Chocolate Stout Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Food Recipes by Lisë Stern / February, 2016

This deep dark chocolate cake gets added flavor from chocolate stout. Chef Ben Hasty says they use whatever chocolate stout they happen to have on tap.

Adapted from Thistle Pig.

1½ cups chocolate stout
½ cup strong black coffee
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1½ cups Valhrona cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt

1¾ cups (3½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean
pinch salt

1. Prepare the cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides and line with parchment paper. Butter paper.
2. In large saucepan over medium heat, bring stout, coffee, and butterto a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to blend eggs, vanilla, and yogurt.
4. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until just combined, taking care the stout mixture is cool enough that it will not cook the eggs. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto the racks and cool completely.
5. Prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium to whip butter for 8 minutes. The butter will become pale and creamy. Add 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla bean paste or seeds, and salt, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 6 minutes until the frosting is very light, creamy, and fluffy. If frosting seems too thin, add additional confectioners’ sugar as needed.
6. Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread some ofthe frosting on top. Place second layer, frost, and top with third layer, spreading frosting over the whole cake. Slice into wedges and serve.

Makes 10 to 12 servings