Late as usual! This year, having been at the US Air Guitar Dark Horse and National Finals in Los Angeles, I have been a bit delayed – this cake, and the next thing I’m going to post, were from a backyard BBQ we had the weekend before. It was both to celebrate our new porch being finished and it having just been Matt’s birthday (hence the cake), and it was supposed to turn into a big watergun fight… but not enough people showed up, so we just hung around drinking beer and eating and talking. Which is its own kind of nice, anyway.
This recipe came from Simply Life, and I accidentally changed the amount of cocoa powder that went into it – I forgot it was only supposed to be 3/4 cup and threw in a whole cup. I can’t say that this was a problem or anything. Also, I thought the icing was too thick when I made it, so I threw in some more cream and it wound up being too thin, more of a glaze, so never mind it – the cake was so chocolatey (thanks to my awesome extra cocoa powder mistake) that it didn’t need it.
Vanilla-Stout Chocolate Cake
2 cups vanilla stout
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup pastry flour (or 1 cup minus 2 tbsp, plus 2 tbsp cornstarch, whisked together)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray – in my case, I had to be sure to give it a really good spraying to make sure it came out right. It didn’t last time
Heat the beer in a small pot over low heat.
Reduce by half (I always wind up having to eyeball that stuff), which might take around 10 minutes.
Stir in the butter until it melts.
Stir in the cocoa powder as well until everything is nicely combined.
Remove from the heat and let cool while you do the other stuff.
Whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup.
Whisk in the beer mixture into the egg mixture in a slow stream (you want to temper the eggs by adding the warm stuff slowly, so as not to make scrambled eggs).
Then, mix in the flour mixture. You don’t want to overmix – just until just combined – but that may be easier said than done since you can probably expect some “powder bubbles.”
Pour into the bundt pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Cool in the pan, right-side up, on a rack for 5 minutes.
Then invert it and take it out to cool the rest of the way on the rack.
So here’s the thing, I had meant to use a chocolate stout, like on Simply Life. But it’s summer, and there aren’t a lot of stouts around. I couldn’t use a plain stout, because I’ve done that before. Eventually, I found a vanilla one. I got all excited about it when I got home and told Matt, and he said “Uh oh.” Uh oh? Apparently there’s this one vanilla stout that isn’t very good… and that’s what I got. I can tell you, though, a stick of butter and a cup of cocoa powder really improve it.