Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Guinness With a Floater of Bailey's

I have heard of Guinness Chocolate cake for awhile now.
I decided that, since I had 3 bottles of Guinness left over from St. Patrick's Day, I would go ahead and try it. For some reason the recipes didn't seem to jive, or rather, just didn't look "right". One, looked like it had way too much Baking Powder, which causes over-raising in the oven, which increases the possibility of fallen cake. The one from the actual Guinness web site never specified the size of pan. The last one I found contained Baking Soda, with no acid added (so where is the leavening). It actually sounded more like it was a Guinness Brownie, which sounds pretty good to me, but I wanted a cake. I finally found one that looked "normal" so I used that as my base. And because I ALWAYS have to mess with things; I altered the recipe. I can't help myself, it's a sickness. So what did I alter?
  • I added 2 oz of 55% chocolate, melted with the butter and beer
  • Added a pinch of Cayenne (Chocolate ALWAYS needs Cayenne, just a hint of warmth)
  • Reduced the Baking Soda by 1/4 tsp, to make the batter a little more acidic.
  • Separated the eggs and folded in the whites, after beating to stiff peaks, at the end for a little more lift. This is why I acidified the batter, to stabilize the egg whites.
Thankfully, it produced the texture in the cake that I was looking for, dense, but tender and moist.

I had already decided to use an Irish Cream Frosting... I was thinking of the alcoholic beer cocktail known as the "Irish Car Bomb". My original plan was an Italian Meringue ButterCrème flavored with some Bailey's... Then I remembered the Ermine frosting traditionally used on Red Velvet cake. The mouth feel of the frosting is similar to the feel of the foam on a pint of Guinness. All I needed to do is replace about 1/3 cup of the Milk with 1/3 cup Bailey's, add an extra 2 tsp of flour and reduce the sugar by about 3 TB.

Thus a cake is born.

Guinness Cake With a Floater of Bailey's
-or- Irish Car Bomb Cake

Natural Cocoa powder (Dust the baking pans)
1 cup Unsalted Butter
1 cup Guinness
2/3 cup Dutch Cocoa Powder
2 oz 55-65% Dark Chocolate
Pinch of Cayenne
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 cups AP flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 large eggs; Separated
1/2 cup sour cream
Irish Butter Creme (below)

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line two greased 8 inch pans with buttered parchment, then dust pans with natural cocoa powder.

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter with the Guinness and the Dutched Cocoa and 2 oz 55% dark Chocolate until smooth.

Remove from heat, stir in the Cayenne and salt, then set aside to cool.

Whisk the Flour, Sugar and Baking Soda together in a large bowl.

Add the cooled Guinness/Butter/Cocoa mixture beating at medium speed until well combined.

Add the egg yolks & sour Cream and beat 2 minutes more.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into batter.

Divide batter between the 2 prepared pans.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack, cool for 15 minutes, Slip spatula around the sides, unmold, peel parchment and cool completely.

Frost With Bailey's Ermine Frosting…….

1/3 cup Bailey's
2/3 cup Whole Milk
3 TB + 2 tsp AP Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 cup Unsalted butter
3/4 cup + 1 TB Granulated Sugar

In case you have not seen my post on Ermine frosting , here is a synopsis of the directions.

Whisk together Bailey's, Milk and Flour while everything is cold.
Place over medium-low flame and cook, whisking constantly until thickened.

Pour into a clean bowl to stop cooking and cover with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent crusting.

While the Custard is cooling, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

The custard will still be a little warm, that is OK, you just don't want it to be Hot.
Begin adding the custard, while the mixer is running on medium speed, by 1 TB at a time.
Wait until the previous TB has been well incorporated before adding the next.

When all the custard has been added, turn the mixer speed to medium-high and continue beating for about 3 minutes.

It is done when you hear a slapping sound against the side of the bowl (This is true of other ButterCrèmes as well).

OK, Cake Frost-age 101:

Now that your cake is cooled and your Ermine frosting is made.
Select a plate, and spread a little frosting on it to anchor the bottom layer to the plate.

Add about 1/2-3/4 cup of the frosting to the layer for a filling,

Place the top layer .

Place 1/2 - 3/4 cup on the top layer and spread ALL over the cake in a very thin "crumb" coat. This will hold down any crumbs and keep your final layer of frosting (The stuff thats left in the bowl) clean of crumbs.

Chill the cake for 30 minutes before applying the final coat of icing.

Apply the remainder of the frosting and spread evenly over the cake moving the frosting from the top and down the sides.

Final Coating and a little bit of decor (You didn't think I was gonna throw away the bottle cap did you?)

Ta Da!!!
Not my smoothest frosting job, but with this particular cake I am not so much worried about the presentation, it's more about the flavor in this case.


Bob said...

Uhm, where do you work? I'm going to start jogging now so I can be there when you cut that bad boy. ;)

Spryte said...

I showed this to Jon first thing this morning and he wants one!

Anonymous said...

Shane, please tell me there is some of this wonderful sounding cake left and you just sent me a slice. Hopefully a big one! Wow, sure sounds yummy.