For a revised (and finalized) version of this cake recipe, please see the updated blog post:

https://wovensunshine.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/wildlands-stout-irish-whiskey-chocolate-cake-finalized-recipe/

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As I haven’t replaced my digital camera yet, i’m left to using the cell phone camera. I forgot to take a picture of it before we cut into it! I apologize for the crappy picture, but trust me, this is a lovely delicate dessert that will warm your soul.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I’m not much of a Valentine Day sort of woman, but having the occasion to makes something for Archangel, I went ahead and modified a Guinness/Whiskey cupcake recipe and made this six layer chocolate cake.

I wanted to make a small chocolate cake that we could enjoy for dessert without creating a huge cake. As such, I chose to use three small 4″ spring pans to create a tall tower-like cake with six layers.  In retrospect, this cake could feed 4-8 people.

The cake was moist and flavorful, sweet but not overwhelming. The chocolate whipped cream frosting lightened each bite while the chocolate ganache covering (beneath the whipped cream) held in the moisture of the cake. We each had a piece with a side of Four Roses Single Barrel (100 proof) bourbon. A lovely after dinner treat.

I chose to use two different types of frosting— a whiskey ganache and a chocolate whipped cream frosting.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare spring form pans by buttering and flour dusting the bottoms and sides.

Cake:

1/2 c. Stout (find the darkest stout you can. Guinness will work in a pinch, but i recommend finding a craft stout)
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. cocoa
1 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. plain yogurt (in lieu of sour cream)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Simmer stout and butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk flour, cayenne, cinnamon, sugar, soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

3. In a mixer, beat eggs and yogurt together until well incorporated.  Add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Divide the batter into three prepared 4″ spring form pans.

Bake for approximatley 17-20 minutes, rotating mid-way through the baking time. Allow to cool in their pans for 10 minutes prior to removing and placing on a rack to cool completely.

Ganache:

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. whiskey (your choice. I prefer Bushmills)

Chop chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl along with the butter. Heat the cream in a sauce pan until it boils. Remove immediately from the heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. Allow it to sit for at least three minutes.  Whisk until smooth.

Remove 1/3 of the chocolate and set aside (we’ll use this melted chocolate to make the chocolate whipped crea frosting).  Returning to the remaining chocolate, add Tbsp of whiskey and whisk until well incorporated. All the ganache to come up to room temperature–do not place in the fridge.

Whipped chocolate frosting:

Place the small portion of chocolate ganache (set aside previously) into a mixer. Turn on medium high speed and alternate between adding powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream.  Scrap down sides frequently. Add the sugar and the cream at 1 tablespoon intervals.

Remove from the mixing bowl and let sit in the fridge until well-chilled.

Assembly:

1. Bisect each cake layer with a bread knife.

2. Place a spoonful of frosting onto the serving plate and place first layer ontop of this frosting. Alternating the filling between the layers using the the chocolate ganache and whipped chocolate frosting, assemble the cake.

3. Once the cake is assembled, place a thin layer of chocolate ganache on the top and sides of the cake. Place in the fridge to allow the cake and gananche to stiffen (about half an hour). Remove from the fridge and with a light touch, place a layer of whipped cream frosting ontop of the chocolate ganache using a butter knife and quick movements.

Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.I added a few sprigs of fresh lavendar to the top of the cake for garnish.

This cake was a delicious end to a simple meal: braised Brussel sprouts in basalmic vinegar and EVO, roasted beets (with lemon and cumin), and baked Cordon Bleu (with thyme, goat cheese and apple wood smoked bacon).

Enjoy!

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