This weekend I’ll be celebrating my sons’ and husband’s Irish heritage with some good friends, who are going all out with corned beef and cabbage. I’m bringing a chocolate stout cake for dessert. When I was at Bon Appétit, an editor cult favorite was a recipe for Chocolate Guinness layer cake that I was pretty sure could never be bested. And then I tried Heidi Swanson’s Chocolate Bundt Cake, which calls for chocolate stout instead of Guinness. Chocolate stout refers to a style of stout that is brewed with roasted malts, which impart a chocolate flavor. This one, below, which I picked up at Whole Foods, has actual chocolate in it. And while I wouldn’t want to drink it, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is perfect for cake baking purposes.
Heidi’s recipe is inspired thanks to several other innovative ingredients—such as whole wheat flour, yogurt, maple syrup, darkest muscovado sugar for moisture—and much less butter. If you are familiar with her website, 101cookbooks.com, you know that she often improves classic recipes by making them healthier and cutting out unnecessary sugar or butter. She’s kind of a genius. And the proof is in this cake.
Imagine a perfectly rich but not too sweet chocolate cake with subtle malty notes, frosted with buttermilk cocoa icing and sprinkled with Maldon salt.
And then imagine it disappearing faster than you can say blarney…