Baking Unplugged with Nicole Rees, Chocolate Stout Cake Recipe

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Recipe from From Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees

Chocolate Stout Cake

It may sound strange, but the unusual combination of chocolate and stout makes for a great cake. I like to use a chocolate stout if I can find one, but any stout will do. The molasses makes the cake very moist—this cake will keep for several days and is great for gift giving. If you like the combination of chocolate and gingerbread, stir in your favorite gingerbread spices, like cinnamon, ginger, clove, and/or nutmeg. The cake is wonderful served plain with a dusting of powdered sugar, but a glaze of chocolate ganache makes it a real winner.

Makes 16 servings.

1 1/4 C. stout, such as Guinness (do not include foam when measuring)
1/3 C. dark molasses
1 1/4 C. unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. unsweetened natural cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

CHOCOLATE GLAZE (OPTIONAL)
3/4 C. heavy cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. Tap out excess cocoa. For the cake, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring the stout and molasses to a simmer. Remove from the heat; reserve. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Continue whisking until the batter is smooth, about another 30 seconds. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour and stout mixtures alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and stirring to incorporate each addition, about 30 seconds per addition. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Spread the batter into the pan, rapping it on the counter to level and eliminate any air pockets. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack to unmold. Let cool until just barely warm.

For the chocolate glaze, if desired, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat; add the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and then whisk until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes and then drizzle over the cake.

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