Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope that all of you enjoy Mardi Gras and get to feast a bit before the fast of Lent begins. I’ll personally be eating a big stack of pancakes tonight (our family tradition) with bacon. And not even turkey bacon…the real stuff. Then to top it off, I’ll enjoy the last big slice of this delicious cake I made for St. Valentines Day.
You better believe I’ll savor every bite because…I’m giving up sweets and dessert for Lent. Yep, Vita Dulcis will be lacking in the sugar department for the next 40 days. You want to know the sad thing? I just decided this last night. I’m usually a last minute Lent decider. I’d decided what I wanted to add/take on weeks ago but couldn’t commit to anything to give up. Jason had already decided to forego sweets and I fully supported that endeavor, but had no desire to do it myself. Then last night I realized that the thing I don’t want to give up is always the thing that I should. More on that later, along with the story of when Jason gave up alcohol and I gave up coffee, then decided to take a last minute trip to Italy. It was
torture sanctifying to say the least.
Anyways, back to the beer cake. Have I mentioned that I love Shiner beer? Simply the best, according to this Texan. We took a trip to the brewery a few years ago (part one and part two) and are planning a return visit for our anniversary this fall. Can’t wait! Their latest brew is the Birthday Beer made for their 106th Birthday which is a delicious chocolate stout unlike anything I’d ever tasted. At first sip, I knew that I had to bake something with it.
I tweaked this chocolate cake recipe that originally called for Guinness and it worked perfectly with the Birthday Beer. Then I made a basic ganache to frost it and drizzled a little caramel sauce I had on hand to top it off. A-mazing. The beer flavor isn’t super strong but you can definitely tell it’s there. And after the cake has refrigerated overnight, the flavor is even more deep. And the nice thing is, if there’s a different beer that you love, you can simply swap them out and create your own version! Though I can’t help but think that the Shiner Bohemian Black Lager would be a good fit too. Hmm…maybe after Lent. 😉
Shiner Birthday Beer Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
1 cup Shiner Birthday Beer
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips or a chopped bar)
+Caramel sauce for drizzling (optional)
Yield: One bundt cake (about 10-12 servings)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the beer and butter to a light boil, then add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the butter/beer mixture to the sour cream mixture and beat until just incorporated. Add this liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is baking, make the ganache. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat for about 4 minutes, on until bubbles start to form around the edge. Make sure to swirl the pan a few times while you wait. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds then whisk the chocolate till it’s melted and smooth.Let it cool to room temperature or until it’s the consistency you want for drizzling.
When the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then flip it out and cool completely on a cooling rack or on the cake plate you plan to use for serving. When it’s cooled, drizzle or spread the ganache on top. (you can refrigerate and save any extra) If wanted, drizzle some caramel sauce on top too, or whatever else you want!
Eat the cake immediately or cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it till you’re ready to enjoy!
Source: Slightly adapted from The Hungry Housewife