate chips together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue to cook and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Spoon or pour the ganache evenly over the cooled cake, allowing some of it to run over the sides. Refrigerate until the topping is set.
Makes about 8 servings.
Other recipes like this one: Flourless Bitteresweet Chocolate Torte, Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting