Tessa Huff

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Grown-up Birthday Stout Cake

Grown-up Birthday Stout Cake

What do you bake your big bro for his birthday - post New Year's resolutions?  Something extra indulgent, of course!

I had high, high hopes for stating off 2014 with new exercise goals, eating healthy, and being more productive and organized.  And then I got poisoned.  Food poisoning, that is.  I was so proud of myself for being able to hold off any cold and avoid the flu all throughout 2013, that I got sidelined for a week at the very beginning of this year.  I hope that's not some-sort of flu karma or anything.  So even though my fridge was stocked with dark, leafy greens and fresh produce and I started planning out the next few months in my shinny, new 2014 calendar, I spent days upon days on the couch eating only rice and bread while watching more Netflix than I am willing to admit.  Now that I've already crashed and burned my way into January, why not throw it all out the window and really celebrate the birth of my older brother?!

This grown-up birthday cake has it all: booze, beer, and espresso.  While in the past I've typically made my brother his favorite carrot cake with cream cheese icing (in fact, the carrot cake recipe I used when running The Frosted Cake Shop was developed especially for him- not nuts, no raisins), I wanted to make something extra bold and flavorful this year.  While I am not usually a whiskey fan myself, my fellow Canadians seem to really favor it.  It definitely seems that this part of the world drinks their fair share of Old Fashions and Whiskey Sours (the latter being one that I can actually handle).  While I've done a whiskey ganache in the past, I wanted to try mixing it with coffee.  Paired with a chocolate stout cake, this coffee buttercream and whiskey-espresso glaze are perfect for celebrating an adult birthday with a bang.

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Grown-up Birthday Stout Cake (three 6-inch round cakes - could also be baked as two 8 or 9-inch rounds.  Bake time will vary)
Ingredients

  • 1 cup Guinness Stout beer
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulates sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
  3. Combine stout and butter in a medium-large sauce pan. Heat until butter is melted.
  4. Meanwhile, combine sour cream, eggs, and extract. Set aside.
  5. Over medium heat, whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar until combined.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream mixture.
  7. Whisk in dry ingredients until smooth.
  8. Pour into prepared baking pans.
  9. Bake until centers are done (about 22-24 minutes)

Whiskey Coffee Glaze
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  1. Place cream, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a small sauce pan.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat until creams begins to steam and powders begin to dissolve. Stir to combine.
  3. Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Let stand 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk to combine in melted chocolate.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
  6. Let glaze come to room temperature (about 10 minutes) before drizzling over cake.

For the assembly, I filled each layer of cake with the buttercream, as well as adding a layer to the top of the cake.  I kept the outside "naked" but made sure to fill in any major gaps between layers so the glaze could nicely drip down.

For the buttercream, dissolve 2 tablespoons instants expresso into 1/4 cup hot water and beat into a small batch of vanilla buttercream (about 2 cups worth).

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