While chocolate cake may not spring to mind as a particularly Irish dish, this one has Guinness in it, which is Irish enough for me! It is truly delectable - moist, rich, not too sweet.
CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE
Bon Appétit September 2002
Servings: Makes 12 servings.
My notes are in green (but of course).
(** I halved the entire recipe and used two 9-inch cake pans. What's below is the original recipe, though, so adjust accordingly depending on how much cake you want. **)
2 cups stout (such as Guinness) (which is what I used)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (The recipe actually says Dutch-process cocoa is best, but I used my regular Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder and it was fine.)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. (I just coated my pans with baking spray, nothing else, and they were fine.) Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours. Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. (** I put raspberry preserves in between the layers instead, then spread the ganache over the top and sides. **)