March 18, 2012

Gluten-Free Stout Chocolate Cake


I love random holidays, especially ones that have traditional foods associated with them. My goal is always to create a memorable meal that no one would know is gluten-free. This year I went all out for St. Patrick's Day, brining my own corned beef (I highly recommend it as you can avoid the nitrates and nitrites in the commercially produced varieties), and making traditional (or not) Irish Soda Bread.  I was especially fortunate because my wonderfully creative husband had just bottled a batch of gluten-free Russian Imperial-Style Stout beer. Just a quick side note about his beer: He's been brewing GF beer for about 3 years now and hopes to market and distribute his delicious creations under the name Roots and Shoots Gluten-Free Brewery, both in our future bakery and throughout the Northwest. Anyway, I always see recipes for stout chocolate cakes made with Guinness in magazines around this time of year and I really wanted to make a gluten-free one. The cake is incredibly moist with just a hint of the delicious stout flavor. With a mocha buttercream frosting, this cake is the perfect conclusion to the traditional St. Patty's Feast feast of corned beef and cabbage. If your husband isn't a gluten-free home brewer, I would recommend Green's Explorer Stout, which is available at many natural-foods stores. If you can't find a gluten-free dark beer, you can try substituting any gluten-free beer, like Redbridge or Bard's Tale.
Yield: 2 8" round layers or one 8" layer and 12 cupcakes or 24 cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs, or substitute
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp molasses
  • 1- 12oz bottle gluten-free stout (dark) beer
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • 14 Tbsp (1/2 cup plus 6 Tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • parchment paper circles for bottoms of cake pans
  • butter or oil spray for sides of cake pans
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray sides of 8" round cake pans with olive oil spray. Cut parchment circles to size, place in bottom of pans and set pans aside. Or, if making cupcakes, line cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugars and molasses and mix until well combined. You can use an electric mixer or do it by hand. Add vanilla, beer and melted butter and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, sea salt and xanthan gum. Add to wet ingredients, alternating with yogurt, in 3 additions: Add some flour mix, stir, add some yogurt, stir, add more flour mix, stir, add remaining yogurt, stir, add remaining flour mix. Mix until no lumps are present. Note: Due to the lack of gluten, you don't have to worry about "over mixing" this cake. Pour into prepared cake pans or cupcake tins.

Bake cupcakes for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Bake round cakes for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and frost with Mocha Buttercream (recipe follows) Enjoy!

Mocha Buttercream Ingredients:
3 cups confectioners sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp coffee extract
4 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream or half&half

Directions:
Beat butter, confectioners sugar and cocoa powder on high speed in the bowl or a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until combined. Add vanilla and coffee extract and beat on high till combined. Slowly add cream or half & half, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

More to come with Love!