dark chocolate stout cake with minty swiss buttercream & ganache.

Are you seeing this cake right now?

Isn’t it the greenest, most chocolatey, most super fun St. Patrick’s Day cake you’ve ever seen?

Mint, chocolate, stout beer and Irish cream, all hanging out together in the same cake, just being delicious and such.

Basically, this layer cake is kind of a big deal.

I am totally smitten with any and all things reminiscent of mint chocolate chip. Seriously, what’s not to like about deep, dark swoon-worthy chocolate paired up with bright, clean, tingly mint? Mint and chocolate are a power couple, and for good reason–they just work so well together! Culinary BFFs!

I am also hereby head-over-heels for any cake covered in ganache. This isn’t a new development, mind you, but I just thought it was worth sharing. Important things.

I just love the drama of it all; the warm ganache poured atop a chilled cake, flowing over the sides in beautifully uneven drapes and drips. The cold of the cake eventually stops the warm ganache in its tracks, leaving you with a cake that’s partially enrobed in decadent ganache. It’s all very sexy, I think.

Oh! I forgot to mention that this here cake is of the boozy variety, one of my favorite sub-species of cakes!

There’s a healthy amount of stout beer in the batter, which complements and accents the depth of chocolate goodness going on here. I found the chocolate cake itself to be a bit strong when sampled on its own, but once frosted and covered in ganache, the flavor is mellowed and calmed just enough to become something totally crave-able.

Remember that one time I made mint chocolate Irish cream liqueur? I’ve been looking for any and every way to incorporate it into every baked good I make lately, and this cake is no exception. The mint buttercream is infused with minty Irish cream! It’s mint on mint action!

Also, it is delicious just eaten with a spoon. Not that I’ve been doing that or anything.

I really can’t think of any other cake I would rather indulge in while drinking beer and eating corned beef and cabbage.

In fact, I’d probably skip the corned beef and just unhinge my jaw and swallow this cake whole, who am I kidding?

Normally when I’m taste-testing scrumptious baked goods, I try to be good and only eat a few bites, or one tiny piece. You know, moderation and such.

Usually, I can control myself. No such luck with this cake–it’s a little bit too delicious for its own good.

I may or may not have savored an entire slice while taking photos, and went back for another piece after dinner. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

What I can tell you, however is that this is basically the most perfect layer cake for St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s really simple to put together! If you’re having friends over to drink and celebrate this Saturday, you should definitely serve this for dessert. You’ll be a hero. True story.

…Good luck resisting the urge to slice into it before dinner is served!

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Minty Swiss Buttercream & Ganache

Ingredients:

For the Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

Unsalted butter, softened, for pans
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups natural cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup warm stout beer (microwave 30-40 seconds)
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon coffee extract
½ teaspoon espresso powder

For the Minty Swiss Buttercream

2 egg whites
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed (cube it while cold, then let it get soft)
¼ cup irish cream liqueur
1 teaspoon pure mint extract
green food coloring (optional)

For the Ganache

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (chocolate chips work just fine!)
8 ounces heavy cream

Directions:

For the Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.

Butter two 7-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess.

Sift the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment fitted on.

Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, stout beer, oil, vanilla, coffee extract and espresso powder. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter between pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack. Place face up and allow to cool completely.

When the cakes are completely cool, slice the domed tops off using a serrated knife. Slice each cake evenly in half so you end up with four total layers, and set aside.

For the Minty Swiss Buttercream

Place a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water on the stove over medium-high heat.

In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.

Place the bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly until the mixture reaches 145 degrees F and does not feel grainy any longer.

Transfer to the bowl of stand mixer with the whisk attachment on.
Whip the egg white mixture on medium for about 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue is light and fluffy, and the bottom of the stand mixer bowl doesn't feel warm.

Switch to the paddle attachment, and turn the mixer on low.
Add the butter, one or two cubes at a time, about 10-15 seconds apart, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

After all the butter is added, the mixture may look slightly curdled or watery, but let the mixer keep working. the buttercream will magically become soft, smooth and fluffy!

Turn the mixer off, and add the irish cream, mint extract and food coloring. Turn the mixer on low for 10-15 seconds, then increase to high and mix until combined, fluffy and desired color.

Turn the mixer off and give the buttercream a mix with a rubber spatula. It's ready to use!

For the Ganache

Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.

Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until steaming but not boiling. Small bubbles will form around the edges of the pan.

Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for 30 seconds before whisking vigorously until ganache is smooth and combined.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly before using.

Assembling the Cake

Add a small quarter-sized dollop of buttercream to a cardboard cake round or directly onto your serving plate/cake stand, and add the first cake layer.

Place about 3-4 tablespoons of buttercream on top of the layer and spread evenly in a single layer using a small offset spatula or butter knife.

Repeat with the remaining layers until all layers are on the cake.

Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the buttercream on top of the cake and spread the frosting in smooth, even strokes across the top and over the sides.

Spread the buttercream all the way to the bottom of the cake, and smooth the sides and top with your spatula.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, or up to an hour.

After the cake is chilled, remove from the fridge and pour about 1/2 a cup of the slightly warm ganache over the top of the cake in the center. Using a small offset spatula, spread the ganache slowly towards the sides, allowing it to naturally drip over the sides.

Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes in the fridge before slicing and serving.

The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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19 Responses to “dark chocolate stout cake with minty swiss buttercream & ganache.”

  1. #
    1
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — March 12, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I love you. Enough said.

  2. #
    2
    Alison @ ingredients, Inc. — March 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

    omg i love this!

  3. #
    3
    Kathy - Panini Happy — March 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

    YUM! This looks so fantastic. I still have never tried a chocolate stout cake and now I *really* can’t try one. Namely this one!

  4. #
    4
    Home with Mandy — March 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Yes, this is the most super fun St. Patrick’s Day cake I’ve ever seen!!! I wish I wasn’t so afraid of Ganache…or baking…

  5. #
    5
    DessertForTwo — March 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Culinary BFFs! Love it :)

  6. #
    6
    Cassie — March 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I can’t get over how gorgeous this is. Amazing Jaclyn!

  7. #
    7
    Natalie — March 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    jaclyn- i am in love-at-first-sight with this cake! excellent job and beautiful photos!!

  8. #
    8
    Katie — March 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    mmmm this looks and sounds delish. I make chocolate stout cupcakes so I can only imagine how amazing this cake is! p.s. love your bunting banner hanging from the cake!

  9. #
    9
    thelittleloaf — March 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    OMG love love LOVE this cake! Did I mention that I love it? Chocolate mint Aero bars are all all time favourite chocolate and this basically looks like a massive grown up version of one, yum!

  10. #
    10
    Bev Weidner — March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    O.M.G.

  11. #
    11
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — March 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Amazingly drool-worthy :D

  12. #
    12
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    This cake is so pretty!

  13. #
    13
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Oh wouldn’t this be the most perfect thing to make for the parade this weekend. You definitely have me drooling over here.

  14. #
    14
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — March 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    This cake is gorgeous! And the flavors sound scrumptious.

  15. #
    15
    Zanna — March 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    That looks so deliciously wrong! Cannot wait to try it!! It´s even more glamourous on the inside than the outside! Beautiful!

  16. #
    16
    ErinsFoodFiles — March 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Adorable!

  17. #
    17
    Jekka — March 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Where did you get that super, awesome cake stand?!

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