St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner and folks are looking for ways to incorporate Irish products into their menu. Why not try it with this cake featuring Guinness Extra Stout? The notes of this stout give you a caramel flavor at the back of your pallate, which lend perfectly to the chocolate cake as well as the buttercream – that’s right, beer buttercream! One bottle of Guinness Extra Stout is all the Irish you will need to complete this recipe. The remaining ingredients are fairly common ingredients in your home.
The buttercream itself takes a little bit of planning, since the syrup used to sweeten it needs 4-6 hours of chill time in your refrigerator (or porch if you live in the upper belt like me). The rest is easy, and not much effort for the final reward. A tip for frosting any cake is to make sure your cake layers are fully chilled before icing to ensure the least amount of cake crumbs that break loose into your frosting layer, and chill the frosted cake for at least four hours as well as it will cut much easier too.
1 cup unsalted butter or butter-flavor shortening, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
1 c. Guinness Extra Stout
2 c. cake flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together – scraping the bowl if necessary to completely combine. Add baking soda, salt and eggs – one at a time, followed by the sour cream. Scrape the bowl again to make sure your ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add cocoa powder and mix on low to incorporate. Slowly pour in the Guinness Extra Stout, being careful not to splash. Finally add the cake flour and mix until ingredients are combined well.
Divide between desired amount of round cake pans that have been prepped with baking spray to ensure easy release. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, checking the cakes after 25 minutes with a toothpick inserted in the middle coming out clean to ensure they are done. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in pans for ten minutes, then invert the layers onto cooling racks. Chill completely before frosting.
2 cups sugar
1/2 c. Guinness Extra Stout
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. (1 stick) regular shortening, room temperature
Place sugar and water into a medium (4 qt.) saucepan and bring to boil, cook until a candy thermometer reaches softball stage (235-240 degrees). Remove from heat and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, then slowly pour in the hot syrup. Once all the syrup is added, set timer and allow mixture to whip for ten minutes. Pour syrup into a pitcher to cool. You will want to refrigerate the syrup for at least four hours, or overnight – you can also leave it on the counter to cool as well. Once syrup has cooled, take a spoon and remove the foam that has risen to the top (there is no need to get every ounce of it, just the majority).
Place clean bowl back in the mixer and add the butter and shortening with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed, stopping 2 or 3 times to scrape the bowl – ingredients should be light in color and have a whipped texture. Add the vanilla bean paste and slowly pour in the syrup. Place mixer on low and edge up to medium high until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the icing looks fluffy.