I will soon no longer be living in the source country of the finest whisky. In such a context, a liquor themed party seemed to make sense. My contribution came out quite strong, perfect for the occasion.
Whisky and Stout Chocolate Cake
For the Stout Chocolate Cake
- 250 ml stout beer (I used Belhaven, but Guinness will be easier to find)
- 140 g butter
- 70 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 480 g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g plain yogurt
- 340 g flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 0.25 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 160 °C fan and butter and line two 20 cm cake tins.
Place beer and butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, you will make the final batter here. When the butter is melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Next add eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated. Finally add the extract.
Combine and sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the saucepan, and whisk until just combined, follow by 1/2 of the yogurt, whisk until combined. Repeat and finish with the final 1/3 of dry ingredients.
Divide the batter between the two tins and level the surface.
Bake for around 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes, unmold, place on a wire rack and wait until completely cold.
For the Whisky Syrup
- 50 ml water
- 12 g sugar
- 50 ml whisky
To make the thin syrup, bring to boil the water and sugar placed in a high-sided saucepan, turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear and there are no more sugar crystals (3 minutes).
Mix in the whisky when the syrup is cold.
For the Whisky Cream Cheese Frosting
- 400 g cream cheese
- 150 g softened butter
- 40 g dark brown sugar
- 260 g sifted powder sugar
- 30 ml whisky
Beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter. Next mix brown sugar and sifted powder sugar on slow speed until smooth. Finally add whisky and beat until incorporated. Chill until the cake is cold. If it is too liquid (maybe because you want to increase the whisky), add more powder sugar to firm it up.
To assemble the cake
Slice each cake into two even layers. Place the first layer and lightly (or not) soak it with the whisky syrup using a pastry brush.
[You should put a few strips of parchment paper under your cake whilst you frost it if you are assembling directly on the cake stand; also, dollop some frosting directly on the stand to help stabilise the first layer.]
Cover the first layer with whisky cream cheese frosting. Continue in the same order until you place the last cake layer.
Crumb coat the exterior of cake with a little frosting and let it set in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Now frost the outside and top of the cake with more cream cheese frosting. Keep it in the fridge for now.
For the Chocolate Glaze
- 110 g dark chocolate
- 125 ml heavy cream
Be careful to always pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate placed in a cold container, if you add the chocolate to the cream, it will burn.
Remove cake from fridge and pour slightly thicken chocolate glaze over the top allowing it to drip over the sides. This ganache is quite thick, so help it drip on the sides with a spatula and then blend the chocolate with the frosting on the sides for a marbled effect.
The writing is done with melted white chocolate.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to eat.