Guinness (Stout) Chocolate Cake Stacks
All of my favourite things--chocolate, Guinness, whisky AND coffee perfectly stacked to replicate a glass of stout beer!
Photography chat: We wanted to photograph the cake with a black background--we're going for a dark moody vibe to match the colour of the cake. And we wanted to photograph the drizzle and that would really pop off a dark background. We used a few black styrene boards (I pick these up from the dollar store) but we quickly decided that the dining room needs a black accent wall. The entire house needs to be repainted so why not start there! Styrene boards are great when you're on location and they double as reflectors and negative fill cards but shooting wide was a bit of a challenge.
Keep scrolling for the recipe! And if you try this cake and love it, share it on the gram and tag @carloeehkrause and @nataschiawielink. We'd love to see how they turn out!
Guinness (stout) chocolate cake stacks with whisky coffee cream & caramel
1 1/ 4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/ 4 cup extra dark unsweetened cocoa powder ( or 22-24% superior red unsweetened cocoa powder) 1 1/ 2 tsps vanilla
1 1/ 2 tsps fine sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/ 4 cup neutral oil
1 - 440ml can of Guinness stout
Recipe adapted from Nathaniel Meads from “Bon Appetit” March 2012. Original recipe contains water only as the liquid component. I have replaced the water with reduced stout.
1 1/ 2 cups icing sugar
1/ 2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tbsp Irish Whiskey
2-3 tbsp whipping cream
Store bought caramel:
I used dulce de lece measuring about 1/ 2 cup into a glass measuring cup and then microwaving for about 30 seconds until it became a runny consistency.
Feel free to make your own but store bought sure saves time!
Empty the can of Guinness into a medium saucepan. Starting with medium-high heat bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until you have just over 250-275ml (1 to 1 1/ 4 cups). Watch carefully as Guinness is very foamy and you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t overflow. Should take about 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 375F.
Meanwhile, sift all other dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Place a sieve over the top of the bowl, measure in all the dry ingredients and coax through the sieve by scraping a spatula around the edges. This ensures that there will be no lumps in the batter. Once the Guinness has reduced, pour into a 2 cup glass measuring cup (you should have 1 - 1 1/ 4 cups reduced liquid), add the oil and the
Add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
Line a 9”x13” baking pan with parchment paper. Pour in batter and smooth it out. Drop the pan from a 2-3” height to the counter to eliminate all the bubbles. Set the pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20min. Check with a toothpick in the middle of the pan to ensure the cake is baked through. Set on a cooling rack to cool completely.
(This cake can be baked in an 8”x8” pan and left as a square to have the top alone frosted and the caramel drizzled over the entire surface if you wish. Also line with parchment paper. Bake an extra 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and pan size)
Once the cake is cool, use a 2 1/ 2” biscuit cutter or cookie ring to cut out circles. Set aside on waxed paper.
For the frosting, in a small dish measure the instant coffee and add the whiskey. Stir to dissolve. Set aside. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the butter on high until very light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and mix on low speed to start incorporating the powdery sugar into the butter. Add the cream and continue on high. Then add the whiskey/coffee mixture. Combine thoroughly from low speed to high, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Frosting should feel soft and creamy so it can be piped easily. Fit a piping bag with a 1/ 2” round tip or a size #2 star tip or just cut a 1/ 2” corner off of a ziplock bag. Fill with frosting. Twist close at the open end and gently squeeze the frosting to the tip.
On a dessert plate, place one round of cake. Pipe a layer onto the cake base starting about 1/ 4” from the edge and working back around into the center of the cake round. Gently add a second cake round and press down to push the frosting out to the edges of the stack. Drizzle the warm caramel over the stack. Finish remaining cake & frosting stacks and drizzle. When the caramel is cool to touch add another little swirl of frosting to the top of the cake. (The look we’re going for here is to mimic a full and frothy glass of Guinness) Optional: dust the tops with a little cocoa powder. This can be done with a little sieve or by just taking a pinch between your finger tips and rubbing them together over the cake tops.