it's all in the name

I join in with a group of moms at my church who meet up fairly regularly for some fellowship.  Fellowship is a really nice way of saying eat lots of yummy treats, play games and laugh until the late hours of the night.  Our group has a name, but it never stuck in the spouse's head.  We are Methodists, so I started calling it, Meth Moms.  When I say Meth Moms he knows exactly what I'm talking about.  The same goes for this cake.  It's a chocolate stout cake, but we call it beer cake.  What do these two things have to do with each other...

I made beer cake for tonight's Meth moms.  It's sound like we have a terrible problem.  We don't.  Unless you count chocolate as a problem.

beer cake

for the cake

2 cups Guinness

4 sticks butter cut into cubes

1 1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla

4 cups flour

4 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cup sour cream

for the ganache

3 cups whipping cream

1 1/2 pounds bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep three 8" x 2" cake pans by greasing and lightly flouring.  It is important to use a pan at least that size, these cakes are very thick.  If you use a smaller pan they WILL boil over and make a huge mess.  Trust me on this one.

In a saucepan, bring Guinness and butter to simmer over medium heat, stirring to melt the butter.  Once the butter melts, add cocoa and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Set aside to cool slightly.

In a very large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sour cream until just combined.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture, folding until completely blended.  Divide batter among the three prepared pans.  Bake 40 - 45 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then removed from pan and cool on rack.

Once the cake is cool, bring cream and vanilla to simmer in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate, let set for up to a minute, then whisk until smooth.  Chill, checking and stirring frequently to see if it's of a spreadable consistency.  This can take up to an hour, but depends on a lot of factors so be sure to keep an eye on it.  You want it to be spreadable but not so much that it will slide off the cake.  I topped mine with store bought sugar flowers.

I will also warn you this makes a very large cake.  When I ice all three layers it is too tall for my cake carrier.  The cake in this picture is made up of just two layers.  I iced the third layer separately so the family could enjoy some cake too.

This cake ages well so you can make it a day or two before you need it.  It's also great with vanilla ice cream.