Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Chocolate Ganache

It’s March. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?! Life is weird and Mercury is in retrograde but this cake makes up for all of it. ;) Plus, this weekend is St. Paddy’s Day so it’s a perfect excuse to make some cake. This cake is delicious and super rich so all you need is a small slice (aka it will feed a huge group of people)! Three layers of a moist, fluffy chocolate stout cake with rich and creamy chocolate ganache in between. Oh, and did I mention that the ganache has irish cream in it???

If you’re looking for a cake that really tastes like Guinness or Baileys Irish Cream, you’re in the wrong place. The addition of stout and Irish cream in this particular recipe just really brings out a deeper and richer chocolate flavor overall. That’s actually one of my favorite aspects about it.

Ganache tip #1: There is a point where the ganache is too soft to spread on the cake but then too hard to spread evenly so I would test it out on the extra layer (YES, there’s an extra layer!) before you start putting it on the actual cake.

Ganache tip #2: You’ll want to but don’t eat too much of the ganache before you put it on the cake! This recipe makes JUST enough..but if you want thicker ganache, I suggest making 1.5-2x the recipe listed below.

Every once in a while I get the urge to make a dessert totally and completely over the top. This was one of those times. After contemplating on adding a 4th layer I resisted but only because I didn’t have enough chocolate ganache. So yeah, this cake comes with a bonus layer–do what you wish with it (cake pops, anyone?).

Let’s get festive for St. Paddy’s Day! :)

Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Ganache

This recipe was adapted from Oui, Chef.

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache
 
 

Serves: 12

Ingredients
For the Stout Cake:
  • 2 cups stout (A 14.9oz tall can of Guiness is the exact amount!)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 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
For the Ganache:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup baleys (optional but encouraged)
  • sprinkles (again, optional but encouraged)

Instructions
For the Ganache
  1. In a large saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat and then whisk in the chocolate until everything is incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate the icing until it is at a good consistency to spread – about 2 hours (stirring every 20-30-mins).
  4. [you could also make this the night before and then microwave it for 15 second intervals until it softens to the right consistency - that's what I did!!].
For the Stout Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter 4 6-inch pans and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring the stout and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder while whisking until everything is incorporated. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
  5. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together using a hand mixer. Slowly add the Stout/chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream bowl and beat just enough to combine.
  6. Then add the flour mixture a little at a time, using a rubber spatula to fold and mix everything together (don’t overmix!).
  7. Divide the batter in the prepared pans (I filled mine about 2/3 of the way up).
  8. Bake for about 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the middle. Then place the cakes on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. After that, release the cake from the pans and let them cool completely on the cooling rack.
To Assemble the Cake
  1. Once the cakes are cooled, even out the top of each layer so that it is flat by using a large knife.
  2. Place the first layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of ganache on the top. Repeat for the other two layers.
  3. To frost the top/outside of the cake, place a large amount of ganache on the top and then spread it from the center to the edges, allowing excess ganache to go over the edge and onto the side of the cake.
  4. Then add more ganache (as much as needed) to finish frosting the sides of the cake.
  5. Optional: Top with some fun festive sprinkles.
  6. Let ganache set (about 15-30 mins) and then serve!

Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? I think my favorite part of Thanksgiving was when I caught my adult cousin literally licking her plate clean :) Trust me, I was thinking of doing the sammme thing…she just beat me to it.

Now that Turkey Day over, the Christmas season is starting to set in! Warm fires, snow, hot drinks, fudge, cookies, ugly sweaters, Christmas movies, Christmas SONGS. The list goes on.

My favorite drink? This mulled cider!! It’s so warm and tasty. One sip makes me want to curl up under a blanket and watch Christmas movies back-to-back all weekend long (too bad it’s Monday!). And if you’re not a grandma like me who enjoys the occasional spiked drink while watching movies on a Saturday night, I guaranteeeee that this cider would be a hit at any holiday party!! It’s really easy to make and one pot serves a small gathering.

The trick to this cider is using unfiltered apple juice. And fresh fruit. Fresh fruit always wins.

The fruit and spice blend create a magnificent aroma, and you can barely taste the rum but it adds a really wonderful flavor to the drink (you can add more rum or omit it entirely if you’d like too!)

Oh, and your house will smell AMAZING when you make this!! Not. even. kidding. Warning: This cider goes fast so you may want to get enough ingredients to make two (or three) batches :)

What’s your favorite holiday drink???

Happy Monday!!

Mulled Cider with Spiced Rum
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 64 oz. bottle of unfiltered apple juice
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 orange
  • 4-5 cinamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup of spiced rum (more or less to your taste)

Instructions
  1. Heat up the apple juice in a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
  2. While the apple juice is heating up, cut the apple and orange into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Add the apple and orange slices to the warm apple juice.
  4. Then add the cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to the juice.
  5. Turn the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the spiced rum and let it the mixture warm up (just until it’s hot enough to drink or else you’ll burn off all the alcohol!).
  7. Once it’s warm, remove from heat and serve immediately.

Notes
- You can add as much or as little rum as you’d like to this recipe. – You can also strain the mixture when it’s ready but honestly, I’ve never done this and I think the cider tastes great! Just make sure you don’t accidentally drink the cloves. :) – Add a cinnamon stick to each cup for garnish, along with a slice of apple and orange. – The apple and orange slices will have a stronger rum flavor than the drink itself.

 

Last weekend, the friends and I went on our annual camping and tubing trip at Cache Creek. Cache Creek isn’t really a hard-core-hike-to-your-site-bring-only-what-you-can-carry sort of experience. It’s more of a pull-off-the-highway-and-pitch-tents-on-the-lawn-with-neighbors-five-feet-away-from-you sort of deal. I know that may not sound like that much fun to some, but I love it. Movie projected on a screen under the stars? Got it. Bathrooms and a generator? Check. Steak tips, baked beans in a dutch oven, OYSTERS, grilled corn, hot dogs, burgers, and a bacon lattice (just like last year!)? Done and DONE.

I love the summertime.

Don’t take it for granted! Here are 10 recipes that you should consider making soon because before we know it, it’s going to be Fall and we will be wishing for 100 degree weather and fun weekends to play by the water :)

10 Things to Make Before Summer is Over

1. Red Wine Sangria

2. Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna

3. Grilled Flatbread with Bacon, Artichoke, Arugula, and Goat Cheese

4. Avocado, Mango, and Strawberry Fruit Salad

5. Hash Brown Crusted Quiche with Bacon

6. Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

7. Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Orang Smoothie

8. Strawberry and Feta Salad

9. Spicy Guacamole with Corn and Black Beans

 10. Garlic Edamame

 

Happy Monday! Oh, how I already miss the weekend. So before I go on about this beautiful and delicious drink, I have some news! I am officially starting invisalign! WOAH. I know, random. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while and have finally sucked it up and started the process. The only thing that worries me is that I have to remove the invisalign trays EVERY time I eat and then go brush my teeth.

This is going to be an issue because I snack all the time! Like, every hour. So I will be dramatically changing my daily eating habits and will share my journey on invisalign as things start to happen. I got impressions made earlier this week so in about 6-8 weeks, everything will begin! In the meantime, I just going to snack until I drop! Snack, snack, snack…all day long.

Oh, and this is embarrassing but I’m pretty sure I BIT the dental assistant. Yep. No biggie. UMMMM, I almost got out of the chair and walked out it was so embarrassing! More on that later.

Back to the mojitos!

OH, these mojitos. They are so fresh tasting and delicious. And yay for antioxidants! Not only is the drink so tasty but it’s also healthy for you (right???). I used the blueberries I got from the farmers market, and let me tell ya, on a hot summer’s day these mojitos will do the trick. Just don’t try to taste test 4 glasses of them. Oops.

And if you’re not a fan of rum or want to make it kid-friendly, replace it with some more club soda and make this drink a spritzer! DE-LISH. Delish.

Blueberry Mojito Recipe

Mint Simple Syrup (makes enough syrup for about 6 drinks)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 mint leaves
Mojito (makes 1 serving)
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 10 fresh blueberries
  • 1.5 ounce simple syrup
  • 1-1.5 ounce rum (depending on how strong you like it)
  • juice of one lime
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • ice
  • more blueberries for garnish (I used about 8 more)
1. To make the simple syrup, combine the ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a small boil over medium heat while stirring. Once the mixture boils, turn down the heat to low for an additional minute or two. Then remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is at room temperature.
2. Add the blueberries, mint, and simple syrup to the cup. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler, muddle the mint leaves and blueberries until the berries have burst and is mixing well with the mint. Add the rum, lime juice, and then throw in some ice. Drop in the rest of the blueberries for garnish and add the club soda. Stir.
3. Add a sprig of fresh mint for garnish and enjoy immediately.

Last weekend, I drove up to HOT, HOT, HOT Davis, CA to celebrate with 4 of my friends who were graduating. Two of them received their undergraduate degrees and the other two completed their masters programs! I’m so proud of them. Look out, World, here come the grads!!!

How amazing is this card that our friend Rachel MADE for the occasion? (Our school has a huge water tower that you can spot from the freeway and UC Davis is known for having a bunch of cows.)

Best part? Ohhh, ya know…a taco truck catered the graduation event. WHAT. WHAT. I know, amazing. Fresh tortillas, hot meats, and spicy salsas.

Don’t let the sweet looking green salsa fool you either. That “hot” salsa was insanely spicy! And delicious :)

We also enjoyed some homebrew and lots of fresh fruit to keep us cool (did I mention it was around 102 degrees that day?). Oh, and there were delicious popsicles! Strawberries and cream, pistachio, walnut, and a couple more flavors…ALL delicious.

As you can see, everyone loved them…

Cute, naked babies running around, breathtaking sunsets, catching up with friends, delicious tacos, and some good ol’ all-you-can-eat sushi made the entire weekend complete.

Um…I think we also all agreed that these were some of the best strawberries we’ve ever had!

BABY PHOTO BOMB! Can you spot the cute little guy below? :)

And brace yourself for this next pic. Adorable to the MAX.

I also got to spend some time with my old co-workers from Davis. I can’t even begin to tell you how great it was to see their smiling faces. I hadn’t seen them in over 5 months! 5 months too long, if you ask me. That won’t happen again!

‘Twas a great weekend!! :)

Congrats on graduating Sheeter, Nicole, Marcus, and Jaime!

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