Remember a few months ago when I told you I’d gotten over my fear of a serial killer breaking into my house and serial killing me?
Well it turns out my fear has not totally subsided.
My nephew, Moe the Airedale, has been staying with me again this week (and Cookie almost doesn’t mind!). Moe is the world’s noisiest sleeper, which I didn’t realize until last week.
I woke up in the middle of Thursday night to the sound of human sobbing coming from my bathroom. Naturally my first reaction was OH NO! There’s a serial killer in my bathroom and he’s crying because he feels guilty because he’s about to murder me!
Then I woke up a little more and remembered Moe was sleeping in there. So I got up and peeked in on him and he was running in his sleep and making very unnatural-for-a-dog noises. He truly sounded like a sobbing human.
Also needless to say: I was in the mood for some chocolate cake after my (sort of) near-death experience.
So I went to the kitchen and made this chocolate stout cake that I’d been thinking about for awhile—I was just waiting until closer to St. Patrick’s Day to make it.
But not being murdered is cause for celebration too! And celebrate I did, with a fat slice of glorious, rich chocolate cake covered in a vanilla bean buttercream so fluffy you’ll just want to eat it with a spoon.
And there’s a bonus to making frosting with vanilla beans: if you get chocolate cake crumbs in the frosting they’ll just look like little flecks of vanilla. Therefore, if you’re in a hurry to eat your cake (story of my life), you can be a little sloppy when you frost it and no one will know the difference.
A chocolate cake made with stout beer and topped with creamy vanilla bean buttercream. It's delicious to the extreme!
- 1 1/2 cups stout beer
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter cut into several chunks
- 1 1/2 cups dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean pod
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional, for additional vanilla flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment, then spray the parchment with cooking spray. Lightly dust with flour and set pans aside.
Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs together.
Stir the stout mixture into the sour cream mixture and whisk until combined. Fold the flour mixture into the stout mixture with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until very creamy. Add 3 cups of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and mix on low until combined. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until very creamy, about 1 minute more. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
With mixer on low, beat in the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until the frosting is thick but still spreadable; if you add too much sugar just add more heavy cream. Once frosting is your desired consistency, add the vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, and salt. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until frosting is very light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.
Place one of the cooled cake layers on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle and spread a thick layer of frosting over the top. Cover with the remaining cake layer and frost with a very thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting (this will prevent cake crumbs from accumulating in your final coat of frosting). Frost with remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
Adapted from Ovenly