I bet you’ll hear, “This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!“ You’ll hear comments like this and much more when you serve this ultra dark, rich chocolate cake with its luscious chocolate icing. Use Choclatique Elephant Chocolate (76% cacao) or a really good chocolate bar with at least 74% cacao to intensify the chocolate flavor (do not use unsweetened baking chocolate), and you don’t have to wait for St. Paddy’s Day to make this cake! It’s not the luck of the Irish that make this cake so good; it’s the Guinness!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 1 9-inch layer cake (2 layers)
For the Cake:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup Irish Guinness Stout Beer
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
4 ounces Choclatique Elephant Dark Chocolate (76%), chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crème fraîche (see ChefSecret)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons Irish Guinness Stout Beer
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners‘ sugar, sifted (or more as needed)
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Butter two the 9-inch cake pans and dust with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
- In a heavy saucepan over low heat, heat 1 cup of the stout beer, 1-1/4 cups butter, 4 ounces chocolate and the sugar just until the butter and chocolate have melted; stir to blend mixture, and cool slightly.
- Beat the eggs and crème fraîche together in a large mixing bowl; gradually stir in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add the melted chocolate mixture in small additions, stirring to blend. Pour half the batter into each prepared cake pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the cake bounces back when touched lightly with a finger, about 40 minutes. Cool the cakes on racks.
For the Icing:
- Place 1/2 cup of the butter, 4 ounces of dark chocolate and 5 tablespoons of stout beer in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Continue to cook and stir just until the chocolate has melted; stir to blend mixture completely. Remove from the heat, and cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, and vanilla extract until smooth; gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Pour in the cooled chocolate-stout mixture and mix well. Add confectioners’ sugar until the icing is to your desired consistency, adding more sugar if you like a firmer icing.
- Place a cake layer on a serving plate, and smooth about one third of the frosting over the cake top. Place the second cake onto the frosted layer, and spread remaining two thirds of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
ChefSecret #1: By dusting the cake pans with cocoa powder you won’t get messy white flour streaks on the cake and the baked layers will still release from the pan.
ChefSecret #2: You should have about 1/4 cup of Guinness left in the bottle (if you didn’t cheat and drink it all). For a moister cake pour the remaining Guinness into a small sauce pan along with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wide pastry brush, brush on the mixture on to the first layer before frosting.
ChefSecret #3: You can make your own crème fraîche by adding 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk to 1 pint of heavy cream in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic). Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until thickened to desired texture, about 12 hours. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or, sour cream can be substituted for the crème fraîche.