Chocolate Stout Cake
Halloween is not just for kids. Some of my adult friends are clearly more into Halloween than their children. A few couples in particular reliably dazzle neighbors and friends with their well-thought-out, elaborate, and creative costumes. My husband and I are not that couple. Don’t get me wrong: when required, we can put forth some effort. But we’re often unwilling to take a costume to the next level. I have accepted this. But I admire others who push the envelope. This Halloween recipe is for grown-ups who want to get their Halloween on this year.
This is a chocolate stout cake. Yes, it’s made with beer. Stout is a dark brew that includes roasted malts, barley, hops, water, and yeast, and typically (though not always) has 7-8% alcohol content. In the world of stouts, there are a few variations: e.g. baltic, milk, and imperial. The most familiar and well-known stout is a dry one: Guinness.
Stouts date back to the late 1670s. The dark color and strong flavor came from using roasted malts. The popularity of stouts later led to varying strengths, the stronger of which were labeled “stout porters” (also known as “sweet stouts” or “cream stouts”). From my understanding, while a lot is written online about this subject, there is no real difference between stout and porter. Or at least, no significant difference.
Brewing companies typically differentiate their stout offerings through the use of the words “extra,” “double,” and “imperial.” In modern times, “dry stouts” refer to the stout that is made with barley that is roasted (not unlike coffee), giving the drink a rich, dark, and definitive bitter note.
That’s a lot of stout history, but I find this stuff interesting. What many don’t know is that stout can make a cake moist, rich, and delicious, much like olive oil can. Because it’s Halloween, I decided to make my stout cake a bit more fancy–not that this is required. Made as is, this stout cake is easy to make and frost, and should impress for Halloween (or any other gathering with friends and family). If you want to tackle the fun spider web decoration, check out this link, it’s much easier than you would imagine. Have a safe, happy, and sweet Halloween.