I really enjoy Suzanne Goin's approach to food. Her dishes are simple, rustic and satisfying. She runs four acclaimed restaurants in Los Angeles. At Tavern, there's an in-house bakery called Larder with lots of gorgeous stuff. Her cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, won an award from the James Beard Foundation and the pastry recipes I've tried have all been delicious. And since we're heading into Guinness and chocolate territory over the next several days, I thought I'd try her Chocolate Stout Cake.
The interesting thing about this cake is that the chocolate really takes a back seat to the bold flavor of molasses and the addition of lots of spice. There are equal parts of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, so there's no mistaking the fact that this cake has a gingerbread feel. The Guinness bridges all these strong elements and rounds out the flavor beautifully. The cake is made with oil so it's quick to mix and super moist. I like it simply served with a dollop of whipped cream. It would also be terrific with vanilla or caramel ice cream, of course!
- I haven't tried this with any other brand of beer so I recommend you go with Guinness.
- I halved the recipe to bake in an 8" cake pan. If you'd like to double the recipe and bake in a bundt pan as Suzanne does, use 3 whole eggs.
- Note that the baking soda is added to the molasses and beer rather than sifted with the dry ingredients.
- Use natural cocoa powder rather than dutched.
- The recipe doesn't include salt but I added a 1/4 teaspoon to the dry ingredients
- Store cake in an airtight container.
Chocolate Stout Cake
adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
1 C flour
1/4 C + 2 T cocoa powder
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
[I added 1/4 t salt]
1/2 C Guinness stout
1/2 C molasses
3/4 t baking soda
1 egg yolk
1/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C canola oil
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8" x 2" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg [and salt, if using].
Place the beer and molasses in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will rise and foam.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk and both sugars until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the oil and then add the beer mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Whisk slowly just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out mostly clean when inserted in the middle, about 28 - 30 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake and remove the parchment. Invert the cake again and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.