Sunday, June 17, 2012

Manly Desserts: Guinness Chocolate Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

Manly Guinness Chocolate Cake for Manly Men
Happy Father's Day! Today, we celebrated dear, old Dad. Many of you spent the day with Dad, as I did, participating in his favourite activities, or Dadtitivies. Golfing, fishing, boating, hunting, NASCAR — all the manly-man things Dad does anyway, but on Father's Day we get to go with him.

My Dad chose his favourite activity — lunch. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as that's my favourite activity, too. We took him to his favourite lunch spot (Tim Horton's), and then back home for a home-baked treat.
When deciding on a dessert for Father's Day, I wanted to get as far away as possible from the pink, frilly, girly desserts I usually make. It had to be manly. What's more manly than beer? I asked myself. And the what's the manliest of beers? Why, Guinness stout, of course. Thick and chewy, rich and nutty; stout beer is slightly hoppy but oh, so smooth. It partners perfectly with chocolate. For the frosting, I made a simple cream cheese frosting. To make it manlier, I added some Bailey's irish cream liqueur, continuing the boozed-up theme.
Guinness Chocolate Cake, filled with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and topped with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

The cake turned out rich and moist. You can taste the Guinness, but it's not overwhelming at all. It adds a tangy acidity to the chocolate cake, offset by the sweet cream cheese frosting. I made a bittersweet chocolate ganache and used that as a filling between the cake layers. This recipe makes fantastic cupcakes as well (see link below). This is a softer frosting, so it doesn't pipe out very well. When I frosted the cupcakes, I added a couple more cups of icing sugar to make it stiffer.

This recipe makes a 2 - 9" cake layers, or 24 cupcakes. Double it, as I did, for 4 - 9" cake layers. I made 3 layers, and used the rest of the batter for cupcakes. 
Mmmm.... cupcakes with booze

Guinness Chocolate Cake, with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting
Based on this recipe by Nook & Pantry
Ingredients (Cake)
Makes 2-9" cake layers
(Ganache and Frosting ingredients & method below)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups Guinness stout beer (most of a 440ml can)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 - 9" cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg, beat until combined. Add second egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add sour cream, beat until combined. Scrape sides of mixing bowl after each addition.
  5. With mixer running on slow speed, slowly pour in Guinness and mix until combined. It might look a little curdled or separated, but that's ok at this point.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks, then remove cake from pans. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 2 cups of ganache

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter

  1. Heat cream in a small saucepan on the stove until it reaches the boiling point, but don't let it boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Using a food processor, chop chocolate into very fine crumbs.
  3. With processor running, slowly add hot cream through the feed tube, and process another 30 seconds until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Pour chocolate/cream mixture into a bowl, and add butter, stirring until melted.
  5. Refrigerate until thickened.
  6. When ready to use ganache as a cake filling, remove from refrigerator and beat ganache, using the whisk attachment, until fluffy and lighter in colour. Depending on how cold the ganache is, this could take a few minutes.

Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add icing sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add Bailey's and stir until combined. If the frosting is too soft to use at first, refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so.

Assemble the Cake
  1. Place one cake layer on a decorative cake plate. Spoon on 1 cup of beaten ganache and spread until covered. (You will have left-over ganache)
  2. Add second layer. Cover top layer with 1 cup of cream cheese frosting, spreading evenly to sides.
  3. Cover sides with remaining cream cheese frosting. Make decorative swirls if you like.
  4. Sift a little cocoa over the top for decoration.


Natalie Cakes said...

Looks not so manly, need a beer. Now that a manly desserts.

Liva said...

Your blog is truly fantastic!
Loove it.

Liva, Denmark,

Martin said...

Made this a couple of weeks ago - it was fantastic!