Thanks to Courtney Mosher for this delicious and arresting delicacy. This cake, when made with Special Dark Dutch Process Cocoa, is very dark – almost black. Please don’t overbake it. The cake is ready when it still looks wet in the oven, but a knife inserted in the middle of the cake is just barely clean.
1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar (also known as Baker’s or caster sugar)
3/8 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the icing:
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch high-walled pan* and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour (again, don’t overbake!). Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
For the icing: using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable. The icing will be slightly loose.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.
Yield: one giant-ass muthafuckin’ cake.
* A deep springform is ideal, except Abbi’s didn’t work, and the goddamn thing hemmorhaged all over my kitchen before I did a just-barely “rescue” into two smaller cake pans – unbuttered, dammit!