Lisa Lovegood's Butterbeer Cake
  • 2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 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
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper.
  4. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  6. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
  7. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  8. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  9. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
  10. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  11. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  12. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
  14. Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
  15. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate ganache for 1-2 hours stirring frequently until icing is a smooth and thick spreadable frosting. Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Alternately, you can save 2/3 cup of the ganache before refrigerating, and pour it over the top of your frosted cake, letting it drip randomly down the sides.
Adapted from recipe in the September 2002 issue of Bon Appétit.