Luck o' the Irish Guinness Cake

Much to my Italian father-in-law's chagrin, my husband was cleverly born on St. Patrick's Day and this year is cause for a triple celebration. We're celebrating the man, the saint (did you know that St. Patrick was actually a Roman Brit? He wasn't even Irish!) and the fact that we're in a new home in San Diego after essentially couch surfing as a family for almost a year. Naturally, we're raising our glasses, but who doesn't like a good, boozy cake every once in a while, too?

I found this chocolate cake on Taste of Home dot com made with Guinness (smart) and sour cream (anything with sour cream is a winner) and cocoa (can't live without it) and added a ganache filling (because, chocolate goes with...chocolate!) and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. Can you say crowd pleaser?

Chocolate Guinness Cake a la Taste of Home
1 C Guinness
1 stick butter, cubed
2 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 C sour cream
3 t vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1-1/2 T baking soda

1/2 C cream
1/2 C best quality bittersweet chocolate

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4-1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste  

Oven to 350. Butter and cocoa a 9" springform pan or two 8" cake pans. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted and remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Whisking the sugar and cocoa together before adding to the beer and butter.
Whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk into beer mixture.

I love the marbling of the chocolate with the sour cream mixture. So pretty!
In a third bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Whisk into beer mixture until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes for the 9" or 25-30 minutes for the 8" or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely and remove sides of pan.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache. Chop the chocolate into pea sized bits. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring it just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate bits and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk. Leave on the counter for an hour and then transfer into a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture until the chocolate color lightens and it's looking a little fluffy. Set aside.

Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer for 1 minute, until thoroughly mixed. Add the confectioner's sugar and beat until all the little lumps are gone. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat one more time, until your frosting is gorgeously flecked with those little vanilla bean bits.

If using the 9" pan, slice the cake in half. Place the cake on a plate and then insert a serrated knife halfway into the cake. Turn your cake pedestal or plate 360 degrees until the cake is sliced all the way through. Using a second plate and a large spatula, remove the top half of the cake and set aside. Disclosure: I had never done this before and was pretty sure I'd ruin the cake. This cake has a nice firm crumb that makes it super easy to handle. Phew!

This baby had a little dent in the top because I took her out of the oven 3 minutes too soon so I filled that up with ganache, too. See, even imperfection is delicious!
Fill the cake with the ganache and place the top back onto the filled bottom.
Frost the cake with the vanilla bean cream cheese icing and let set on the counter one hour or in the fridge 15 minutes.

Slice and eat. And don't forget to toast to St. Paddy, who is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland.

Happy Birthday, Babe!



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