My fitness center friend, Norma Brooks, shared this recipe with me and it has become our favorite family cake. All three of my daughters bake it for their celebrations! It is a beautiful firm rich cake and is worth purchasing 3 large 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch high round baking pans. Using the traditional 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch baking pans works, but you’ll need 5 and decreased baking time. You can make a very tall cake, or freeze 2 or 3 of these smaller layers for a later time. I prefer the 3 larger pans.
2 cups (16 oz) Guinness Stout
1 lb. butter
1 1/2 cups unsweeted cocoa powder (Hersheys Regular or Extra Dark)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 cups (16 oz) heavy whipping cream
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the large 2 1/2 inch high x 9 inch wide baking pans.
- Line buttered pans with parchment paper by drawing a circle using the bottom of the pans as patterns and place circles into the buttered pans.
- Now butter the parchment.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring Guinness and butter just to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer/Kitchen Aid, beat eggs and sour cream just until blended.
- Add the stout-butter-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat briefly at low speed till combined.
- Add flour mixture to batter and mix at low speed just till blended. Use a rubber spatula to thoroughly mix.
- Divide batter into the 3 large baking pans.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake.
- Place cakes on cooling racks for 10-20 minutes. Then turn cakes out of pans onto these racks. Remove parchment paper.
- Cool completely. If you leave them overnight, wrap in plastic wrap when cool.
Frosting takes a few hours because this involves cooling, so don’t wait to the last minute to make the frosting.
- In a medium size heavy saucepan bring the cream just to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until melted and smooth.
- The frosting will be thin at this point. It thickens as it cools.
- I use one of two methods for cooling the icing. 1. Pour the icing in a bowl and whisk it within another bowl of ice water until cooled and spreadable. OR 2. Pour the icing into a bowl and place it in the refrigerator with the whisk sitting in the bowl. Check the frosting every 5 minutes and whisk it until it is spreadable. If it’s refrigerated too long it will become hard
- When frosting is spreadable, choose your serving platter and place the bottom layer of cake on it. Place a layer of icing on the cake. Top this with the 2nd cake and frost it’s top. Now layer on the 3rd cake. First frost the sides of this 3 layer giant and finally frost the top of your cake. Voila!
- I find it is best to place thinner layers in between the cakes and reserve plenty of frosting for the sides and top.
- This is a very moist cake that does not need ice cream. To cut slices, I cut the cake in half. Use one half at a time and cut perpendicular thin slices (but thick enough to maintain it’s shape.)