Monday, March 19, 2012

Cheers to the freakin' weekend

If you have kids of a certain age, chances are good that you've been trapped in a car with KISS FM or its equivalent.  Which means there's way too much Rihanna going on.

This song, for example:

Cheers to the freakin' weekend 
I drink to that, yeah yeah 
Oh let the Jameson sink in 
I drink to that, yeah yeah

My maternal instinct kicks in as the kids belt out the chorus:

"I drink to tha-at!"

I give the obligatory speech about irresponsible celebrities glorifying bad behavior.
They roll their eyes.
Our respective jobs done, we all sing:

"Cheers to the freakin' weekend!*"  

I let the booze sink into my cake, too.  
After all,  Life's too short to be sittin' round miserable.

Yeah! Yeah!

Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey's Cream Cheese Icing
I can't really blame Rihanna.  It was all the St. Patrick's Day posts around the web** that put the idea into my head.  My version takes bits from all over, and it turns out there's a good reason this cake is so popular.   It's addictive. As a bonus, it simple enough that you could probably make it with your Ray-Ban's on....

On a freakin' weekday!

For the cake:
10 Tbs. (1 stick + 2 Tbs.) butter
1 c. Guiness Extra Stout, or other stout beer (I used Underworld Chocolate Stout)
2 c. superfine sugar (I think regular would be fine, too)
1/2 c. cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
scant 1 tsp. baking soda

For the icing:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
8 oz. (1 pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1/4 c. Bailey's Irish Cream

Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan, and line the bottom with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper.  Or, if making cupcakes, grease and lightly flour your muffin tin. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the stout, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted.   Remove from the heat, then whisk in the sugar and the cocoa powder.   In a smaller bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, then whisk that into the chocolate mixture until well blended.  Finally, add the flour, salt and baking soda, and blend well to combine, using an electric immersion blender or your whisk.  The batter will be very liquid-y.  Don't worry!

Pour into prepared pan, and bake until top is firm and springs back when touched, about 45-50 minutes for the large cake, 15-20 minutes for mini cupcakes and 25-28 minutes for regular cupcakes. 

Cool completely.  While the cake is cooling, make the icing.

It might fall a bit in the middle.  Not a problem. That part will just be extra moist and chocolate-y.  Yeah!

In a medium bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth and light, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar, and blend on low speed until smooth.   Slowly add the Bailey's, blending well.  Note: This will make a little more frosting than you need.  Thank me later.


Spread frosting generously over cooled cake, and serve.

Yes, it does taste just as good as it looks.  Better even.  Supremely moist and not too sweet, with a slight bitterness from the beer that only seemed to intensify the chocolate taste.  Wow.  This is one hella cool chocolate cake! 

Click to Print this Recipe!
* Of course, the kids then immediately tell me I can't sing anymore because it is embarrassing.  I'm not sure how this is possible because it is just us in the car, but that's what my life is like with these people.  I do admit that I might have waved a fist in the air and done a thing with my neck, but I was totally on the beat.
* The Snakebite on Food 52, in turn based on Chocolate Stout Cake from Bon Appetit, and Nigella Lawson's Guiness Chocolate Cake at The Kitchn, as originally posted by the New York Times.

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