My husband Trevor is a real guy’s guy. He likes the be outdoors, hunt, fish, grow serious facial hair and, of course, drink beer. He really likes to try new beers, but one classic in our house is Guinness. I love to bake with it for its really rich, chocolatey flavor. We aren’t big on getting each other elaborate gifts for Valentine’s Day, but I will make the day special with a good meal (I stocked up on the ShopRite beef tenderloin sale last week!) and a nice dessert. Some time together around the kitchen table chatting and being together as a family is pretty much what either of us want for Valentine’s Day.
Like I said, the beer takes this cake to just a whole new level. It adds such a depth of flavor to chocolate without tasting like there’s beer in the cake. Adding a touch of instant espresso powder to the frosting just gives the icing a little bit more of a grown-up taste. Then the sprinkles on top are from my two little ones. This is a classic cake in my house, and definitely something that’ll make anyone’s Valentine’s Day special!
(Note: I used all ShopRite store brand products unless otherwise noted, but everything was purchased at ShopRite)
Guinness Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
FOR THE CAKE:
FOR THE FROSTING:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper round; butter and flour parchment. Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in large bowl until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in lukewarm melted chocolate, then stout and coffee. Beat flour mixture into chocolate mixture in 2 additions just until incorporated.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions. Divide batter between prepared cake pans (about 3 cups for each); smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cakes to racks and cool in pans 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper and cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.
Place chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Combine whipping cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Pour cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (or for quick chilling, place frosting in freezer until thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes).
Using a serrated knife, trim rounded tops from both cake layers so that tops are flat. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round, then place on rack set over baking sheet. Drop 1 1/4 cups frosting by large spoonfuls over top of cake layer; spread frosting evenly to edges with offset spatula or butter knife. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.
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