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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Irish Car Bomb Cake for a milestone birthday

It's not every day that you pass the half century mark.  It called for something special.  With its rich chocolate cake, boozy frosting, and decadent dark chocolate ganache, this cake had been calling to me for some time.  Now was the time.  

Somewhere in my recipe search, I saw this referred to as Irish Car Bomb Cake, which is, of course, the perfect name for it even if it's not the official name.  The flavor profile takes after the famous (and delicious) drink:  

And it was perfect for this occasion, since turning 50 comes with all the shock and terror (if not the fall out) of a violent and destructive car bomb.  I just had to make one small, and warranted, adjustment to the recipe -- the addition of Irish whiskey.

1 cup Irish stout (such as Guinness®)
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

3 cups confectioner's sugar, or as needed
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3 1 tablespoon Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys®)
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.

Pour the beer into a saucepan, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth; allow to cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth with an electric mixer; stir in the stout mixture to make a smooth, thick liquid.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour the stout mixture into the flour mixture, and gently combine with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting the cakes onto wire racks to finish cooling.

Place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to almost boiling in a small saucepan, and pour over the chocolate. Add the butter, and stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is very smooth. Allow to cool until the mixture is thick but pourable, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat together the confectioner's sugar, butter, liqueur, and whiskey until the mixture forms a smooth and spreadable frosting.  (Add more sugar or whiskey as needed to create the desired consistency.) Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting on top of one of the cake layers; top with the second layer.  Frost the rest of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, starting with the sides and finishing with the top.  (See Conclusion.)  Pour the chocolate ganache carefully onto the top of the cake, covering the top completely, and encouraging it to slide down the sides. Don't be stingy -- you'll want lots of this.  More than what's in this photo.  (In fact, you'll probably want to wear it.)

Conclusion:  This was every bit as decadent and delicious as it appears to be.  I find fault only with the frosting, which was excruciatingly sweet.  Therefore, I recommend using less of the frosting recipe and applying it sparingly.  The ganache is not very sweet at all, so it's really important to pair the two appropriately.  This cake was better the second day.   

Original recipe:  Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey's Frosting via All Recipes

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