Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Irish Insanity Cake

Apologies for the some-time hiatus, but there was traveling and then there was general busyness and then there was a whole week in there when I had no one to cook for. I now completely understand why single people never eat. Where's the motivation? It's so much trouble for just you. And there's no one to wash your dishes.

Well, anyway, here's to the times you're eating with your roommates or significant others or just get tired of the supermarket salad bar.

Specifically, here's to the time when you want a pretty spectacular dessert flavored with not one but TWO irish boozes: Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream. Zing! Start with a chocolate stout cake, frost it with some Bailey's buttercream, then drizzle it all with a deep, dark chocolate ganache. The best part is, my little recipe makes 3-4 servings of cake, depending on your baking pans, so you won't be tempted (and believe me, you would be tempted) to polish off an entire layer cake by your lonesome.

Guinness Cake with Bailey's Irish (Butter)Cream and Chocolate Ganache
(Adapted from Bon Appetit; serves 4; total cook, cool, and ice time, about 1 hr)

For the Cake:
1/4 cup Guinness
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 beaten egg (or 2 Tbsp egg substitute)
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream

For the Frosting:
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 tsp Bailey's

For the Ganache:
2 Tbsp cream (heavy or light, whatev)
2 oz. dark chocolate
  1. For the cake: preheat oven to 350ยบ. Carefully melt together butter, cocoa, and Guinness until smooth. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, soda and salt in a small bowl, and eggs/sour cream in another. Slowly add chocolate-Guinness mixture to egg/sour cream, whisking constantly. Add dry ingredients and fold in.
  2. Grease and flour a cake pan. I happen to have a 6-inch square cake pan, which made perfect sized layers, but a 5-7 inch round would do OK too. You could also go smaller and make a thick cake instead of layers, just increase the baking time a bit. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
  3. For the frosting: beat butter creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat well. Add Bailey's teaspoon by teaspoon until you reach desired consistency. Yum. Cut cooled cake in half and frost as you would a full layer cake.
  4. For the ganache: gently melt (or microwave) the chocolate and cream together, stirring smooth. Pour over frosted cake.

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